May. 6, 2020

Attitude towards life and people strengthens well-being

A global vision of health requires that each person think and recognize the implication of their daily activity in their health. We must be aware of what the mental, emotional and behavioural attitude can do for health, as well as we can take care of and enhance this attitude. For example, doing physical exercise, to learn and reach new goals, maintaining individual commitment to personal ethical values, establishing relationships of trust in a stable way with others people, maintain communication with loved ones every day (preferably by video conference), perform other activities (reading, music, watching series, painting, learning to cook, etc.), or practice personal growth activities (relaxation, meditation, sense of humor, etc.).

Now with COVID-19, staying at home may be an external obligation or an expression of our altruism. With this last attitude, external demand becomes our motivation, that is, the obligation to stay home may be from the authorities, but it is I who decides to follow it, it is I who agree to comply with it.

My search in scientific publications about pandemics and well-being, I found no results which tested whether mandatory versus voluntary quarantine has a differential effect on wellbeing. In other contexts, however, feeling that others will benefit from one's situation can make stressful situations easier to bear. Probably this can also happen for home-based quarantine. If we think that quarantine is helping to keep others safe, including those particularly vulnerable (such as those who are very young, old, or with pre-existing serious medical conditions), can only help to reduce the mental health effect and adherence in those quarantined. 

I think it is also important that we are genuinely grateful to those who stay at home and comply with all the precautions. In the case of the authorities also and that they also deliver adequate information on how to keep people safe. In other words, it would be unacceptable to ask people to self-quarantine for the benefit of the community's health, when while doing so they might be putting their loved ones at risk. So far, I have found no national or global plans to strengthen well-being of people, families or communities.

References: 1) Brooks, Webster, Smith, Woodland, Wessely, Greenberg, Rubin. The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet, Volume 395, Issue 10227, 14–20 March 2020, Pages 912-920. 2) X Liu, M Kakade, CJ Fuller, et al. Depression after exposure to stressful events: lessons learned from the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic. Compr Psychiatry, 53 (2012), pp. 15-23. 3) P Wu, Y Fang, Z Guan, et al. The psychological impact of the SARS epidemic on hospital employees in China: exposure, risk perception, and altruistic acceptance of risk. Can J Psychiatry, 54 (2009), pp. 302-311.

Latest comments

06.07 | 14:21

Fantástica experiencia trabajar con un profesional de este nivel. Empático y cordial. Tremendo aporte para el desarrollo personal y laboral

12.09 | 23:38

Excelente persona, con una gran sensibilidad para ayudar a otros, puede llegar a transformar realmente en forma positiva la percepción que tememos acerca de nosotros mismos, a través del autoconocimi

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