We are living some worrying times worldwide, and Romania has not been spared from Coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s normal to worry, but we don’t have to panic. Panic can do more harm than good medically but also mentally. We want to talk about psycho-emotional health now and tell you that we’re in this together, whether you’re in the country or abroad at this moment.
We react differently confronted with the Coronavirus outbreak, and it’s normal. Fear, anxiety, uncertainty, panic attacks, or even paranoia! First, panic leads to high levels of cortisol, so the hormonal balance and immune system are the first that suffer. Prolonged stress also has a contribution to a weakened immune system, which means vulnerability to the disease.
Analysis of 24 studies (including two reports issued by the Australian Psychological Society and the Department of Psychological Medicine King’s College London) on the effects of quarantine on mental and psycho-emotional health does not bring great news. The idea of quarantine has always had negative effects, more now in 2020 when the news is confused with opinions, and thousands of confusing and implausible messages are thrown at us online.
How do we cope? How to take care of ourselves at such a difficult time worldwide? Let’s stay in BALANCE. ATLAS specialists propose these solutions at hand:
1. Turn to reliable sources when searching INFORMATION ABOUT Coronavirus (Covid-19)
The Internet is yelling at us these days. Thousands of opinions, news, personal interpretations, or advice. It’s essential to be adequately informed, not bombed. Facebook or Instagram are not reliable sources when we talk about Coronavirus infection (COVID-19), and no filter consumption of Social Media, potentiates our anxiety and the problematic states we face.
Sources where you can adequately document yourself:
- Romanian Ministry of Health
- Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs
- World Health Organisation
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- American Psychological Association
- World Psychiatric Association
MIHAI BRAN, a primary psychiatrist at Colţea Clinical Hospital in Bucharest, states:
Constant exposure to alarmist and unverified information leads to vulnerable psycho-emotional health, which in turn can lead to altered immunity, which is what we precisely must avoid.
2. Comply with the informed recommendations
We’re not going crazy, but there are some simple steps to take. We wash often and thoroughly our hands (30 seconds on the clock). We avoid crowded spaces. We also clean your phone screen. We avoid meetings that aren’t urgent. And while the first impulse is to go home, we would like to point out that in the case of young people, the virus may not manifest itself, but in contact with people like our parents and grandparents who have health problems, we can do more harm than good.
3. Be selfish ?
We use mask tactics on the plane. First, put the mask for yourself, then to the one next to you. Be sure to eat as healthy as possible (fruits+vegetables=many vitamins). Sleep eight hours per night. Exercise is recommended but at home. If you enjoy it and feel it helps, a few minutes of stretching or crunches are welcome! The emergencies at work? We will use the email to resolve them. Social life can wait for a while. Medical isolation has its essential and positive parts in this context, but emotional isolation is NOT recommended. It can lead to panic attacks, depressive episodes, or paranoia. Are you reaching that point? Just breathe, okay? You’re not alone, and we’re in this together.
4. Take care of your people
Call your grandparents and ask them please, for example, to avoid going to church for a while. Parents need to be correctly informed – and assume that you will be their source of information, not the TV. Ask them to stay indoors as much as possible, avoid public transportation and crowded hypermarkets. Assure them that you’re okay, their emotional health revolves around you anyway, especially these days. Call them more often.
5. No excesses of any kind
Especially: addictions. They are not an option; they are not even momentary comfort. Don’t be fooled by the tranquillity a glass of wine can bring you for one moment. It comes with a mental breakdown, much harder to treat. .BALANCE. Do not make excesses of any kind (neither exercise excessively nor “eat” only vitamins nor take refuge in any way in excessive smoking or alcohol).
6. Risk of total isolation
We react either with humour and with “it can not happen to me,” or we pull the shutters, and we don’t leave the house. In both cases, panic attacks and paranoia may occur. Once again, we say: breathe and remember that whatever it is, we’re here 24 hours a day, at any hour, ready to help.
We are facing a situation where we learn to take care of ourselves more responsibly than ever. Let’s protect our bodies, but also our minds
7. Ask for specialized help
Studies have revealed that even a psycho-emotionally healthy man may experience in such situations, new moods, from anxiety, panic attacks to depression. Also, those who have already experienced these states can either know how to manage this or make it worse.
If you feel you can’t handle it anymore, please don’t “punish” yourself. You’re not a weak human; you’re not fearful or dramatic. It’s perfectly normal. We have prepared for you ATLAS Help Line – 031 630 2020, a 24/7 available hotline, where ATLAS specialists offer you free psycho-emotional support in the current difficult context, at any hour of the day and the night. For emergencies and medical problems related to coronavirus infection (COVID-19), please contact you only 112 or a doctor).
Because we are talking about a considerable number of people we want to be with, we also come to help with the online version of contacting an ATLAS specialist via the existing in-app chat. ATLAS App is available for iOS and Android devices.
Both solutions (the phone line and online help) are available for the people in the diaspora who more than ever feel lonely and scared. We want to get to as many people as possible.
Take care of yourself and your people. We are here ready at any time to help.