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How to Boost Your Mental Health In Times of Solitude

We've temporarily closed the door to what we’ve known as ordinary life in order to stop the spread of the public health crisis - COVID-19. In the mix of these consequences, we bundled our normalities to be solemnly inside. It’s a make-it-work situation, and the vital thing to remember is we are all in it together.

It seems like yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s with a bright outlook for the year to come. We were eager to start fresh and put resolutions into action. We thought 2020 was our year to travel, make a difference, or start our dream business. 

However, the circumstances of the current situation have postponed our plans for now. Instead, while laying bare to the social distancing measurements, now more than ever is a time for us to take caution and follow explore what this can look like for our mental health. 

When addressing this significant taboo, we can find a more profound understanding of what it looks like to care and give support towards one another and ourselves. With that in mind, we reached out to the Harbour.Space student and faculty community for tips, habits or practices they follow to help them stay up. 

As expected, our initiative was greeted with a momentous response from the community :) 

Therefore, today’s article contains five daily tactics from the Harbour.Space community that can help you keep your mental health in tip-top shape. Let’s take a look! 

1. Keep Open Lines of Communication

Reaching out to others in the same situation to talk about our day, cheer up if it's needed, and share some music helped improve my overall mood. 

- Master's Student at Harbour.Space

Despite our efforts to join balcony parties, clapping sessions at 8 pm, daily calls to our loved ones, and for some, turning on the camera for online classes, we still find ourselves craving social interaction. Even the most introverted of people find themselves reaching out to others in these moments of solitude. But how does social interaction benefit our mental health? 

A Stanford study states, "social connection creates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well being." If that's not enough, social connection also creates higher self-esteem and empathy, lowers your rate for anxiety and depression, and increases your chance of longevity by 50%

Don't make it a chore; make it your priority to stay social and connect with others. Now is your time to get creative. 

2. Cleanse Your Body and Mind

I practice meditation 1 hour a day - 30 min in the morning, 30 in the evening. I do it with open eyes to explore my external continuum of awareness to be present to reality as it is. 

- Faculty Member at Harbour.Space 

As the Romans used to say - “mens sana in corpore sano” - “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” This saying comes true as our mind and body are intrinsically linked. When you take the time to improve your physical health, you experience the benefits of greater mental and emotional well-being due to the endorphins you release. Though 30 minutes of exercise is recommended a day, healthy food and plenty of water will continue positive upbringing for the rest of the day.  

Also, explore the good, positive, and beautiful with meditation practices. Meditation will help you take a moment to listen and pay attention to your body and mind as you go about your day. Making meditation a habit will help you build a mindful routine and activate your inner peace. Find the best relaxing technique for you. 

When your body is replenished responsibly, it will take care of you in return. So take advantage of these FREE workouts, healthy recipes, and meditation practices to get you started on the right track. 

3. Create Challenges for Yourself 

Everything has slowed down to its natural pace. This is a good time to reconnect with ourselves, listen to our bodies and explore our interests.

- Master's Student at Harbour.Space 

When accomplishing a goal or noticing performance improvements, we have that “feel good” moment. What you’re experiencing is a spike of dopamine in your brain telling you that you did an excellent job. Each time your brain gets a hit of dopamine, you feel encouraged to repeat the corresponding behavior. 

For example, when writing down specific goals or tasks to learn something new and crossing them off each day you accomplish them, your dopamine will rise. This flow will continue, and you’ll want to keep up these good habits. 

However, stick to a specific aim and know your limits. Challenging yourself has amazing benefits, but creating nonsensical goals can ultimately increase anxiety, de-motivate you, or cause self-criticism. That’s why there is a widely accepted practice in place to help you specifically measure achievable and relevant time-setting goals called SMART goals. 

Because many tools are surfacing on the internet for FREE, now is the time to learn new skills from top professionals, take Ivy-league courses, or start learning a new language. 

Set a SMART goal and enjoy the courses below. 

4. Soak in the sunshine 

Taking the time to sit on my balcony and step away from my laptop has been a huge help. I close my eyes and let the sun hit my face and try to relax my body.

