Health Health & Well-Being Psychology

Psychosomatic exhaustion during covid-19

As we experienced the covid-19 pandemic, we realized that we are not omnipotent and that our individual responsibility plays a key role in our survival. Suddenly our life changes dramatically and we find it hard to cope.

Covid-19 is Psychology

As we experienced the covid-19 pandemic, we realized that we are not omnipotent and that our individual responsibility plays a key role in our survival. Suddenly our life changes dramatically and we find it hard to cope. Our life is as if we had pressed the pause button and had lost the illusion of being unharmed.

Through this crisis we have realized that man is not so powerful in the face of a pandemic like that of covid-19. The threat of death calls for a responsible attitude towards our own life and that of our loved ones. The current global health crisis has robbed us of the illusion that we are indestructible, unharmed and omnipotent. After all, as Freud said, no one believes in their own death; subconsciously, each is convinced that he will live forever and that is immortal.

Citizens are called upon to withdraw, to distance themselves socially, to isolate themselves. It is normal to generate feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, anger and boredom. Psychosocial problems such as unemployment, domestic violence and relationship conflicts emerge. The threat of death and psychosis combined with the above inevitably causes mental and physical fatigue, a feeling of exhaustion. Signs of burnout can include loss of energy, feeling empty, feeling hopeless, feeling listless, difficulty responding to daily activities, as well as physical symptoms, loss of appetite , sleep disturbances and headaches.

Research has shown an increase in sedatives, anxiolytics and antidepressants during COVID-19. Specifically in Greece, according to the Psytaleia wastewater treatment center, there was the highest cocaine use since 2010, a 650% increase in amphetamine use compared to 2019, a 77% increase in sedatives and a 31% increase in antidepressants. Shocking data which demonstrates the feeling of exhaustion of citizens in the face of the pandemic.

Here are some specific tips for managing burnout:

Acknowledge our feelings, don’t amplify the negatives, and rationalize the situation by thinking about what we could do better.

Refreshing our thinking, the ritual of cleaning and the constant use of the mask make us sick and tired. But we have to accept that by doing this we are protecting ourselves and those around us. What we do is important to our company.

Communicating with family, friends and colleagues, overcoming distance, distance is stressful, physical distance does not necessarily mean social isolation, we use technology and seek new forms of communication.

Take care of yourself, we must not neglect our health because of the quarantine. Exercise is also important for boosting energy and mood. Eating healthy is also an important way to stay healthy, mentally and physically, and can prevent burnout.

Here are some tips:

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Minimize sugars and food intake that can negatively affect your mood. Such foods are alcohol and caffeine (especially if consumed in excess).
  • Think positively and the benefits you get from this experience.
    If you find that this is more than burnout, it is important to seek professional help.

Beyond the loss of thousands of lives, the pandemic is also leaving a psychological mark. It can lead to the “building” of a new self and the discovery of defenses that were well hidden before. To complete this experiment can contribute to the activation of new survival mechanisms.

Conclusion

Through this trip, we may learn to prioritize in a meaningful way, to appreciate the moments spent with our loved ones and their uniqueness. We will be able to change our way of thinking, our way of living, we will have more respect for human life and its quality. Perhaps therefore, the psychic imprint left by covid-19 will lead to the invention of a new guide to life, centered on people and not on material goods.


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Faih Efthimiopoulou

Faih Efthimiopoulou

Graduated from the Department of Psychology, Panteion University of Social and Political Studies. Holder of a transnational postgraduate degree in clinical neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience from the Faculty of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University. She is a scientific collaborator at the 1st University Neurology Clinic, at Aeginitio Hospital, specializing in neurodegenerative and motor disorders. She has carried out important research work on Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, with her participation as an author and speaker at national, European and international conferences, with the writing of scientific articles in journals renowned foreign and Greek countries and with its participation in clinical studies and research projects. She is currently preparing her doctoral thesis at the Department of International and European Studies at Panteion University. Finally, she has a strong socio-political activity aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues in the state.

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