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COVID-19: P.PORTO combats isolation with unprecedented program


Anxiety and depression are real scenarios in cases of public emergency, but there are ways to manage stress, even in difficult times

In quarantine times, health care must be comprehensive to protect everyone.

Based on this premise, the Presidency of the Polytechnic of Porto, through the Office for Academic and Professional Integration (GIAP), created the ActivAmente initiative, thinking about the consequences experienced in a social isolation situation .

With the advancement of the spread of the new coronavirus, it is possible that cases of prophylactic isolation (without symptoms or diagnosis of acute illness) will increase, situations that easily generate anxiety, fear or worry. Quarantine can make people feel more alone, away from those they love the most, added to some frustration due to the inability to perform usual routines, which is why it is essential to maintain rest and sleep times, to make careful eating as much as possible and even practice physical exercise.

Aware of the  unprecedented situation, the ActivAmente program at Polytechnic of Porto seeks to minimize and respond to mental health issues in Covid-19 times. "The program consists of the development of different tips and activities, to be performed regularly, always in the logic of mental health", explains Paulo Santos, Pro-President of P.PORTO and promoter of this initiative.

One of the program's tips determines the realization of a task plan, defined at fixed times, that establish clear objectives and enhance daily balance. In addition to these recommendations, essential for creating routines, the program continues the Stress Management Group initiative online. It is important to mention that GIAP created a distance psychological support line, to be carried out by Teams.

It is crucial to understand that we are not isolated and sometimes help is just a call away and a friendly voice. Substantially reducing your physical activity and / or increasing sedentary behavior can be detrimental to your health, well-being and quality of life. Thus, the AtivAmente program proposes recommendations to stay active while staying at home, through online classes and suggestions for sports activities to be carried out twice a day.

"The institution must respond to the needs of its community," says the Pro-President, "this is a difficult period, but it is our duty to create conditions that combat isolation, prevent and help extreme cases and encourage physical activity. we are adapting to today's reality, with the resources we have available".