- Faculty Member at Harbour.Space 

Light rays are beaming down, adding that sparkle to your eye and a jump in your step. That’s the serotonin working it’s magic and boosting your mood. Exposure to sunlight is said to decrease anxiety, build strong bones, heal skin conditions, and the list continues… 

Though some of us can’t leisurely enjoy sun exposure as we used to, limited sunshine can go a long way. Even five to 10 minutes in the sun three times a week is enough to enjoy the benefits of vitamin-D

If you can, set up your work area near a window for the day - take your time walking to the grocery store, or take a break in your day listening to music or a podcast on your terrace. We created a mix of educational, mood-lifting, and relaxing playlists/podcasts to enjoy while doing those activities. 

5. Establish a Balance

For the first time in my life, I have been able to follow my plan almost completely. I can control my time and adjust the plan based on my performance. 

- Master's Student at Harbour.Space

There are 168 hours in a week and 119 of those hours are you awake experiencing life's journey of highs and lows. To stay on the positive journey, set priorities. The key to balance is realizing when you’ve lost it. Reflect, and you will see what you can adjust to make improvements. Think, what's the most important thing you should be working on right now? What are you wasting your time doing?

Balance keeps away stress and creates time for yourself. Overall, balance is a way of acknowledging what fulfills you most and sets a structure to ensure priorities are kept. 90% of our respondents from an internal survey mentioned how they balance their day with different activities to keep them motivated, connected, and with a healthy mind. 

With this new sense of balance, take a mental break to ride a roller coaster, watch animals live, and explore the most famous museums around the world. 

Not enough credit is given to those fighting, supporting and conquering mental illness. Everyone is affected differently and with more awareness, education, and acceptance, we have the power to illuminate the message of speaking up rather than giving up. 

Take this time as an opportunity to reach out to your neighbors, establish a balance within your own life and make the most of your time. Happiness is not placed by waving a magic wand or achieved by checking off lists. It is a constant internalizing feeling you get while exploring experiences that work best for you. 

Let’s take this moment to create action and change. Our 2020 isn’t over, it’s just beginning. 

Harbour.Space is continuously sending positive vibes and happy, healthy thoughts your way! Although we temporarily closed as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19, we’ve always known the future to be digital. Find us online over the next coming weeks, stay safe and take care of yourselves. 

5 Ways to be Productive at Home

Staying cozy while working from home or studying sounds awesome… in theory. But then the construction workers fire up their power tools, the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, your tv is staring you down and your bed becomes 10x more comfortable. You feel everything is working against your productivity. So you ask, how do I overcome these obstacles and stay focused? ​

Capstones: The First Step to Your Professional Future

What starts here changes the world - but any kind of movement starts by changing YOUR world. ​

As a state of the art institution for technology, entrepreneurship and design, we believe we can create change not just through our curriculum, but also through our multidisciplinary real-life project, Capstones. 

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Our new normal

Our new normal!

At the moment, we’re making sure our community is healthy, and that we all continue growing. Here’s how:

Classes
continue, Online

We never stop learning. The future is digital, so all of our courses will be online for the foreseeable future. Read more about our online learning experience:

Read blog article
Applications for the upcoming year

Thinking of applying? It’s never been easier. We know getting your diploma or transcripts might be difficult at the moment, so you can now start your application with only your CV!

Apply Now
Message from our Chairman

We’re always thinking ahead. Check out Prof. Dr. Ingo Beyer von Morgenstern’s vision of the post-Corona world. We can do this — the future looks bright!

Read blog article
Classes
continue, Online

We never stop learning. The future is digital, so all of our courses will be online for the foreseeable future. Read more about our online learning experience:

Read blog article
Applications for the upcoming year

Thinking of applying? It’s never been easier. We know getting your diploma or transcripts might be difficult at the moment, so you can now start your application with only your CV!

Apply Now
Message from our Chairman

We’re always thinking ahead. Check out Prof. Dr. Ingo Beyer von Morgenstern’s vision of the post-Corona world. We can do this — the future looks bright!

Read blog article