When the Covid-19 pandemic started last year, little was known about the impact that lockdowns could have on the population on such a large scale. The constant confinement and restriction of movement has caused discomfort, anxiety, and fear to thousands of people. Some people experience depression, while others look for a way out by using alcohol and drugs, as recent research shows. At the same time, many people in lockdown have quite low levels of good mental health, which have been manifested due to negative mood, stress, depressive behavior and a pessimistic outlook on society. Researchers note that there is a risk that many people will develop further mental health problems.
What are the factors that affect mental health? Researchers claim that differences among countries are likely to be related to the way each government deals with the pandemic, the cultural differences of the people and the political upheavals that exist in each country. In parallel, people who have had their income reduced due to stumbling blocks or have not had access to basic services and goods say they have worse levels of mental health. Social support, the highest level of education and the ability to adapt to new situations are some factors that have been associated with better mental health.
What do we need to do to feel better? Taking care of ourselves is very important as it contributes to a good mood and helps strengthening our immune system. Each of us has their own unique way of taking care of their mental and physical health and everyone will find what is suitable for them, but it is good in the lockdown to adopt healthy eating habits and avoid alcohol, smoking and eating out. On top of that, we should take care of our hydration, make sure we have adequate hours of sleep, rest and do physical exercise, since we now spend several hours at home. Finally, research shows that working from the office can be beneficial as it causes a change of environment and people get away from the routine through their work.