Fight COVID-19 on St. Maarten | St. Martin

“Stay positive and healthy while we all fight this virus, stay home & stay strong SXM.”

Like everywhere around the world, the Corona Virus | Covid19 is also starting to take its toll on SXM. With more cases popping up, our government decided a complete lockdown which means we will be stuck at home for a while.

Bart van der Meijden and his colleagues from the Sint Maarten Mental Health Foundation, collected some great tips and tricks to help us through these difficult times. Use all the information below to improve your and your family’s everyday mental and physical health.

Do you have any questions about your mental health or that of a loved one? Don’t hesitate to call the Mental Health Foundation for support.

  • 100% confidential
  • Always answered by a professional
  • Available from 8 am to 5 pm

MHF support line: 311

Self-Isolation & Social Distancing

How to stay energetic, productive and preserve your mental health while staying at home?

1. Re-frame your situation.

Instead of thinking: ”I’m stuck inside”, try to think: ”I can finally focus on my home and myself”.

Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize, or create something you’ve always wanted to.

2. Stay close to your regular routine.

Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regime, and get out of your PJs! This will keep you active.

Making a day-plan can help with this too.

3. Avoid obsessing over media coverage.

Choose only certain credible websites for a limited amount of time each day, so you’re not over-researching and obsessing about the situation.

Credible websites are for example: who.int & your government page.

4. A chaotic home is a chaotic mind.

With all the chaos happening outside your home, keep the inside organized, predictable, and clean.

A cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic, so keep it tidy.

Source: https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/covid-19-lockdown-guide-how-manage-anxiety-and
Isolation during Corona on St. Martin - St. Maarten

Self-Isolation & Social Distancing

How to stay energetic, productive and preserve your mental health while staying at home?

Isolation during Corona on St. Martin - St. Maarten
1. Re-frame your situation.

Instead of thinking: ”I’m stuck inside”, try to think: ”I can finally focus on my home and myself”.

Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize, or create something you’ve always wanted to.

2. Stay close to your regular routine.

Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regime, and get out of your PJs! This will keep you active.

Making a day-plan can help with this too.

3. Avoid obsessing over media coverage.

Choose only certain credible websites for a limited amount of time each day, so you’re not over-researching and obsessing about the situation.

Credible websites are for example: who.int & your government page.

4. A chaotic home is a chaotic mind.

With all the chaos happening outside your home, keep the inside organized, predictable, and clean.

A cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic, so keep it tidy.

Source: https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/covid-19-lockdown-guide-how-manage-anxiety-and
Reduce stress and improve your immune system uring Corona.

Stress & Immune system

What can you do to lower your stress and boost your immune system?

We live in uncertain and stressful times. And ironically, stress is not good for your immune system, which is exactly what we do not want right now!

1. Exercise

Low and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune system function. 30-60 minutes a day can already make a difference. So go outside and hike, run, swim or cycle, but don’t overdo it as over-exercising can actually weaken your immune system.

2. Get adequate sleep

For adults, that means getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Children should get more depending on their age.

3. Engage in relaxing activities/ take some ‘’you time.’’

Whatever calms you. Whether that is reading a book, gaming, talking to friends on the phone, gardening or puzzles, you name it.

4. Eat healthy foods

Lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure getting enough zinc and vitamin D, also yogurt helps to boost your probiotics and help support your microbiome.

Below more information about what to eat in these times and how to exercise while being at home. We understand it is hard to motivate yourself but push yourself to do the right thing!

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

Stress & Immune system

What can you do to lower your stress and boost your immune system?

Reduce stress and improve your immune system uring Corona.

We live in uncertain and stressful times. And ironically, stress is not good for your immune system, which is exactly what we do not want right now!

1. Exercise

Low and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune system function. 30-60 minutes a day can already make a difference. So go outside and hike, run, swim or cycle, but don’t overdo it as over-exercising can actually weaken your immune system.

2. Get adequate sleep

For adults, that means getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Children should get more depending on their age.

