While we are seeing the first stage of easing of COVID-19 restrictions, a return to complete normalcy, it is still uncertain. This uncertainty and the various social, psychological, and financial stresses that this COVID-19 pandemic has caused, is adversely affecting mental wellbeing for many of us. What will be critical in the months to come, is how we as individuals and society manage and deal with the emotional, psychological and social impacts.
Some strategies to help with sustaining your mental health:
- Accept the situation –
It is perfectly normal to feel unsure about the future. You are not alone in this. Everyone around you has been affected by this pandemic in some way or the other.
- Stay active –
Exercise is good for physical and mental health. It also helps to improve mood and sleep patterns.
- Structure your day –
If working from home, try and maintain the same routine that you would if you were at work. Create a To Do List for your daily tasks to help provide a sense of achievement as you mark them off.
- Create a workspace –
Set up a dedicated workspace at home. After completing your work hours, consciously do something different to create a sense of boundary in your mind between “office” and home, e.g. go for a walk
- Mindful meditation –
This helps to control racing thoughts, catastrophising and obsessive thinking. There are many apps available on the internet on mindfulness/meditation that are free to download.
- Make a meal –
Cooking can have an added benefit of providing a healthy meal while being a pleasurable activity. It also helps with distracting from worrying thoughts.
- Do something uplifting –
Find time to do something that makes you feel good. Watch that TV show or read the book that you always wanted to but never got around to. It allows you to take a mental break from what’s going on in the world.
- Learn new skills –
There are multiple options on the internet and YouTube that provide practical lessons in a whole range of activities.
- Family/Group activities –
Try doing a group/family activity such as a jigsaw or playing board games. These activities are good for all the family to have some fun together.
- Take a break from the news –
Limit your news intake. Obsessing over what is going on in the world is not helpful.
It is extremely important to seek out help if you think you need it. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed by the changes in your life during this time, talk to your friends/colleagues or employer immediately so that you can get professional help at the earliest.