Sylvie Molenda is a clinical psychologist specializing in stress. She works in particular at the Lille University Hospital. Back with her on our morale in this period of pandemic.
New press conference by the Prime Minister this Thursday. New restrictions to stem the epidemic. Do you finally get used to the unusual?
Sylvie Molenda : We are all going through a stressful period made worse by several factors well known in psychology in the formation of stress.
The first of these factors is the novelty of the situation. We are living in an unprecedented situation and the unknown is a powerful stressor. In the absence of experience, we grope our way, in doubt and uncertainty. The second factor is the importance of threatened personal goals.
Are these personal goals our professional future, for example?
Our professional future but also the future of our children and our elders. The difficulty is that we cannot provide comprehensive solutions to these concerns.
We suffer but do we still have a few cards in hand to be master of our destiny?
At the individual level, respect for barrier gestures is already a form of control. Vaccination to come too. But we are dependent on government decisions, which can leave us feeling bitterly helpless.
The last stressor is the inability to predict the development of events. The main difficulty today is the particularly long duration of this exposure to stress.
Are there all the same reasons to hope? What can we hold on to today?
The most important thing is that our life has a meaning. We can find it in solidarity and mutual aid. Let us remain vigilant to our loved ones, our neighbors, our colleagues. Let us create and know how to create chains of solidarity to feel useful and preserve our personal and collective esteem.
Is it useful today to make plans?
Yes, it is useful even for modest projects. Small as they are, they help us stay proactive and move forward. They also allow us to keep things in perspective. The past shows us that humanity has been able to overcome many plagues. I have confidence in the future.