3. Engage in relaxing activities/ take some ‘’you time.’’

Whatever calms you. Whether that is reading a book, gaming, talking to friends on the phone, gardening or puzzles, you name it.

4. Eat healthy foods

Lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure getting enough zinc and vitamin D, also yogurt helps to boost your probiotics and help support your microbiome.

Below more information about what to eat in these times and how to exercise while being at home. We understand it is hard to motivate yourself but push yourself to do the right thing!

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

Food | What to eat & drink

What to eat to boost your immune system?

A strong immune system is important, now more than ever, and proper nutrition is one of the most important ways to do so. Stay fit and healthy!

+ | Eat more of:

Plant based food high in fibre, Fruits & Veggies, Nuts & Seeds, Healthy fats, Lean meat or fish, Natural yogurts

Examples

Kiwi, papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, plain yogurt, almonds, tumeric, green tea, poultry, sunflower seeds & shellfish.

– | Limit

Processed food, Junk food, Alcohol, Salt, Sugary drinks, Artificial sweeteners or additives

Examples

French fries and potato chips, sprite, cola, fruit juices, pizza, pastries, cookies, candy bars, KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, deep fried food. 

Additional tips:

Natural remedie against slime congestion: Blend garlic, ginger, turmeric, lime juice with hot water. You can add aloe vera or moringa leaves.

Natural remedie for nose blockage: Cook water with Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Salt, Orange skin, Lime skin and inhale with a towel over your head, hanging above the pan.

Other great ingredients are: aloe vera, fish oil, orange juice, cinnamon, moringa.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system
https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-foods-to-boost-your-immune-system-89020

Food | What to Eat and Drink to imrpove your immune system and overall health.

Food | What to eat & drink

What to eat to boost your immune system?

Food | What to Eat and Drink to imrpove your immune system and overall health.

A strong immune system is important, now more than ever, and proper nutrition is one of the most important ways to do so. Stay fit and healthy!

+ | Eat more of:

Plant based food high in fibre, Fruits & Veggies, Nuts & Seeds, Healthy fats, Lean meat or fish, Natural yogurts

Examples

Kiwi, papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, plain yogurt, almonds, tumeric, green tea, poultry, sunflower seeds & shellfish.

– | Limit

Processed food, Junk food, Alcohol, Salt, Sugary drinks, Artificial sweeteners or additives

Examples

French fries and potato chips, sprite, cola, fruit juices, pizza, pastries, cookies, candy bars, KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, deep fried food. 

Additional tips:

Natural remedie against slime congestion: Blend garlic, ginger, turmeric, lime juice with hot water. You can add aloe vera or moringa leaves.

Natural remedie for nose blockage: Cook water with Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Salt, Orange skin, Lime skin and inhale with a towel over your head,  hanging above the pan.

Other great ingredients are: aloe vera, fish oil, orange juice, cinnamon, moringa.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system
https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-foods-to-boost-your-immune-system-89020

Home workout | How to exercise

Can’t go to the gym due to the coronavirus? You can do everything from home and Youtube is your friend!

Oke, but what can I do at home? See below all the options and in blue the links to YouTube videos, enjoy!

1. Circuit training with bodyweight only:

Youtube is filled with exercise tutorials to create your own circuit or follow an existing one.

Just download the Tabata app to create a countdown clock for yourself and go!

Video: Some great exercise ideas.

Video: 30 min HIIT cardio workout.

2. Dance workouts

Whether you prefer hip-hop, breakdancing or salsa, there are instruction videos on YouTube ranging from 15 minutes to hours. You can use it as a nice workout or teach yourself a new dance.

Video: 30 min hip-hop Tabata workout.

Video: 30 min feel good dance cardio workout.

3. Boxing

Boxing and kickboxing are one of the most all-around training you can get, and you can start at any level. On Youtube, there are plenty of videos you can do as a complete workout as well as tutorials to properly learn the technique.

Video: Boxing for beginners training techniques.

Video: 20 minute in home boxing workout.

4. Yoga & Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are great workouts that improves flexibility and balance, and have several benefits for your mental health too.

