With the entire world shrouded in uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic, it is more important than ever to remain socially and emotionally connected.
25 Stay Alive podcast host, Hugo Toovey, spoke with Dr Izzy Smith, a doctor not only working on the frontline of Coronavirus care, but also a mental health advocate and Movember ambassador, on the importance of staying mentally healthy and why we should all focus on being kind, staying connected and checking in with each other.
“There are so many reasons at the moment for people’s mental health to be impacted, so if people aren’t feeling their normal chirpy selves, they’re feeling unmotivated, I want people to know this is totally normal,” Dr Smith said.
“Our lives have been turned inside out and upside down.
“As humans we thrive really well on structure and routine… that structure and routine gives us an internal sense of calm and accomplishment.
“When that’s taken away, we lose that calm and accomplishment, all of a sudden we don’t have those normal structures and routines and we’re also facing new problems, restructuring our business models, working from home; so all of these new things in our lives without any of the old familiar things that gave us comfort.
“The financial implications are also massive, there’s so much uncertainty and that’s just a recipe for mental health disaster.
“It is so important to remember through this, this is not going to last forever, the holidays will come back, the economy will recover, we are all in this together, the problems that individual people are facing right now, these problems are shared, a lot of other people are going through the same stuff,” she said.
The impacts of Coronavirus have been felt across almost every single industry in the world, specifically in the sporting world where the vast majority of sport, from grassroots to professional, has been either suspended or cancelled.
The effects this crisis is having on mental health around the world has been evident from the start, with a FIFPRO survey indicating a sharp rise in the number of football players reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression since their competitions were halted.
“It is totally normal to be anxious or feel despair, there’s no right or wrong way to feel right now, it’s totally normal to feel okay,” Dr Smith said.
“This is completely unprecedented so there’s no normal, and if you’re feeling anxious or down, don’t suffer in silence, we all need to get through this together, and there’s never been a more important time to really look after our wellbeing and be proactive.
“Half of my friends have lost their jobs, and it just breaks my heart and I feel so bad for them.
“We’re hard wired to need love and be connected to other people, so please, don’t let that go, there’s so many ways we can stay connected right now,” she said.
To listen to the entire discussion between Dr Izzy Smith and 25 Stay Alive podcast host Hugo Toovey, click here.