Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 - Chapter 5: Psychological distress, social support, and psychological flexibility during COVID-19

Elsevier,   Mental Health Effects of COVID-19, June 2021, Pages 89-101
Richard Tindle and Ahmed A. Moustafa

Due to the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), society has needed to adjust to government social distancing and quarantine measures to restrict the spread of the virus. Due to these restrictions, social isolation has limited individuals’ access to social support from friends, family, and their extended social networks. As a consequence, individuals must adjust to increased feelings of loneliness, anxiousness, frustration, and depression. Those who are unable to effectively cope with negative emotions (i.e., have low psychological flexibility), lack social support, and have lower levels of resilience are more likely to report higher levels of psychological distress and poor psychological well-being. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of social support and psychological flexibility to act as a buffer between the effects of COVID-19 on psychological distress and mental health. Given that individuals are unable to change the COVID-19 situation, being psychologically flexible will help cope with, accept, and adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.