The 8 psychological effects of the pandemic on a personal and professional level
Jul 16, 2021
In a very short time, the coronavirus crisis has transformed the functioning of societies and, consequently, also that of the people who make up that society.
Therefore, in this article you will find a summary of the psychological implications of the pandemic, distinguishing between its effects on personal life and those that mainly affect the professional field.
- Related article: "Mental health: definition and characteristics according to psychology"
The psychological effects of the COVID-19 crisis on private life and work
Here we will review the main types of psychological problems that can be facilitated by the context of a pandemic.
Effects on a personal level
The psychological effects of the COVID-19 crisis on private life are the most varied, but most can be classified into the following categories.
1. Upset about social isolation
It seems that the segment of the population that has suffered the most from the emotional impact of the pandemic is young adults; more problems of unhappiness and depressive symptoms have arisen among this age group, possibly having to do with
However, the trend towards a lifestyle more inclined towards social isolation is capable of emotionally affecting all types of profiles. If we add to this that, statistically, loneliness is associated with the adoption of unhealthy habits and the appearance of depressive symptoms in the medium and long term, the implications that this has on the mental health of the population are disturbing.
2. Ideological polarization and tension
In crisis situations such as the one triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, social polarization is often exacerbated. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a certain level of tension derived from disagreements about what to do about the virus, and about the position to adopt in the dilemma between giving priority to individualistic values or giving priority to collective values.
There are even cases like those of the Swedish epidemiologist Jonas F. Ludvigsson, who was forced to leave his job and his participation in discussions about COVID-19 due to the avalanche of criticism and forms of harassment suffered as a result of the rejection that many people felt for the results of their research on the coronavirus. This feeling of social pressure makes something as simple as giving an opinion on the management of the pandemic or even asserting one's own interests to be seen as a possible source of anxiety.
3. Anxiety about economic instability
When we feel more vulnerable, we are more likely to develop a high state of anxiety. If this is kept high for long periods, in addition, psychological alterations appear that damage us emotionally.
- You may be interested in: "The 7 types of anxiety (characteristics, causes and symptoms)"
4. Fear for one's physical integrity and that of loved ones
The fear of being infected or contagious can persist for months, which takes a toll on one's mental health and contributes to stress and anxiety continue to lead to problems through a chain effect: concentration problems, lack of sleep, irritability, etc.
5. Ease of falling into self-neglect
The mixture of anxiety and loss of social life leads many people to abandon hygiene and correct eating habits: the incentives to have a good image and stay in shape and the need to alleviate discomfort through bingeing, leisure habits that can be carried out passively and without effort, takes priority, etc.
Regarding the field of work and professional careers, the following psychological effects should be highlighted.
1. Uncertainty about future employment
To the fear of losing the source of income must be added the uncertainty about what to do to avoid being in a situation of economic vulnerability. This can translate into psychological rumination: intrusive thoughts about what worries us or about that decision that we must make and that we put off again and again.
2. Trouble concentrating
It is very difficult to focus on the here and now if in the back of our minds we notice a multitude of reasons to be concerned. Because of this, work performance decreases and new problems appear that accumulate.
3. Appearance of a more tense work environment
The contexts of economic crisis favor the appearance of working climates in which hyper-competitiveness and fear of running out of nothing in the short or medium term prevail, which in turn predisposes to conflicts between workers or partners.
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On UPAD Psychology and Coaching We offer help both with emotional problems related to private life and personal relationships, as well as with projects at the psychologically demanding professional: exam preparation, establishment of work routines, improvement of work performance or sports, etc. In addition, we work both through face-to-face sessions in our center located in Madrid and through the modality of online therapy by video call.
- Bertrand, L.; Shaw, K.A.; Ko, J.; Deprez, D.; Chilibeck, P.D.; Zello, G.A. (2021). The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on university students ’dietary intake, physical activity, and sedentary behavior. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 46 (3): 265-272.
- Brandt, A.M. & Rozin, P. (1997). Morality and Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.
- Towner, E.; Ladensack, D.; Chu, K.; Callaghan, B. (2021). Welcome to My Zoom Party - Virtual Social Interaction, Loneliness, and Well-Being Among Emerging Adults Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. PsyArXiv https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/2ghtd