Recovery from Corona-Stress: “Body and psyche must relax” | Right away

Forget a short backup and more emotionally: the Corona crisis has exhausted us. We need to recover from this, says stress expert Carolien Hamming. “Be critical of what you do. Are you worried about the security at your holiday address? Maybe you should stay at home.”

Many people don’t understand why they’ve gotten so tired, says Hamming, director of the CSR Centre for Stress and Burnout Coaching. “You think quickly: this news about Corona, how bad is that? But every day, Corona news makes you unconscious. They feel less safe. Do I have a job next week? Are my parents okay? Because of these mental concerns, physical processes also work a little harder. It’s a bit of stress, but for a long time.”

“Choose moderate efforts. Get a breath of fresh air and try to enjoy it.”

Carolien Hamming, stress expert

Stress helps you concentrate

Stress is not wrong in principle, Hamming emphasizes. “Stress creates energy, it makes you more active. Your heart rate rises, your blood sugar level rises, and you concentrate better. You need this increased activation to deliver a performance.”

There is nothing wrong with this, but a stressful time requires additional energy. And you have to recover from it. Your body needs to go all the way back to the basics so that you wake up rested in the morning and feel fit. There is a taboo, Hamming knows. “Many people think that recovering from stress is primarily psychological.” If you keep yourself strong enough, you’re fine.””

That’s not the case, Hamming says. It’s also physical. “If you don’t recover structurally enough, your body will adapt to overactivity and you will end up in a negative spiral. Your heart rate stays slightly higher, your muscles stay tense and your breathing becomes less calm. This way you get more and more tired and you can get overwhelmed.”

“We need a house, a nice car and holidays – preferably twice a year. But who really?”

Paul Smeets, economist

How to recover from Corona stress? The easiest way to recover properly is to get more sleep, says the stress expert. “Go to bed in time, put your phone away and don’t sound the alarm.” Whatever works: go for a walk every day. “Choose moderate efforts. Get a breath of fresh air and try to enjoy it.” Do you increase your fitness? Not a good idea, says Hamming. “Intense sports also require intensive recreation. This is not useful if you already have a recovery deficit.”

More time than Ferrari

Also important: do what you want. ‘Often we unconsciously do things for the form because we think she should or because we think she should. But actually we don’t want to. If you’re tired and keep doing things on your gums, it’s more stressful.”

This does not make us happy, says economist Paul Smeets of Maastricht University. He researched happiness in terms of prosperity. “We need a house, a nice car and go on holiday – preferably twice a year. But who is coming at all? When you buy a new car, this is the first month. Also the second, but then I’m used to it. And when you’re in traffic with a Ferrari, it’s still annoying.”

According to Smeets, happiness is not so much in material things, but in what you do. “Do you want to be happier? Go for something active. Take a walk, volunteer or meet up with friends.” Don’t go on holiday this summer? Then you may have money to “buy time”. Do you hate gardening? Rent a gardener. Does ironing make you miserable? Choose an ironing service. This eliminates stress and gives you free time.”

Taking a holiday can also contribute to recreation, Hamming says. “Assuming you feel safe, because of course the world has changed a little. Are you afraid of a lockdown? Then a long journey probably doesn’t go as well as you had hoped. Ask yourself: What is good for me? We often think that we should go on holiday, but staying at home is also possible.”