Besides various yoga and Pilates classes on Youtube, Niki Wozniak from Redemption Fitness SXM now provides online live sessions: check out her Facebook page.

Facebook: Yoga and Pilates Classes by Redemption Fitness

Video: 20 minute home yoga workout for beginners.

How to talk to Children | Help them understand

Children can get scared, tense or sad from all the messages about the coronavirus. Talk to them and explain.

Never assume your kids don’t understand, talking with them will make you realize how much they feel and see. The following tips will help you have a good conversation.

1. Ask open questions and listen carefully

Invite your children to talk about it first. Find out how much they know already, and let them take the lead. If they are very young and have not yet heard about the outbreak, you don’t need to bring up the subject. Just remind them how important it is to wash your hands often and don’t create new fears.

Make sure you are in a safe environment, so your child can talk freely. Drawing and storytelling can help with getting the conversation started.

Do not dismiss their concerns. Show that you understand and say that it is normal to be afraid. Make sure that they understand that they can always talk to you.

2. Be honest in a child-friendly way

Children have the right to information about what is happening, but adults have the responsibility to protect them against feelings of fear. Use words appropriate to their age, and pay attention to their feelings and reactions.

If you can’t answer their questions, don’t try to guess the answer but search for the answer together. Explain that information found online can be fake and show them trustworthy sources.

3. End on a positive note

It is important that your children are not left with lingering questions or feelings of fear. When you finish the conversation try to find out whether they are scared. Pay attention to body language and breathing.

Let your kids know that you love them and that you will always be there for them when they are concerned.

Source: Unicef: https://www.unicef.nl/…/2020-03-15-hoe-praat-ik-met-kindere…
How to talk to children about Corona, help them understand the situation.

How to talk to Children | Help them understand

Children can get scared, tense or sad from all the messages about the coronavirus. Talk to them and explain.

How to talk to children about Corona, help them understand the situation.

Never assume your kids don’t understand, talking with them will make you realize how much they feel and see. The following tips will help you have a good conversation.

1. Ask open questions and listen carefully

Invite your children to talk about it first. Find out how much they know already, and let them take the lead. If they are very young and have not yet heard about the outbreak, you don’t need to bring up the subject. Just remind them how important it is to wash your hands often and don’t create new fears.

Make sure you are in a safe environment, so your child can talk freely. Drawing and storytelling can help with getting the conversation started.

Do not dismiss their concerns. Show that you understand and say that it is normal to be afraid. Make sure that they understand that they can always talk to you.

2. Be honest in a child-friendly way

Children have the right to information about what is happening, but adults have the responsibility to protect them against feelings of fear. Use words appropriate to their age, and pay attention to their feelings and reactions.

If you can’t answer their questions, don’t try to guess the answer but search for the answer together. Explain that information found online can be fake and show them trustworthy sources.

3. End on a positive note

It is important that your children are not left with lingering questions or feelings of fear. When you finish the conversation try to find out whether they are scared. Pay attention to body language and breathing.

Let your kids know that you love them and that you will always be there for them when they are concerned.

Source: Unicef: https://www.unicef.nl/…/2020-03-15-hoe-praat-ik-met-kindere…

More tips and tricks to help your kids/minors understand the extraordinary situation on the Island.

How to talk to children about Corona, help them understand the situation.
1. How to explain the protective measures?

It does not have to be a serious or scary conversation. You can make a little dance out of it or sing a song while doing it. For example: YouTube video, Sing a Song
Ask them to tell you when they are have trouble breathing or feel feverish

2. Check for discrimination.

The coronavirus pandemic created various reports or racial discrimination. It is important to check if your children aren’t bullied or bullying others.

Explain that the coronavirus has nothing to do with someone’s appearance, origin or language, and that bullying is always wrong (on school or through social media).

Remember them that everyone deserves to feel safe at school and at home, and that we should be kind to each other and support where possible

3. Tell them about the great work being done.

For children it can be reassuring to know that people are helping each other, show solidarity and taking action.
Tell them that, amongst others, doctors and nurses are doing everything they can to make sure to stop this outbreak and to keep us safe.

