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Ten recommendations against the coronavirus koller
Germany has a firm grip on the new type of corona virus - and probably for months. Schools and kindergartens are closed, events are canceled. In order to slow the spread of the pathogen, it is important to keep interpersonal contacts to a minimum. But there is a great risk that the ceiling will fall on your head if you stay at home all the time. An expert has some recommendations against the "camp freak".
Those who stay at home most or all of the time due to the corona crisis are exposed to enormous psychological stress. But there are some things you can do then. An expert gives advice on how to deal with quarantine or exit restriction or curfew.
Maintain mental, social and physical health
"We are all currently in an unprecedented and for the most completely unusual exceptional situation," said Prof. Dr. Stephan Mühlig, holder of the professorship Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Technical University (TU) Chemnitz in a message.
Many people are currently not only concerned about the health risks and economic effects of the "corona crisis", but are also wondering with growing uncertainty how they can survive the weeks or even months more or less isolated in their own home environment.
How can you contribute to maintaining your own mental, social and physical health and protecting yourself from the so-called "camp freak"? Prof. Mühlig makes ten recommendations:
Maintain daily rhythm
In the home office or homeschooling, too, a regular daily rhythm with fixed times for getting up, working and sleeping should be maintained. This creates a regular daily structure and promotes emotional stability.
Care should be taken to ensure that the children maintain an adequate daily structure, even if they do not need to be woken up at the same time as the first lesson.
Schoolchildren should be helped to structure the submitted school tasks and to process them in meaningful "portions". Otherwise, many children feel “overwhelmed” by the unusual amount of tasks that the teachers “concentrate” for a week or more and react with fear, stress and resistance.
Especially for single parents working under the given conditions, there is an acute double burden between home office use and simultaneous childcare in their own household.
When in doubt, caring for young children should take precedence over professional tasks. In order to achieve an appropriate balance, home office tasks should be scheduled at different times of the day (e.g. postponed into the evening) so that they can be agreed with childcare.
Employers and superiors are required to show understanding under the exceptional conditions and to make concessions to the work performance of the employees.
Aim for exercise in the fresh air
If possible and permitted, you should go for outdoor walks alone or with family members. Exercise and fresh air benefit both physical and mental health, and the immune system is stimulated.
If the lungs are ventilated by moderate exertion, they are better supplied with blood, which in turn supports the defense against infections (also against SARS-CoV-2). An at least brief change of location prevents the irritant monotony in your own four walls and also increases your well-being.
Children in particular need time and opportunity to romp outside and in the fresh air, but not for the time being with other children outside the family. This must be explained to the little ones and enforced against all "quarreling".
Develop a training plan for doing sport at home
Exercising in your own home also helps to keep you healthy and improves your quality of life. Prof. Mühlig recommends compiling an indoor training plan and getting at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise every day, if possible with good room ventilation.
Simple and helpful are, for example, jumping rope (with or without rope), squats, pushups, sit-ups (torso bends) and so on, or yoga, tai chi or similar. Numerous, also scientifically tested, indoor training programs for different ages and training levels can be found on the Internet.
Regular moderate physical activity (up to slight sweating) stabilizes the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and also the psychological well-being and serves to relieve tension and stress.
Avoid cigarettes and alcohol to strengthen the immune system
Anyone who smokes should quit as soon as possible, says Prof. Mühlig, who is also head of the Chemnitz smoking clinic.
A previously damaged or acutely irritated lung is likely to be associated with an increased risk of developing a serious illness if smokers should become infected and become ill.
Alcohol consumption is also not helpful. Alcohol only kills viruses in a test tube. Alcohol in the bloodstream, on the other hand, does not protect against a virus infection, but it does disturb the immune system. This also applies to other drugs.
Maintain social contacts via the Internet and telephone
For many people, it is extremely difficult to suspend their social contacts for a long time, not to be allowed to go among people. We are social beings and need contact and exchange with other people.
In the current situation, however, physical contact and physical proximity to our social environment (outside our own household) should be avoided with the greatest possible consequence. This can be a very difficult situation for those living alone, which they have to deal with for a limited time.
It is important for the emotional balance to make it clear that the state of emergency remains manageable. Fortunately, today we can switch to social media. In contrast to previous generations, almost all people in Germany and even worldwide are connected to each other via the Internet.
We can write or chat in real time, make calls and see and chat via video chat, almost as if we were sitting opposite each other. You should make full use of these opportunities, keep in touch and seek exchange with as many relatives, friends and acquaintances as possible via social media.
In a difficult situation, you can exchange experiences and also support each other. You should also remember to report proactively to people living alone to alleviate their loneliness.
Looking for meaningful and varied jobs
Even under isolation conditions at home, you can work meaningfully, for example doing things that you always wanted to do: tidying up, "mucking out" or redesigning the apartment, tidying up the hard drive, archiving photos, playing entertainment games with the family or read a book again.
Television, computer games, Netflix streaming etc. serve as a distraction. If the isolation should last for several weeks, passive entertainment or video games is too one-sided.
For emotional stability it is important to look for tasks with which you can stay productive while waiting.
It should be borne in mind that hours of streaming films and series or similar high data volumes for leisure purposes can overload the networks and severely impair the social data exchange for home office activities, which are essential for the functioning of our economy and society.
Find a balance between being together and being able to be yourself
When living together closely under one roof for a long time, it often happens that "the others" get on our nerves, you can extremely annoy yourself about trifles and conflicts and disputes quickly arise.
It is important to find a good balance between being together and being able to be yourself. This primarily means protecting your own privacy and respecting that of others.
Retreat spaces and opportunities must be created and maintained for every household member.
Find rules for living together in the household
Some people know it from times in a shared flat: Mutual consideration also means finding a common household order and rules of living together. If everyone is more considerate of each other, there is less reason to argue.
But if you can't avoid yourself, you should avoid conflicts or settle them quickly. For a comfortable living together, it is also helpful to regularly do some activities with all household members, for example the ritual of meals together, but also common leisure activities (board games, basting, puzzles, etc.).
You can use your time for yourself - instead of exclusively using media and distraction - by doing something for your own mind, for example by relaxing, meditating or listening to music or making music or singing yourself.
Pay attention to reliable sources of information
It is important not to lose your head. On the one hand, everyone should recognize the seriousness of the situation and act accordingly. On the other hand, despite everything, there is no reason to panic.
We live in a rich country with lots of resources and will ultimately endure this crisis. A factual and sensible assessment of the situation helps not to worry too much and to maintain or regain confidence.
Constructive coping also means getting sufficient and correct information. Mühlig points out that you should keep yourself up to date every day, but pay attention to the seriousness of the information sources. In particular, information from the federal and state governments and the Robert Koch Institute can be used.
Unfortunately, there is already a lot of false information and conspiracy theories circulating on the internet, with which some unscrupulous people make themselves important or even make money. This fake news leads to wrong assessments and wrong actions. They are dangerous in that non-observance of safety recommendations endangers us all.
Children should be explained the situation in age-appropriate language without overwhelming or frightening them. The message should be: Everything will be fine, we can do it!
Seek help if overwhelmed
Anyone who has the impression that they are overwhelmed by the situation despite all of this, or who are suffering from anxiety, restlessness, intense tension, overactivity, irritability, aggressive outbursts or pronounced depression, should contact the professional help system in good time (e.g. advice centers at the health insurance companies) , Care phone, psychotherapy counseling centers) Contact us by phone or email. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.