When dealing with mental health in the midst of the pandemic, caution is necessary, as research in the area, due to the sudden increase in demand, is still incipient. Taking this into account, this text aims to approach the theme in a more reflective way, discussing choices, quality of life and quality of time spent in life. Before the virus appeared, it was possible to verify the frantic life that many lived, often hearing complaints such as “I don’t have time to do what I want” or, “I don’t have time for me, life is doen´t stop”.
And these complaints ended up being paradoxical today, because the time we currently have available due to social isolation allows us to think more about ourselves, about our choices and about the lifestyle we lead.
This greater time available often causes us anguish. To try to reduce it, there is a technique used in Psychotherapy called Socratic questioning, which, as the name foreshadows, comes from the Greek philosopher Socrates, which consists of raising a series of questions, not only to get specific answers, but to encourage also a clear and fundamental understanding of the subject.
Thus, when we get in touch with ourselves, many questions arise, so we use Socrates’ method almost unconsciously. In this context, free time made us think more and, consequently, came to the conclusion that we used the rush of the daily routine as a coping strategy to avoid feeling our internal pains.
It is observed that, with the change in hygiene habits linked to the use of protective masks, added to the new forms of work and communication – as is the case of the home office and videoconferences – a popular term called this set of novelties of “New normal”.
Thus, I question: what normality are we referring to? Do we ever live in normalcy?
The concept of normality is complex, its etymology comes from the Latin normalis, which means “according to the rule”. This concept reinforces the idea that we seek to hold on to something to live. Before the pandemic, we had the false security of the day after, an inevitable illusion for daily life, because it is through it that we make plans and leave some opportunities for tomorrow.
On the subject, the philosopher Canguilhem, who studied the relationship between normal and pathological, describes that both health and disease are normal, as they refer to a norm of life, that is, there is no normality, but distinct normalities.
The definition has a lot of subjective, because as individual beings we face health and disease in different ways. Health is always related to the way in which the individual interacts with the events of life, a form that has been built up throughout existence, since childhood.
In coping with the pandemic, different individual behaviors are noticeable. There are those who are in a denial process and believe that the virus is not so dangerous, which is why they do not take proper care.
Others, however, aware of the danger faced, follow the recommendations of Organs competent bodies, however, because of these own protective measures, they feel emotionally shaken, because a life “without security” would be impossible to be lived. The pandemic, in a violent way, placed us on the borderline of our fragility.
And if this fragility has always existed, quarantine and social isolation have strengthened it. It is worth reflecting here: who knows, this is the time to take care of our internal pains, our traumas that have always been kept and were not treated as they should and now appear intensified.
The fear with Covid-19, the economic situation, social isolation and the new family routine has increased people’s anxiety and stress. Therefore, talking about the topic is one of the ways to collaborate with the way we deal with the virus and create strategies to improve mental health in quarantine.
Most people were taken by surprise and did not have time to prepare for social isolation. With the changes caused by the quarantine, it is normal that the routine is a little messy or even it doesn’t even exist anymore. However, it is important to take the time to create a routine that works for you and the family.
Set times for your activities, create goals for the month and week and involve the family in the activities of the house. For those who are in the home office, set aside a place in the house for your work and set aside time to relax before starting your tasks.
Doing physical activities in quarantine helps to maintain the quality of health. Even during isolation, it is possible to adopt an exercise routine at home. Another possibility is to do dance and yoga, the important thing is not to stand still. You can also count on advice from physical educators who can give tips and assist in the correct practice of exercises.
It is possible to take care of mental health without putting your physical health at risk. Do not let the situation spoil yourself, we have the capacity to adapt within us and now is the time to use it!