Covid and mental health

Over the past year, we have seen how anxiety, low mood, stress, fear, frustration and boredom have been present in our lives. The following can be considered to be the consequences of Covid-19, including; restriction of movement; loss of social connections and employment; loss of financial income; fear of contagion; or concern about lack of access to basic needs such as medicines, food, or water.

Loneliness is considered a result of social isolation and can lead to more serious underlying physical and mental health conditions. Those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged or are elderly are at increased risk of loneliness. It is proved that activities such as the arts could help prevent a range of physical and mental health conditions.

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Let’s remember how in Italy spontaneous singing helped individuals to cope with Covid in the first weeks of March, where a sense of socialization was felt through singing. (Corvo and De Caro, 2020) In addition, physical activity and physical exercise interventions have been shown to produce positive impacts not only in frustration but it has been long proved to have benefits when dealing with depression. 30 minutes of exercise with moderate intensity or 20 minutes with a higher intensity is recommended on a daily basis. (Amatriain-Fernández, et al., 2020) Community engagement (when possible) could help to improve well-being. (Razai, et al., May 2020) Let’s not forget how technology has opened up a new means of socialization, much needed in the last year, helping us to challenge feelings of loneliness and isolation. Technology is another coping tool that helps us to access our social support and to deal with stress and trauma, especially useful for children and adolescents. Along the same line, self-care is utterly important to reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety where tools such as meditation/mindfulness, physical activity or creating fun activities can make a positive effect on individuals when working on self-care. (Saltzman, et al., 2020)

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