The holiday season has always been characterized not only by being a time in which we seek to improve our relationships and spend a month full of happiness and love, but it is also a time full of reflection and self-evaluation, in which we take a look at the events of the year that is about to happen.
Without a doubt, 2020 was a difficult year to predict, that took the entire world by surprise, exposing the best and the not so positive, depending on the case, of the human being. However, from this peculiar conjuncture, there are some key issues that will have a lasting impact on daily life, professional, personal and home relationships for 2021.
”Mental health is not defined solely by the absence of a disorder. Rather, it is a dynamic state that is fundamentally expressed in our daily lives through our behavior and our interaction that allows us to fully deploy all our emotional, cognitive and mental resources. And from there, being able to go through everyday life to work and to establish meaningful relationships and to be able to contribute to the community,” explains Dr. Luis Eduardo Correo, Psychiatrist.
Here are proposed tips to strengthen and improve mental health for the New Year 2021:
1. Have a good contextualization of the environment:
It is important that we as human beings continue to acquire information from the context that surrounds us since this can change things substantially depending on what we are experiencing. Through acquiring information that is viable, truthful and accurate, we can contextualize ourselves in the environment and have the possibility of anticipating as far as possible something in the future. In essence you have to understand in order to act.
2. Limit the time spent on information:
Although we previously made clear how important it is to have reliable information, it is also necessary to limit the time that we are going to dedicate to that condition. We know that through social networks, the Internet and media we experience a saturation of information and content that can generate stress and anxiety – avoiding reading the environment in an appropriate way. You have to inform yourself, but in an objective and limited way.
3. Increase your sense of control:
If there is something that marks the development of anxiety and stress in human beings, it is uncertainty, in that sense the feeling of control that develops through routines and strategies to organize life must be strengthened. To the extent that we can organize our tasks, be well informed and plan our own lives with activities that we can or cannot perform and be able to replace them and develop alternative proposals, we will achieve that feeling of control that frees us from future conditions. In general, you have to continue life without stopping, you have to limit yourself: yes, but it does not mean that we have to stop.
4. Routines for the distribution of time and work; also of acquisition of free time:
How are we going to manage our free time or how are we going to do to entertain ourselves? It is a question that arises in the face of future quarantines. That entertainment starts from two fundamental elements. The realization of physical activity, if possible at home or in open spaces since this favors many elements of mental health. Likewise, take advantage of the virtual cultural offer: museums, concerts, courses, among others, which serve as a distraction and help us take advantage of our free time.
5. Maintain our interpersonal relationships:
In this sense, we have to guarantee the visibility of all the people around us, prevent them from becoming opaque or from leaving. We must make sure that these elements of isolation do not represent true walls, but rather represent one more opportunity to strengthen our relationship with others.
6. Continue building social fabric and community:
Participate in citizen, collective and community initiatives of mutual support, will promote the strengthening of mental health. Likewise, not only due to the issue of the Pandemic, helping the victims of any situation allows us to build a community and later feel better. This places us in a favorable and encouraging environment.
7. Find narratives of resilience:
Resignify complex experiences like all this 2020 and uncertainty and everything that may happen in 2021. All that must be re-signified in terms of learning. It is important to avoid narratives loaded with problems that can lead to despair, such as those in a political and social context that often produce us stress.
8. Ask for emotional support:
It is very important to know that if the need, the stress, the restlessness appear consistently, it prevents us from making progress in life. Translating into violence, conflict and diseases, so you have to know how to recognize when something is not right with you and have all the good sense to ask for help.
9. Information to children and adolescents:
It must be given in an appropriate way with a language that makes it easier for them to understand what is happening. They are essentially vulnerable populations and they need a lot of adult mentoring, not only in emotional support but also in effective support in operational terms: with their work.
Many citizens globally have suffered the havoc that long quarantines, uncertainty and fear have left in their wake. Mental health in the context of the Pandemic has played a fundamental role in both clinical and home care support, in which it has made it possible for people, despite the context, to materialize their potential, to overcome normal life stress , work productively and contribute to society.