4. Take care of yourself

You are much better equipped to help your children if you are handling the situation well yourself. Children will pick up your reaction, so if you stay calm, they will too.

If you feel anxious or upset, take some you-time or contact friends and family, or make time to do things that relaxes you. See the link for tips from American family therapist Kati Morton: YouTube Video, Tips

Source: Unicef: https://www.unicef.nl/…/2020-03-15-hoe-praat-ik-met-kindere…

More tips and tricks to help your kids/minors understand the extraordinary situation on the Island.

How to talk to children about Corona, help them understand the situation.
1. How to explain the protective measures?

It does not have to be a serious or scary conversation. You can make a little dance out of it or sing a song while doing it. For example: YouTube video, Sing a Song
Ask them to tell you when they are have trouble breathing or feel feverish

2. Check for discrimination.

The coronavirus pandemic created various reports or racial discrimination. It is important to check if your children aren’t bullied or bullying others.

Explain that the coronavirus has nothing to do with someone’s appearance, origin or language, and that bullying is always wrong (on school or through social media).

Remember them that everyone deserves to feel safe at school and at home, and that we should be kind to each other and support where possible

3. Tell them about the great work being done.

For children it can be reassuring to know that people are helping each other, show solidarity and taking action.
Tell them that, amongst others, doctors and nurses are doing everything they can to make sure to stop this outbreak and to keep us safe.

4. Take care of yourself

You are much better equipped to help your children if you are handling the situation well yourself. Children will pick up your reaction, so if you stay calm, they will too.

If you feel anxious or upset, take some you-time or contact friends and family, or make time to do things that relaxes you. See the link for tips from American family therapist Kati Morton: YouTube Video, Tips

Source: Unicef: https://www.unicef.nl/…/2020-03-15-hoe-praat-ik-met-kindere…

Digital Detox | How to deal with media coverage

We all like to stay informed, but there is so much (fake) news going around that it becomes confusing and stressful instead.

1. Understand the mechanisms behind it.

Most apps and online content are specifically developed to hold your attention for as long as possible. And while some apps are handyl, some aren’t and can be distracting and cause stress and anxiety

Research has shown that consuming too much media in a crisis-situation is associated with increased levels of experienced stress and anxiety.

2. How to still get informed?

You don’t need to be updated every minute. Seek information updates maybe only once or twice a day at moments of your choice (not when you get a notification).

Fake news can create confusion, stress or anxiety. Stick to trusted sources like the WHO and government pages. No source = no credibility.

Refrain from checking your phone right before you go to bed since the light disrupts your sleep because it keeps your brain activated.

3. Put your phone away for a while and experience what it does for you

Get lost in a story or a different world by reading a book.
Clear your head by going for a walk and leave your phone at home.
Read the paper and play board games with your loved ones for an evening and put your phone in another room.

Or read below how to use technology in different ways, stay in touch with people or entertain yourself with online games.

How to stay informed about the Corona situation without losing your mind.

Digital Detox | How to deal with media coverage

We all like to stay informed, but there is so much (fake) news going around that it becomes confusing and stressful instead.

How to stay informed about the Corona situation without losing your mind.
1. Understand the mechanisms behind it.

Most apps and online content are specifically developed to hold your attention for as long as possible. And while some apps are handyl, some aren’t and can be distracting and cause stress and anxiety

Research has shown that consuming too much media in a crisis-situation is associated with increased levels of experienced stress and anxiety.

2. How to still get informed?

You don’t need to be updated every minute. Seek information updates maybe only once or twice a day at moments of your choice (not when you get a notification).

Fake news can create confusion, stress or anxiety. Stick to trusted sources like the WHO and government pages. No source = no credibility.

Refrain from checking your phone right before you go to bed since the light disrupts your sleep because it keeps your brain activated.

3. Put your phone away for a while and experience what it does for you

Get lost in a story or a different world by reading a book.
Clear your head by going for a walk and leave your phone at home.
Read the paper and play board games with your loved ones for an evening and put your phone in another room.

Or read below how to use technology in different ways, stay in touch with people or entertain yourself with online games.

