During the darkest days of the year, our level of serotonin, the happiness hormone, drops significantly and a lack of vitamin C raises stress levels.
As if that weren’t enough, fatigue, accumulated stress, trauma not yet metabolized combinedwith economic uncertainty, social and political unrest are having complex implications on our health.
Prof Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. said to have already seenthe “devastating impact of Covid-19 on mental health, with more people in crisis”.
This is certainly due to a lack of interaction and loneliness, across all type of generationsfrom kids not being able to see their friends and release their accumulated energy with sportactivities, workers who can’t disconnect from their job since the bedroom and office space have become the same thing, and of course the elders who have been isolated from theirfamilies as their health is the most at risk.
While we have to wait for the global threat to be over, there are some things that we can doto take care of ourselves in the meanwhile:
1.Build a new morning routine.
A routine, such as commuting from home to work, helps our mental well-being as it gives usa semblance of normality. Even if you are at home try to give yourself a time schedule, wakeup a little earlier to benefit from more hours of light, start with small household chores beforestarting to work to get your body in motion.
2.Keep moving once in a while
It is clear that with no fixed hours and closed restaurants, our pantries at home aresuper-stoked. This leads to inevitable weight gain if the only steps you take are from the bedto the kitchen. Include breaks in your routine for 5 minutes of physical activity – it can beanything from dancing to your favorite song, doing some active stretching or some push-ups.Keeping moving produces endorphins which make you feel happier!
3. Unplug your tv
Certainly lying on the couch for some Netflix & chill is a particularly tempting activity if youcan’t go out for a drink with friends. Too bad it is a passive activity for our neurons, whichmeans that at the 18th episode of the 5th season our brain will be bored of things. Try to doat least one day a week without television or cell phone. Reading for example is an excellentactivity to keep our neuronal network engaged.
4. Dream and make plans
Beyond reading and TV series, our mind needs to fantasize and live within differentscenarios than reality. Think about the next trip you would like to take and plan it in detail,look for experiences that make you happy and project yourself into it. Dreams heal thepsyche and let us experience emotions that often cause fear, so you can overcome them inreality.
5. Ask for help if you need it
If the situation becomes unmanageable, it is possible to ask for help and undertake apsychological support path. There is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for help. At a timelike this, the psychologist could help to cope with moments of difficulty and stress, preventpsychophysical and emotional burnout and restore inner balance, which is important forresponsibly managing everyday life in an emergency.
We know it is not easy, but it is the small changes that lead us to improve ourpsycho-physical well-being.
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