Sport improves mood and relaxes. Because during physical activity the body breaks down stress hormones. You should therefore plan regular exercise units, especially in stressful phases. It is best to set aside some time every day for jogging, cycling or doing a home workout. Research shows how effective physical activity is. They show that regular endurance training can even relieve depression.
It does not always have to be a sweaty workout: even a walk in a park or on a beach has a positive effect on the mood. For example, people who live in a green environment have fewer stress hormones in their blood. If you are not lucky enough to have a garden in front of your door, you could organize your dose of spiritual green fodder through regular visits to parks.
Helping others makes you feel good. At the moment it is especially the elderly or vulnerable who need help. Take care of shopping and other errands for your neighbours, for example. You are doing something useful, which in turn makes you positive.
- Encourage positive feelings
You can specifically encourage a positive mood. It is helpful to reflect on the essentials and to be aware of the positive aspects of the current situation. For example, a simple exercise to do this is to think of gratitude. Every evening think of three things that were positive that day, even and especially when it did not go so well.
- Recognise negative feelings
Nobody can always be in a good mood – especially not in times of crisis. It is important to acknowledge negative feelings without giving them too much space. Accept existing fears and worries, frustration and stress. But remember that these will pass again. If negative thoughts take up more and more space, reflect on positive experiences. Write them down so you can remember them when you are in a bad mood.
- Distraction against frustration
When frustration and fears persistently overshadow the soul, distraction helps. Anything that challenges your head otherwise or takes you into other worlds is particularly effective. You surely know yourself what works particularly well for you: an exciting crime thriller, a rousing series, Sudoku or dancing through the apartment while singing.
- Relax in a targeted manner
Even outside of times of crisis, the following applies: If you want to prevent or reduce stress, you should learn a relaxation technique. Maybe you have the time right now! Autogenic training, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson are proven methods – such as yoga, tai chi and qigong. Those who practice them regularly, preferably on a daily basis, can lower their stress level and actively switch to a sleep mode in exceptional situations.
Food holds the body and soul together – there is something to this saying. Light, fresh food rich in vitamins and minerals helps you to feel good. Avoid eating out of frustration and boredom and eating at work. Keep your mealtimes as regular as possible. In difficult times in particular, it is good to pay more attention to your food and to enjoy it consciously.
- Stay informed, but do it right
Staying informed during a crisis is certainly important. But surfing endlessly through the problematic news can be very stressful so limit the time you spend looking for information. Experts also recommend using only trustworthy sources of information. False reports about the coronavirus are also unsettling. Have your guard up for fake news.
You should take mental needs just as seriously as physical. If you are feeling really bad, feeling very sad, lonely, empty, or completely helpless, be sure to get help. The family doctor can be the first point of contact. In acute situations you can also call the telephone counselling or the regional crisis services.