Tech | How to stay in touch

Maybe social distancing isn’t the right word. With technology, we can still be social while practicing physical distancing!

1. Video calls

For decades, psychological research has shown that a large portion of communication is nonverbal and body language, so try to use video as much as possible. WhatsApp Video Call, Facetime Skype, etc.

Replace it for something normal like a lunch date with a friend but through video call! Also take the initiative to explain and set it up for your older relatives, as they don’t often might get lonely.

2. Group (video) meetings

Zoom (https://zoom.us/) and House Party (https://houseparty.com/) are great apps to visually meet up with a group online. For example, try replacing your usual Happy Hour with a group call while everybody is at home comfortably on the couch.
Catch up with friends, family, teams or clubs, but try not to talk too much about the coronavirus.

3. Online Games

Play simple mobile games like Words with Friends, Fortnight or King of the Opera: Click for all games..
Jackbox TV provides a variety of wildly popular party games and is available online!
Click for all party games.
Try out other group games online like Animal Crossing
(Animal Crossing), or your old-school board games like Monopoly (Monopoly Online), or Catan (Catan Online) or others: All board games online!
Create a trivia night online through TriviaMatic
(Trivia Online)
Or simply get behind your game console and get lost into different worlds in co-op mode with a friend!

Tech: How to stay in touch with people, family, friends, relatives, your employer. Work from home.
4. Be creative

Challenge your friends to do video challenges or make a video together for someone. | Create a weekly Book/ Movie/ Series or podcast club! | Practice a new language with a foreign friend or on apps such as Duolingo (Duolingo Online) .

Sources:
https://nationalpost.com/life/apps-video-conference-social-distancing
https://www.halfhalftravel.com/remote-work/stay-connected-while-working-from-home.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/how-coworkers-are-staying-connected-while-they-work-from-home.html

Tech | How to stay in touch

Maybe social distancing isn’t the right word. With technology, we can still be social while practicing physical distancing!

Tech: How to stay in touch with people, family, friends, relatives, your employer. Work from home.
1. Video calls

For decades, psychological research has shown that a large portion of communication is nonverbal and body language, so try to use video as much as possible. WhatsApp Video Call, Facetime Skype, etc.

Replace it for something normal like a lunch date with a friend but through video call! Also take the initiative to explain and set it up for your older relatives, as they don’t often might get lonely.

2. Group (video) meetings

Zoom (https://zoom.us/) and House Party (https://houseparty.com/) are great apps to visually meet up with a group online. For example, try replacing your usual Happy Hour with a group call while everybody is at home comfortably on the couch.
Catch up with friends, family, teams or clubs, but try not to talk too much about the coronavirus.

3. Online Games

Play simple mobile games like Words with Friends, Fortnight or King of the Opera: Click for all games..
Jackbox TV provides a variety of wildly popular party games and is available online!
Click for all party games.
Try out other group games online like Animal Crossing
(Animal Crossing), or your old-school board games like Monopoly (Monopoly Online), or Catan (Catan Online) or others: All board games online!
Create a trivia night online through TriviaMatic
(Trivia Online)
Or simply get behind your game console and get lost into different worlds in co-op mode with a friend!

4. Be creative

Challenge your friends to do video challenges or make a video together for someone. | Create a weekly Book/ Movie/ Series or podcast club! | Practice a new language with a foreign friend or on apps such as Duolingo (Duolingo Online) .

Sources:
https://nationalpost.com/life/apps-video-conference-social-distancing
https://www.halfhalftravel.com/remote-work/stay-connected-while-working-from-home.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/how-coworkers-are-staying-connected-while-they-work-from-home.html

Comedy | How humor helps

Comedy | How humor helps in difficult times.

With all this at home time, and Netflix within reach, put on a comedy or a stand-up show to boost your mood!

1. Humor as a drug

Laughter releases certain ‘’feel-good’ ’chemicals, such as endorphins, which reduces stress and anxiety. Laughter is also linked with a reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol.

