February 10, 2021 by Amanda Mataija, CEO & Founder

Together, with our counsellors from Prague Integration, we have devised beneficial mental health tips and guidelines to help you manage the stresses and challenges in your daily life caused by the pandemic, both on a mental and physical level.

It has been more than a year since COVID entered our lives. In this time, we have moved from uncertainty to adaptation in order to cope with our new reality. The times we are facing now are challenging and overwhelming, and the main question is, for how long will this last?

Many lives have changed dramatically due to the pandemic, in a few months, we have entered a new area, commonly referred to as the ”new normal”. Our movements have been strictly limited and monitored and social interactions available mostly via social media platforms. Even the possibility of a morning run was threatened by a ticket from the police for breaching quarantine regulations.

This new normal, without a doubt, has had a devastating impact on our psychological state of mind and wellbeing, not only for Czech ex-pats but locals as well.

Some identified stressors are uncertainty, isolation, fear of getting sick, exposure to media (or unclear media information), potential loss of income or financial stability, and practical difficulties caused by limitations due to epidemiological measures.

More intense stressors, due to isolation or quarantine situations have caused anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, and higher stress levels (according to Hassain, 2020).

Together, with our counsellors from Prague Integration, we have devised beneficial mental health tips and guidelines to help you manage the stresses and challenges in your daily life caused by the pandemic, both on a mental and physical level.

1. Practice self-care: Enjoying positive things that make you feel good like a bubble bath, yoga, journaling, meditation, or a cup of tea can improve your mood, alleviate anxiety, and increase cognitive function.

2.Know your triggers: Listen to your mind and body and learn to identify the triggers in your life that create negative emotional responses.

3. Eat Healthily: A healthy diet provides us with enough energy in our body to function properly during the day and with a bit of research, planning, and effort, we can include healthy and balanced meals in our daily lives. It is important to mention that currently in the Czech Republic, there are many companies that deliver goods right to your door reputable sources like Kosik and Rohlik, but it is important to purchase fresh, healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables as much as possible, to provide you with the optimal energy to get through your day.

4. Exercise: Going out for a run or a walk is another complementary activity to physical exercise. Physical activity releases endorphins and for several hours after exertion, making it vital in caring for your mental health and managing stress.

5. Ask for mental health help if needed: From individual counselling sessions with your psychologist/psychotherapist to online group support, there are many options in the English language for ex-pats in Prague.

Due to being far away from your homes, and feeling more isolated and socially deprived, specific issues such as ”migration grief” may become common to experience more intensely when mixed with the stresses of a pandemic. For this reason, Prague Integration proudly offers online support programs to help you deal with your mental health during these challenging times, because caring for our mental health is not easy (especially in a pandemic), and you shouldn’t have to do it alone.

In conclusion, we can agree that the pandemic will continue to transform our behavior in the present and the near future, therefore it is important to differentiate between what we cannot control and what we can control and take action. Therefore, now is the best time to invest in yourself and stay physically and emotionally healthy, as well as finding the time to help ex-pats around you cope and persevere through these challenging times.

Below is the video recording of our webinar with our counselor Jesus Ramos: LINK