In order to leave your residence you need a mask. If you still don't have one then try making this super easy one using an old T-shirt. Let us know if you have made extra masks and are willing to share with others.
Being abroad + visas
- We often address questions from you as to where is the best location for you during this global pandemic. Many of us are sharing this experience as foreigners in the Czech Republic - you are not alone. It can be even more stressful if you are studying on a visa. Presently, any decisions about visas is on hold. You can read about the visa situation on the Ministry of Interior website or contact Nelli Pontes from Student Services, who will be holding a visa seminar on Friday 3rd April.
- You can use online providers for food deliveries, such as Tesco, Kosik or Rohlik, and now also Alza.
- A Mediterranean diet is recommended for promoting a more positive mindset, but generally balanced meals and effort put into food preparation and eating are beneficial.
- Prague water is considered fine and safe to drink. Often exhaustion and depression can be somewhat alleviated by a good intake of water. Ensure that you are drinking enough.
- Many yoga and fitness apps are offering free sessions. Do you have any that you enjoy and would like to recommend?
- How we breathe influences how the oxygen is distributed through the body. When stressed or anxious we tend to breathe in a more shallow way and not engage our diaphragm. Try this technique of “straw breathing” or find other breathing exercises that help you both relax and oxygenate your internal organs.
- Even though we are not physically busy, we are mentally and visually straining our nervous system. Now more than ever we need to take purposeful time away from digital media and get a good rest.
- Many of us have issues with sleep. Try “beditation” a guided meditation instruction to help you relax and sleep.
- Organise and set up simple daily goals to help you structure your day.
- Take time to reflect on each day. Your conversation to yourself can transform these days into an experience. This may be something that you will be proud to share with others when you're older. You can find many resources on how to develop your journal such as this or the Bullet Journaling method.
- Learn something new and train your brain. Try cooking, juggling, learning a musical instrument or a language.
View this time differently
- Instead of seeing quarantine as lost time, we can look at it instead as a personal retreat. We just need to know how to work with our mind. If you would like to learn about or practice mindfulness then there are many apps such as Headspace. We also plan our own Prague College guided mindfulness sessions and are available to answer questions.
- When times are hard, it’s easy to have a negative mindset but we need to be kind to ourselves. We typically do not learn how to do this, but now can be a good time to start. Have a look at resources and exercises on self compassion websites or try this free online video series.
- There are a lot of good options for entertainment when you want to take your mind off things or need a distraction, including games, Netflix and so on. We have shared some of our favourite movies with you on Instagram and there will be chances to discuss those. However, you may also notice that only hiding away in entertainment is not so helpful in the long run. A balance of activities is important.
Quality connections with others
- This is crucial as one of the most difficult aspects of being in quarantine is being alone and not being able to engage with others in a natural way. We might spend hours on Zoom, but end up feeling disappointed and exhausted, when otherwise we might feel refreshed and energised after person-to-person contact. While on Zoom, to notice how your body feels, what emotions arise and experiment with hiding your self view to ease the constant visual self-checking. When speaking with friends and relatives try to use just audio and listen to the quality of their voice with your eyes closed.
- Find ways to express yourself, explore how writing, painting, or even singing can help you get in touch with what you are actually feeling. Through that you can also help others who may not be in contact with their feelings. If you feel like it - please share with us.
Contact your Study Advisor or City Practice
- If you are getting more anxious or upset, then get in touch with us. We care about you and will do our best to listen and support you. It has been proven over and over again that at least talking to someone helps and opens space to getting better.
- There is also a new website Delamcomuzu (I do what I can) that connects you to free English and Czech speaking therapists who are volunteering their time to help those who need extra support.
In a Guardian article describing the experience of a young man with Coronavirus, the author describes a moment when he needed “some spiritual support”. In his case it was a wish to see a concert. Even if you are not battling the virus itself, you can cultivate a sense of meaning and purpose by exploring your own ways to counter the feeling of alienation. You can turn to your own religious background, make an intentional connection to nature (even through a window), follow traditions of your ancestors, create rituals, or connect through artistic expression or service to the community.
Now is the time to notice what is really worthwhile to us and what we want to give our energy to, as other non-essential aspects of our life peel away. Taking the time to look with patience and curiosity at the source of our fears and what lies within can help us discover our own inner strength, courage and direction for the future.
By thinking of others who are experiencing something similar to us and wishing them well we can actually be uplifted by our own minds and hearts. Here the University of Naropa shares 3 compassion practices for the Covid-19 pandemic based on a similar principle. You may also find words of advice from those who live in a monastic way in how you can bring more joy and sanity into these very unusual days.
So what helps you and what have you learned so far during this period of immense change?
Please share with us your thoughts and your tips that you would like to share with our resilience community by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org