2. Humor relaxes

Laughter causes the body to slip into deeper breathing. This, in turn, relaxes the body’s muscles and calms the adrenalized ‘fight or flight’ response to the more relaxe state of calm.

3. Humor reframes

Humor has a way of making us all view things in a different light.
Regardless of the type of humor, it has the ability to make us reframe our perspectives and view our problems from a less ‘all-or-nothing’ lens. Reframing, or changing the perspective on your issues can make stress and anxiety melt away as you realize your issues aren’t insurmountable after all

5. Humor distracts

Humor can lift your focus away from what is happening to you, essentially distracting you for a time from your stress and anxiety.

Note that distraction can be nice to take the edge off worrying, but that it should not be used to avoid dealing with the thins that need to be dealt with, because this will eventually only increase stress.

Source:  https://www.psychologyofhumor.com/2017/04/19/5-ways-humour-reduces-stress-and-anxiety-guest-article-by-marcus-clarke/

Comedy | How humor helps

With all this at home time, and Netflix within reach, put on a comedy or a stand-up show to boost your mood!

Comedy | How humor helps in difficult times to stay mentally healthy.
1. Humor as a drug

Laughter releases certain ‘’feel-good’ ’chemicals, such as endorphins, which reduces stress and anxiety. Laughter is also linked with a reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol.

2. Humor relaxes

Laughter causes the body to slip into deeper breathing. This, in turn, relaxes the body’s muscles and calms the adrenalized ‘fight or flight’ response to the more relaxe state of calm.

3. Humor reframes

Humor has a way of making us all view things in a different light.
Regardless of the type of humor, it has the ability to make us reframe our perspectives and view our problems from a less ‘all-or-nothing’ lens. Reframing, or changing the perspective on your issues can make stress and anxiety melt away as you realize your issues aren’t insurmountable after all

5. Humor distracts

Humor can lift your focus away from what is happening to you, essentially distracting you for a time from your stress and anxiety.

Note that distraction can be nice to take the edge off worrying, but that it should not be used to avoid dealing with the thins that need to be dealt with, because this will eventually only increase stress.

Source:  https://www.psychologyofhumor.com/2017/04/19/5-ways-humour-reduces-stress-and-anxiety-guest-article-by-marcus-clarke/

Gardening | How getting green fingers helps

With all this at home time, and Netflix within reach, put on a comedy or a stand-up show to boost your mood!

1. It’s great for your physical health

It’s a great exercise and you even burn more calories than walking.
Spending time outside and gives you a boost of vitamin D.
Growing you own food can help you eat healthier.

2. But also for your mental health

Gardening reduces stress, because it lowers our cortisol levels. It reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It can give you a feeling of control over the situation and you can learn new skills to restore confidence.
Getting your hands dirty in the garden makes us happy! (boosts our serotonin)

3. Increase your quality of life

Re-arranging and investing time and energy into updating our homes and adapting them to our changing needs is an investment in our happiness.
Access to green space makes a big difference to our happiness levels. Bringing in some greenery will improve your overall wellbeing.
Putting your own stamp on it, makes your home more special.

4. Opportunities are endless

You can grow and eat your own vegetable and fruits or brighten up your garden with some nice flowers or trees!
If you don’t have a yard, there are plenty of creative solutions to bring the green in house as well:
20 Ways to garden without backyard

Sources: https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/health-benefits-of-gardening/
https://permaculture.com.au/why-gardening-makes-you-happy-and-cures-depression/
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a22109/health-benefits-gardening/
https://www.peterball.co.uk/news/news/home-is-key-to-happiness.aspx
Gardening | How green fingers help your physical and mental health. Grow plants and vegetables.

Gardening | How getting green fingers helps

With all this at home time, and Netflix within reach, put on a comedy or a stand-up show to boost your mood!

Gardening | How green fingers help your physical and mental health. Grow plants and vegetables.
1. It’s great for your physical health

It’s a great exercise and you even burn more calories than walking.
Spending time outside and gives you a boost of vitamin D.
Growing you own food can help you eat healthier.

