Nowadays, many of us are wondering how not to go crazy and take care of ourselves. Without any doubt, the current situation isn’t one of the easiest, and the number of restrictions and rules we have to follow does not make our daily lives any simpler. Unfortunately, this has a negative impact on our activities and well-being. Surely you're wondering what to do or how to improve your mood during this autumn's chandra? Here are a few ways to help you take care of your mental health.
Enjoy the sunlight & contact with nature
Autumn is definitely not one of the warmest and sunniest days. Nevertheless, they do happen. It's worth going then to a nearby park, forest or glade. From a scientific point of view, walking in the sun's rays is good for health because the body produces vitamin D, which among other things strengthens our immunity. Contact with nature during a walk is very relaxing and cleanses our mind, but also makes an involuntary smile appear on our face.
Working hard for hours and spending more time in front of monitors or smartphones, but also studying, make our eyes work intensively for most of the day. Let's face it, spending half of the day in front of the computer for online classes and doing university projects, plus in many cases of students, combining online studies with remote work isn't the easiest thing to do. In most cases, the total amount of time spent sitting in front of the computer negatively affects our sleep, i.e. how much we sleep, at which hours we sleep. Let's take care of proper rest for our eyes and mind. A good solution to that is, for example, to listen to audiobooks instead of reading pdf books on your computer.
Each of us knows that physical activity has a very beneficial effect on our well-being. It is worth considering exercises that you can do at home. On the internet you can find many good exercises like yoga, Pilates or other home workout videos, it is often the case that the exercises are also conducted in live stream mode. Many interesting events with activities can also be found at activities.esn.org, in the 'Health and Wellbeing tab. You will find there various well-being events organised by volunteers of Erasmus Student Network from over 40 countries.
The daily running between the university and other duties often makes us lack time for healthy and valuable meals. In the current reality, we still have the opportunity to take care of what we eat and how we eat. Now we have a greater opportunity to check and try new dishes, especially the foreign ones, and rationally plan our meals.
I’m pretty sure that everyone misses the meetings with a group of friends somewhere around the city - but this is not the need to be worried or sad! Playing games online with Discord in the background, series and movies on the Netflix Party is one thing, but the best thing you can do is to remember about the other person! Call, text or maybe make an appointment for a morning coffee before work or class, who said that zoom, meets, teams must only be used for duties?
But every cloud has a silver lining! We all spend most of our time at home now, which gives us an opportunity to do things that we kept postponing because we didn't have time before. Learning a new language, graphic design, playing the guitar or maybe learning programming? It is worth planning and using this time to improve your qualifications.
Let’s remember that mental health is as important as physical health. We often forget about this first area of our functioning and think that mental well-being is something we were given once, and lasts forever. Actually we need a lot of energy to fight everyday stress. If we don't find at least a short time to rest, our energy resources will quickly run out and we will not be able to cope with the adversities. As a result, we will become much more prone to depression, neurosis and anxiety disorders.
The article was written within the framework of "Health and Well-being Week" organized from 2 to 8 November 2020 by Erasmus Student Network!
Author: Sara Zagońska
Translation: Sara Zagońśka, Katarzyna Poskrobko
PR Committee of ESN Poland