Foto: jplenio/pixabay.com

Tips and tutorials against corona depression

Corona is stressful for everyone. With this topic page you get information to take care of your health and to counter depressive moods better - even if our Dark Week is already over.

Foto: Couleur / Pixabay

Foto: Couleur / Pixabay

With this topic page, we want to shed light on the difficulties that Corona has left behind. But also the health challenges that some struggle with again and again. You are not alone with depressive and anxious moods. A great many feel this way!

We have listed here helpful info and addresses. In addition, you can watch many tutorials on the topic of well-being and videos with exercises for body and psyche here and on our Youtube channel. The "Dark Week" is a joint offer of the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counseling Center (PBS) and the Kulturwerk Berlin of the studierendenWERK BERLIN.

Adresses and links 

The Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling (PBS) of the studierendenWERK BERLIN helps with acute crises. Information and the possibility to make an appointment can be found here. A compilation of further links to helpful organisations and self-help can also be found on the PBS page. In acute crises, the Berlin Crisis Service can be reached around the clock at +49(0)30 390 63 00.

Feel good - tips & links

Exercise, light, fresh air and nutrition positively activate the body and the mind and help to prevent or alleviate moods.

In winter, for example, it is best to go out at the brightest time of day (noon) and go jogging or cycling. Or at least go for a walk around the block. And then treat yourself with a hot shower in the evening, for example. But doing activities with others can also be helpful. If you have difficulties with this, you can come to our counselling centres or visit our events and meet people there. 

Tips for outdoor activities in the city: Why not visit Berlin Zoo in the west or Tierpark Berlin in the east and just watch the animals, preferably without thinking about anything else. There are also several gardens in Berlin that charge a small entrance fee and are often less crowded than parks:  

Cycling and walking is possible at any time of year. The Berlin Wall bike tour is ideal for cycling - the former Wall strip takes you around the city through a variety of landscapes. Brandenburg is a hiker's paradise, but there are also hiking opportunities in Berlin itself.

Light generally helps to stay healthy and also to feel good. There are various reasons for this. Among other things, light regulates the melantonin-serotonin level. Sunlight also creates vitamin D in our bodies, which is almost impossible to absorb through food. Being out in the fresh air and at the brightest time of day is therefore good for all people, even those who do not have depressive moods. For them, however, it can play a crucial part in curing or alleviating depressive moods, depending on the severity of the mood. 

Seasonal depression is a subtype of depression that occurs particularly when there is a lack of light in more northern areas during the winter. Those affected by seasonal depression in particular benefit from a daylight lamp. However, this should only be used when those affected can no longer get outside. Otherwise, it is even better to fill up on light outside, even on winter days, quotes the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland from the head of the Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe (German Depression Aid Foundation) as saying.

 

Nutrition also plays a major role for the mental health. After all, body and mind are one. It has been shown to be particularly recommendable in cases of depression or depressive moods to avoid sugar and fast carbohydrates, especially soft drinks, or to consume them in moderation, as the Federal Centre for Nutrition also writes. On the other hand, foods such as nuts, dark chocolate, fish (from sustainable fisheries and without mercury pollution) are recommended, also for depressive moods. There are numerous articles on this on the internet. Daily vegetables, fruit, vegetable protein such as lentils and good vegetable fats are also important components of a healthy diet.

However, one should also be careful not to put new constraints on oneself with their diet. After all, it's about feeling good overall. If nutrition degenerates into stress, this is also not good for depressive moods. So if you eat a varied and seasonal diet, lots of vegetables and healthy vegetable fats, that's enough. And a little rice pudding with cinnamon is soul food, too, and will definitely help you wind down from the day on the couch in the evening. And when you feel up to it again:  slowly and together eatingwith others and exchanging ideas also promotes health! The Mediterranean countries show how it's done! 

If you have a depressive mood, you usually can't pull yourself together. This has nothing to do with discipline, but is simply a symptom of this phase. You should not blame yourself for this. Nevertheless, as soon as it is possible again, it is a good idea to start slowly with activities and to meet with others. It is often difficult to maintain or build friendships during a depressive mood. You are not alone. Many people feel this way. And even people without depressive moods sometimes find it difficult to approach others, especially in the anonymity of the big city.

In any case, the studierendenWERK BERLIN has offers that you can take advantage of to get to know other students or other people who are affected. For example, during depressive moods or as a preventative measure and as an exchange, there are group offers from the Psychological Counselling Service. If you want to meet other people in general, then feel welcome to come to our cultural events and excursions, which are always listed in our event calendar. Or you can get to know students who are often looking for new acquaintances themselves at the events in our Get together category. 

And if you just don't feel like seeing anyone? Then don't put yourself under pressure. Start slowly. And try to put the focus back on positive things: Listening to music, reading a book, taking a bath, painting a picture, planting a flower...sometimes small things help better than big plans. 

Blogs on the topic

In the meantime, there are numerous bloggers who openly deal with the topic of depression, often in a constructive and funny way. An overview of various blogs can be found here

Breathing relaxation

At the centre of the breathing relaxation exercise is counting and breathing deeply in and out at the same time. Ms Birgit Rominger from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling shows the exercise. 

The inner safe space

The inner safe space is a stabilisation and resource exercise from trauma therapy that can also be used in everyday life. The exercise is shown by Tiago from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling.  

Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is an easy-to-learn and effective relaxation method. Anke Reinke from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling of the STWB shows it in this short video. 

Body Scan

Bodyscan helps to become aware of one's own body, supports relaxation and can help to better deal with functional physical complaints. Mr. Kai-Uwe Ehlers from the Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling presents the exercise. 

Soul Food with the Mensa

Food is important for the soul. But only if it tastes good. MENSA shows us how to make roasted almonds. A snack you should enjoy in moderation because of the sugar. But at least almonds are also good for depression! Here's the recipe as a blog post.

Depression und Literature

Our student writer-in-residence 2020, Dana Vowinckel, wrote texts about Berlin and her life here every month as part of our writers-in-residence programme Berlin Stories. In winter, she also wrote many texts in which depression plays a role. Sometimes incredibly funny, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes sober. Have a read! 

What is the "November Depression Week"?

Dark Week is a themed week in November to better address and prevent depressive disorders. Dark Week begins with the kick-off event "Dark Night," followed by a week of workshops. There are also videos and tips (on this website). 

This was the program of the 2nd Dark Week (25 November - 3 December 2021)

  • Dark Night - Gala of November Depression - Kick-off event at FREIRAUM with 2 G. A mix of stage program and workshops with free soul food!
  • Workshop "In Persona - once again in person." Exchange on Lockdown
  • Workshop "Let's tune in and share": Yoga and reflection on where I stand.
  • Workshop "Creative and therapeutic writing"
  • Workshop "Move your body, free your mind"
  • Workshop "Show yourself - speak more confidently in front of groups"