The last weeks have been full of twists, primarily in the negative sense. How to deal with restrictions and changes and get out of the situation stronger than before? Here are some suggestions on mental hygiene in times of stress and lots of tips on how to have fun at home.
Scientific studies on stress and mental hygiene point out that the stressful period, as we are currently experiencing, has many consequences for the human body. How not to go crazy and get stronger?
Here we summarize some of the discovery from the study Mental Hygiene by PhDr. Stanislav Pelcák, Ph.D.
Let's take a look at tips on what to do at home and how to have fun.
It's an opportunity
“Although crisis life situations are potentially risk factors for the emergence and development of health disorders, overcoming and solving them strengthens the individual's personality and accelerates the maturation process (Vymetal, 2003). Managing stressful situations involves trying to directly change threatening conditions or trying to change the assessment of these conditions.”
What does this mean in practice? In order not to go mad, it is necessary to take practical steps and above all not to collapse. This is only a temporary condition. Soon there will be a time when we will be able to function normally again, and that is always the point. Our whole mindset should be reoriented from “everything is wrong, oh God, what do I do” to “it will be good again soon, I can do it”.
Principles of mental hygiene
Experts agree on several factors whose observance has a positive effect on individuals under psychological stress.
Don't give in to it: Yes, the current conditions aren't comfortable for anyone. Especially not for those who are exposed to extreme physical and mental stress in hospitals, food or pharmacies. At such moments, one can only hope to see that everything ends quickly. Nothing lasts forever.
Beware of Avoiding Strategies: Activities that allow you to change negative emotional tuning, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, etc., pose a risk to a person exposed to stress and their immediate surroundings. Prolonged exposure to these substances does not relieve stress and pain, but adds it, leads to depression or increased aggression and emotional strain.
Keep together: Family resilience is an important factor affecting an individual's ability to withstand stress and maintain mental health. It is the competence of the family to maintain the established patterns of functioning in times of crisis, to recover quickly and to continue. Consider these events as an opportunity to face difficulties as a family, a couple and a community. Mutual togetherness is easier to overcome.
Adapt: Create a clear daily routine. You will feel that you are in control of your life and do not waste time for free. It is a good idea to clearly determine the time when you work, when you are engaged in physical activity, and when you are resting. Habits and rituals protect family stability and maintain continuity.
Social support: Positive social ties facilitate survival, adaptation to adverse environments and maintain overall health. The inclusion of an individual in the social structure is therefore an important determinant of their wellbeing and health. Although quarantine keeps us at home, it doesn't mean you can't see your friends or family. Have you tried a Google Hangout? A whole group of people can participate in videoconferencing and talk almost as much as live.
Time to think: Psychologists emphasize that one of the essential factors for human satisfaction and happiness is to have the meaning of life, the will, or the values that we aim to make our life meaningful and fulfilling. This leads to a better mental and physical state. So if you are long dissatisfied with certain factors in your life, consider this time as a space for change. Allow yourself to think about yourself, what you enjoyed in your childhood, but then you didn't have the time. Although everything seems black, it is only a small break in the theater, followed by an even better act. Or quite the opposite. The ensuing societal crisis may be a necessary wake-up call to realize how well we have been so far and how little we appreciated it.
Our tips ❤️ everything starts with food
Now that you only spend moments at home, you have time and space to try meals and recipes that you may not have had before. Be careful. Put your fruits and vegetables according to the season. Your body will surely return it to you.
April seasonal food:
Fruit Apricot (coming into season) Kiwi fruit
Vegetables Asparagus (coming into season) Cauliflower (end of season) Peppers Purple sprouting broccoli (end of season) Rhubarb Spinach Spring onions
Fish and seafood Crab (coming into season) Salmon Tuna (coming into season)
May seasonal food:
Fruit Apricots Cherries (coming into season) Kiwi fruit
Vegetables Asparagus Aubergines (in season from late May) Carrots (in season from late May) New potatoes (coming into season) Peas (coming into season) Peppers Rhubarb (end of season) Rocket (coming into season) Spinach Spring onions Watercress (coming into season)
Meat Lamb Rabbit (available, but at its best Jul-Dec)
Fish and seafood Crab Pollock (pollack) (in season from mid-May) Salmon Sardines (in season from end of May) Tuna
June seasonal food:
Fruit Apricots Blueberries (coming into season) Cherries Kiwi fruit Raspberries (coming into season) Strawberries (coming into season) Tomatoes (coming into season)
Vegetables Artichokes (globe) (coming into season) Asparagus Aubergines Broad beans (in season mid-June) Carrots Courgettes (coming into season) Fennel (coming into season) New potatoes Pak choi (in season end of June) Peas Peppers Rocket Spinach (end of main season) Spring onions Turnips (summer season crop in season) Watercress
Meat Lamb Rabbit (available but best Jul-Dec)
Fish and seafood Crab Haddock (coming into season) Mackerel (coming into season) Pollock (pollack) Salmon Sardines Tuna
All functions of the human body are closely related to movement. Vondruska and Bartak (1999) summarized the positive benefits of regular physical activity as follows: stimulating and producing endorphins in the brain (good mood, better pain tolerance), increasing mental potential, relieving muscle tension and eliminating negative emotions, adjusting the biochemical values of fats in the blood , prevention of calcium loss from bones, strengthening of ligaments and muscles and last but not least slowing down of the aging process.
It is recommended 30 min of physical activity a day at least 5 times a week. Begin gently before embarking on a challenging workout. You do not need almost any tools for yoga, with a mat, towel or rug. I recommend channel Yoga With Adriene, you can start with 10 minutes warm up Wake Up Yoga. Believe that children like to get involved!
On Facebook you will also find a variety of live streams that will motivate you to practice like in the studio.
Here are some tips on how to maintain your motivation for regular exercise:
Focus on the activities you enjoy. Since we are all very limited now, we can at least take a walk in a park or forest where there are not so many people.
Make yourself comfortable - wear clothes to feel comfortable and to move around.
Reward yourself - one of the rewards is that after physical activity you will feel better and charged with energy. However, the motivation itself can always be helped by a special reward. It can be a relaxing bath, a fruit smoothie or part of a popular series.
Entertain your head
One of the principles of mental hygiene is to disperse from stress factors. Performing activities that entertain and engage the mind leads to an increased sense of competence to influence the course of events. Have everything called firmly in your hands. This gives us a sense of security and calm.
sewing of masks
get creative: drawing, painting, making with children (you can find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest)
Netflix Series: After Life, Sex Education, Money Heist, Chef's Table, Dark, Narcos, The Witcher, Friends
Movies on Netflix: The Two Popes, The Discovery Of Lying, Uncut Gems
HBO: Girls, True detective, Sopranos, My Brilliant Girlfriends, Twin Peaks
Are you the whole family at home? Do not underestimate the good old proven board games. Memory game can also be a good training. Chess has been played for centuries. But there are also new logical and fun games for the whole group or family, such as Ubongo or Kapla.