The effect on mental health
The coronavirus has created a hyper alert state in huge numbers of people – understandably so, with governments across the world differing in their opinions on how best to deal with what’s now officially a global pandemic.
From a mental health standpoint, the effects we’re experiencing range from a healthy level of concern in some individuals, to severe anxiety in others.
Managing stress levels
While it is of course important to stay vigilant, it’s also vital to do everything possible to manage our stress levels in this time of uncertainty.
When you’re stressed your immune system is compromised, which means that you will naturally become more susceptible to infections. Our immune systems are our first line of defence against the coronavirus, therefore having good mental health can add a layer of protection against the disease – a fact that seems to have been ignored in the midst of widespread panic.
Khody Damestani, co-founder of mental health and wellbeing company, MyMindPal, says: “Anxiety can trigger your flight-or-fight stress response and release a flood of chemicals and hormones such as adrenaline into your system. This has the effect of weakening your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to viral infections and frequent illnesses.
“Identifying, learning and practicing the strategies that are the best fit for you and that will help you to enhance your ability to cope at this challenging time is of paramount importance. It will also offer a protective factor to your immune system.”