2. But also for your mental health

Gardening reduces stress, because it lowers our cortisol levels. It reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It can give you a feeling of control over the situation and you can learn new skills to restore confidence.
Getting your hands dirty in the garden makes us happy! (boosts our serotonin)

3. Increase your quality of life

Re-arranging and investing time and energy into updating our homes and adapting them to our changing needs is an investment in our happiness.
Access to green space makes a big difference to our happiness levels. Bringing in some greenery will improve your overall wellbeing.
Putting your own stamp on it, makes your home more special.

4. Opportunities are endless

You can grow and eat your own vegetable and fruits or brighten up your garden with some nice flowers or trees!
If you don’t have a yard, there are plenty of creative solutions to bring the green in house as well:
20 Ways to garden without backyard

Sources: https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/health-benefits-of-gardening/
https://permaculture.com.au/why-gardening-makes-you-happy-and-cures-depression/
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a22109/health-benefits-gardening/
https://www.peterball.co.uk/news/news/home-is-key-to-happiness.aspx

Hiking | How being outside helps

Hiking | How being outdoors helps your physical and mental health.

Staying (or working) home can make you feel restless! Luckily, we live on a beautiful island full of hiking trails.

Soon the lockdown is over, go for a hike to empty your mind and have a fresh start in life!

1. Tons of opportunities

Hike the causeway at sunrise or sunset. Check out the beautiful trails in for example Bellevue or other hiking trails (download the Sint Maarten | Saint Martin hiking maps here
Walk up and down one of your favourite beaches, to the highest hill tops or enjoy the natural pool.

2. Clear your mind & boost your brain

Besides physical benefits, hiking reduces stress because it allows you to organize your thoughts and evaluate the situation a lot better.

Often after a good hike, that big thing you were worrying about suddenly doesn’t seem so complicated anymore.

Research shows that people who spend more time in nature, and less time with technology, are up to 50% more creative when it comes to problem-solving tasks, and have a better memory and focus.

3. Unplug from the world

Hiking provides a welcome break from the feeling of always being ‘switched on’ (that is if you turn off your phone of course).

4. Remember to practice social distancing

No groups more than 5 persons and keep 1 to 2 meters apart.

Source: https://www.hillwalktours.com/walking-hiking-blog/benefits-of-hiking-mental-health/

Hiking | How being outside helps

Staying (or working) home can make you feel restless! Luckily, we live on a beautiful island full of hiking trails.

Hiking | How being outdoors helps your physical and mental health.

Soon the lockdown is over, go for a hike to empty your mind and have a fresh start in life!

1. Tons of opportunities

Hike the causeway at sunrise or sunset. Check out the beautiful trails in for example Bellevue or other hiking trails (download the Sint Maarten | Saint Martin hiking maps here
Walk up and down one of your favourite beaches, to the highest hill tops or enjoy the natural pool.

2. Clear your mind & boost your brain

Besides physical benefits, hiking reduces stress because it allows you to organize your thoughts and evaluate the situation a lot better.

Often after a good hike, that big thing you were worrying about suddenly doesn’t seem so complicated anymore.

Research shows that people who spend more time in nature, and less time with technology, are up to 50% more creative when it comes to problem-solving tasks, and have a better memory and focus.

3. Unplug from the world

Hiking provides a welcome break from the feeling of always being ‘switched on’ (that is if you turn off your phone of course).

4. Remember to practice social distancing

No groups more than 5 persons and keep 1 to 2 meters apart.

Source: https://www.hillwalktours.com/walking-hiking-blog/benefits-of-hiking-mental-health/

Sint Maarten Mental Health Foundation| easy overview:

If you are experiencing any troubles with your mental health or know people around you that can use some help, do not hesitate to contact the Mental Health Foundation with all your questions. They are glad to assist you in difficult times!

Mental Health Foundation, improving lives, one mind at a time.

MHF Corona support line: 311

  • 100% confidential
  • Always answered by a professional
  • Available from 8 am to 5 pm
  • Working times
    Daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

  • Address & Location
    #1 Leopard Rd, Cay Hill, Sint Maarten

  • Email address
    info@mhf-sxm.com

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