In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the effects of covid-19 on the mental health of individuals. The level of anxiety is rising in many people, and for some, depressive symptoms can appear (lack of motivation, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability etc.).

One of the difficulties is that the current situation leads us to spend more time alone, withdrawn and without certain weekly activities that would be good for us: gym, sports, cultural outings etc. We find that for the most part, therefore, we are confronted with ourselves, our fears, our emotions, and our own inner struggles. But how can we come out on top?

If the pandemic brings us into areas of discomfort, it also has the potential to make us evolve internally. Like a mirror, the current context can highlight certain facets of ourselves that we dislike (negative self-image, doubts, fears etc.), but which have the capacity to be transformed if we take the time to look at them. In other words, it is about taking a step back and observing our own discomfort as best as possible, while trying to maintain a level of neutrality.

In these difficult times, one of the challenges is undoubtedly spending quality time with ourself; that is to say, to experience moments when we feel good and in balance, despite the current atmosphere. Certain breathing and meditations techinques such as yoga and Qi Gong1 can help us achieve that.

Martin Moisan, M.D.
Kanesatake Health Center
12, Joseph Swan
Kanesatake (Québec)

1. Qi Gong is one of the five branches of traditional Chinese medicine (along with acupuncture, pharmacopoeia, dietetics and massage). These are exercices that combine specific breathing techniques, movements and postures.

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