The mental health of the Costa Rican population has been impacted by the political, economic, cultural, environmental, social and ideological changes caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. This situation, according to the Master in Psychology, Javier Vindas, widens the psychosocial trauma and produces direct resonances in the most disadvantaged sectors of society.
“We must be aware that the macrosocial is always impacting on the individual aspects of the population. You cannot understand mental health without understanding the public and political health of a country,” Vindas explained.
Lowering violence levels
The difficulties at the psychosocial level in terms of the management of mental health, according to the expert, had already appeared since the fiscal crisis that preceded the Pandemic. However, this situation has become more evident in recent times, when some videos of violence on national highways by drivers have been made viral.
Channeling emotions and actions
According to Vindas, with the impact of the Pandemic on mental health, reactions such as anxiety, depression and fear of the contagion of COVID-19 have been activated. “There are bodily and emotional reactions that are manifested in discomfort, irritability, mood swings, frequent forgetfulness and in some cases, the use of psychoactive substances. There is also irritability understood as”, commented the expert.
To handle these types of manifestations, such as anger, and avoid violent actions, nine tips are provided:
Fix: Letting go of anger and irritability is good catharsis. However, prior psychological work must be done, since without it, the situation is alleviated but not resolved.
Assertive communication: When communicating, people must express oppositional behavior and expressing feelings with respect.
Time out: If there is difficulty in being able to maintain a good conversation with another person, either because they are disrespecting, attacking or raising their voices, they must leave the place and wait for a quiet moment to continue the communication.
Self-relaxation exercises: Exercises such as stretching, gymnastics or yoga work for the person to calm their frustration generated by all these situations of emotional overflow.
Exercise routine: In this way beta-endorphins are produced, chemicals and gratifying substances that allow people to feel comfortable and to manage their existence more pleasantly.
Do not demand: We must be aware that we cannot demand that others meet our expectations.
Self-pointing: We must know that we are responsible for what we do. We cannot blame others for decisions we make. Those who know themselves responsible are healthy people.
Meeting: What sociocultural aspects are conditioning my anger management? Wondering how tough I am being, how social class status or my job position is influencing, for example.
Review the comorbid condition: Know if there is any disorder that can affect the way I relate to others from anger and then take action on the matter.
Vindas commented that citizens are developing various strategies to improve the psychosocial trauma caused by the Pandemic and containment measures. For example, they are beginning to be physically active; walking, swimming, going to the gym, playing sports, or dancing.
“They are also turning to different forms of spiritual and religious support. In addition to seeking close contact with family and friends, and with nature”, he finished.