Quarantine – an opportunity to focus on one’s psychological health

Monika Kuzminskaitė, Service Continuity Manager
at Danske Bank

Anxiety and uncertainty in the face of the coronavirus pandemic threat have become an inseparable part of an every-day life of many residents. We have to admit, the humanity encountered an invisible enemy, and there is no way of knowing when it will retreat. Because of that many had to change their habits – much more time to spend at home, to erase the boundaries between professional and personal environment. This poses significant challenges to the psychological health of people, which I do my best to help to overcome.

 

After work – to provide psychological assistance to colleagues

 

Part of my colleagues are already aware that in addition to my work at Danske Bank, I engage other activities that are equally interesting and dear to me. I am a professional psychologist, therefore, during the quarantine, I decided to employ the knowledge I have accumulated and the expertise in the area by holding online psychology sessions for my workmates at Danske Bank. Every session is joined by some two hundred or more participants which confirms that the quarantine has been posing greater or lesser challenges to everybody.

 

These challenges can be expressed in a variety of ways. In most cases, those are general anxiety or emotional tensions. Difficulties arise due to shattered work rhythm, tensions in the family, or the efforts to reconcile professional and parental duties. This is only natural, as the existing situation is absolutely extraordinary. Therefore one of the most important steps in our attempts to control anxiety and other emotions, is to understand why we feel one way or another. During the sessions, I try to help to strengthen this perception and, at the same time, to share useful knowledge and support, and answer specific questions of concern from the audience.

 

Psychological health must be a concern for everybody

 

I believe, particularly today psychological assistance is really important and greatly relevant. In our society, psychological health is not infrequently forgotten, ignoring that to a large extent it is responsible for human happiness, determining the ability to work productively, engage in useful activities conducive to realization of personal values, to feel good and maintain meaningful personal relations. Alongside physical well-being and the surrounding environment psychological health is one of the key components of feeling happy. It is therefore needs to be taken very good care of.

 

It should be understood that good psychological health is important not only to the absence of psychiatric diseases, but also to the ability to rationally and clearly think, take reasonable decisions, address emerging problems, establish and maintain relations, and to terminate such relations if they turn toxic.

 

Another important facility is the ability to acknowledge and live through all the emerging emotions, to tolerate a certain level of psychological discomfort, not to be overwhelmed by subversive thinking or depressing emotions. A crucial role in developing and strengthening such abilities is self-development and, if necessary, willingness and readiness to accept assistance from family or specialists. It is then easier to survive such periods of global anxiety that we are experiencing at the moment.

 

What helps to become a master of own destiny?

 

A psychologically healthy person is not necessarily only happy and trouble-free. First of all, he is ready to learn, accept and overcome all the difficulties he may face in life and, at the same time, is able to experience and enjoy his achievements, happiness or peace of mind. Such a person is able to see positivity even in complex situations, to be able to learn from them. Of great importance in this case is the personal attitude: an inclination to follow a belief “I am the master of my own fate”, or just – “you can’t fight the fate.” “Masters of own fate” will always see opportunities even in the face of a pandemic, find reasons to enjoy their time at home with their family, cooking or simply admire the coming spring.

 

So how can we take care of your psychological health and nurture it? It is often possible to do this even with very simple things, routine habits that each of us can develop. For example, things like quality sleep, physical activity, healthy diet are undoubtedly important for psychological self-awareness or ability to handle anxiety. Moreover, everyone should develop ability to critically assess own thoughts, be open in accepting own emotions or those of the others, not to look whom to blame, not to give up, and not be afraid in addressing own problems.

 

Finally, I can say from my own experience that one of the most effective ways of fighting anxiety is to engage in a specific meaningful and pleasant activity. I guess this is one of the reasons why I initiated this course of psychology sessions during the quarantine. This way I can help not only others, but also myself. I wish everybody to be able to discover such opportunities. Then all other troubles will be easier to overcome.