Mentally fit and resilient

In these difficult times, it’s important to stay mentally fit and resilient. Pon Fit partner Resilians has some practical tips to help you achieve that. 

Should you watch the coronavirus news or not?

Reports about coronavirus trigger our stress system into action. Whether the reports are accurate or not, our body registers danger, becoming extra alert. This is a natural reaction and helps us to respond rapidly. However, continuing to consume the constant flow of news can prevent our stress system from getting the rest it needs. It remains in a continuous state of alertness. This causes us to become irritable, less able to put things in perspective and unable to sleep properly. For these reasons, you should limit your daily portion of coronavirus news. Don’t keep checking the news – twice a day is enough and make sure you opt for reliable news sources.

How do you achieve mental calm?

We’re almost all accustomed to living busy lives with a lot to distract us. As public life becomes increasingly quieter, we have more time for ourselves. This gives an opportunity to experience inner calm. But it usually doesn’t happen automatically. When we have nothing to do, we feel the worry and tension that we always carry with us even more acutely. This background noise is usually hardly noticeable, but with no distractions, it can become noisier. Find a meditation or mindfulness app and learn to look at your own busy mind. When you do that, you’ll notice a constant stream of thoughts. A lot of these thoughts are constantly urging you to do something or, conversely, to do nothing. All of this saps your energy, reducing your mental fitness. Mindfulness and meditation exercises can help you become less bound up in your own thoughts, enabling you to genuinely experience inner calm. It will also prove useful in the future when the hustle and bustle of everyday life starts again.

Gain energy from learning new things

In this period of coronavirus, many people feel powerless. This is not good for your mental resilience, which actually requires a feeling of having some level of control over your situation. Take advantage of the time you now have to learn something new, for example by taking an online course. You can learn something to help you with your work or simply for yourself. Choose a subject you’re interested in and something you really want to get your teeth into. When your curiosity is sparked and you learn a new skill, this releases energy that boosts your resilience, even in other areas of your life.

Caring for others can boost your mood

In times like these, social behavior becomes more visible. People look out for and help each other more. Caring for each other like this is a natural impulse. What makes it so special is that it’s not only the person receiving the help that feels better. The person helping also feels better about themselves. There is now a lot of scientific evidence to suggest that compassionate and caring behavior towards others also makes you feel better about yourself and boosts your mental fitness. But it’s not a trick: it only ‘works’ properly as long as you’re not doing it merely to make yourself feel better.