We thought it was all over; we emerged from “prison Corona” in the summer sun. Ready to get back to living. The numbers went down and it looked like we were home free.
Many broke basic rules, the virus mutated and winter hit. Boom! And we’re not just back where we started – it’s even worse. Again, when will this ever end? We can’t answer that, but we can help you survive and beat the trauma. This pandemic will end, vaccinations are in full swing but many will experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) when we emerge and continue to suffer the stress for a long time.
By staying positive and looking after yourself mentally and physically, you can beat PTSD. The wisdom below will show you how.
The hypothalamus plays a vital role in controlling the pituitary gland that secretes a hormone called endorphins known as feel-good chemicals. Endorphins relieve pain, boost happiness and provide a natural high.
Endorphins provide you with:
• A feeling of achievement
• Reduction of pain
• Relief from mild depression (If you’re depressed reach out to friends, family and/or faculty staff on 0794527944)
• Better sleep patterns
• Improved coping mechanisms for stress
So how do you make endorphins?
• Healthy body = healthy mind, we’ve all heard it before. It’s not just a cliché, it’s the truth founded on countless scientific studies. Exercise, any exercise, causes the release of endorphins. Know anyone that is addicted to exercise? That’s because they feel a euphoria or high during and after exercise. You don’t have to work-out like crazy 6 times a week, you can do as little as walk for 20 minutes a day.
• Laugh. Yes, laughter causes your brain to produce endorphins. Watch a funny movie, listen to stand-up comedy on the web or read something funny. The saying, laughter is the best medicine, is true.
• Meditation and yoga. Seriously, try it! Do us a favour, do yourself a favour, it’s one of the worst-kept secrets to living a better life. If you’re not into exercise, start with meditation. Search Google or YouTube for getting started with meditation, go with the one that seems the most do-able to you. If you are an exerciser, sports person or athlete – yoga strengthens you and makes it less likely to get injuries.
• Spicey foods, like it hot? Spicy foods increase endorphins.
• Dark Chocolate. Chocolate high in cocoa, at least 70% increases endorphins.
• Last but not least. Giving charity or helping people or animals releases endorphins.
Are you the person who wakes up, attends the classes you have and just deals with the rest of the day as it comes? Well, surprise, dealing with things such as hunger when it pops up is a bad thing. Ever notice how organised people always seem to handle things better? They do because routine prepares you for what’s next and gives you purpose, especially through the stress of the pandemic and lockdown.
Creating a routine when you’ve always just dealt with life in a ‘whatever comes next way’, is difficult. It’s going to help you avoid stress and depression, so start small. Our advice, start by adding a specific time to walk or exercise then add in the time you’ll eat your favourite meal. Once those are a natural part of your routine, add something else like calling your parents/relative or friends. Then add more things like study time, movies etc. Routines are useful in every part of life. Once you create one and do the same as your life develops, you will be the one that people will ask, how do you handle it all so easily and calmly?
As mentioned above, a healthy body does indeed lead to a healthy mind. When cooped up with no place to go, especially in winter, we often reach for comfort food. Chips, sweets, biscuits and chocolates. We have written a series of posts entitled Health is the First Wealth part 1, part 2 and part 3 detailing why these things are bad for you. It’s worth a read – it will enlighten and shock you, but we won’t repeat it here. What we will say is simply this – to help you cope and avoid stress and depression and PTSD choose healthier food. Making healthier choices is easy and the blog series mentioned will also explain how to do that.
All the above will help you through this tough time, but the last thing on this list is to remember you’re not alone. Talk to family and friends regularly, listen to the wisdom your grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and older siblings share. Because of them being older, they have learnt to cope with similar things. Besides, they love and miss you. Also reach out to friends or even strangers that may not have support systems such as family. You may make their lives a little easier and happier, remember giving in any way releases endorphins. If you think someone is extremely depressed, tell someone, it may save a life, and remember we’re all in this together.
Thanks to those who are part of The Fields’ community and family. Tell your fellow students and those looking for comfortable, safe and affordable accommodation while attending university, about us. Please get in touch we look forward to hearing from you.