Lockdowns take a toll on our wellbeing. Being indoors 24/7 is not healthy for the mind, body and spirit. While essential for containing the spread of a virus that has killed thousands around the globe, its consequences have been difficult to bear for millions. The paranoia surrounding the possibility of infection, and the other negative effects cause anxiety, panic, fear, and depression. It may even cause one to inflict harm on themselves and others.
We must understand that this pandemic will not end if we do not contribute our part and observe social distancing, however, it is crucial that we maintain our sanity while doing so. For those who struggle with space, sharing a small abode with other people on limited supplies of necessities can cause a lot of conflict.
In this lockdown, the virus has us under siege and our minds under attack. The mind is a complex and powerful tool. To take care of it, we must take charge. I have listed down 7 ways on how I cope and practice Mental Wellness.
1. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING - There are many online resources that teach us how to breathe healthily and properly, especially when we feel stressed or are in a state of anxiety. Correct breathing regulates the amount of oxygen to our brain and helps us provide a more positive outlook.
2. MEDITATE - A simple meditation can calm thoughts, manifests positivity, and clear the mind of negative energy. Start with short meditation exercises which can be found on YouTube or downloadable apps. For those who are easily restless, try 5-15 minutes at first. Gradually increase the time to develop this habit.
3. EXERCISE - Engaging in physical activity is important for mental health. Home exercise videos make good guides to follow. Choose one that suits your taste. I love Zumba, yoga, bodyweight training, or stationary running.
4. EVALUATE YOUR CHOICES - Emotionally regulated states offer clarity and let us see things in a better light. Pause and reflect on what’s truly important, and what can be done away with. Take advantage of this opportunity especially during these extraordinary times.
5. FIND AND WELCOME HAPPINESS - While you can never force yourself (or anyone else) to feel a certain way, you can influence and encourage it. Try to create the condition and environment that tend to make you happy. Think of what makes you smile, such as your favourite show, song, meal, or people.
6. REACH OUT - While everyone is observing social distancing, it is still crucial to connect with individuals that are important to us. Use the most convenient digital channels to communicate like WhatsApp or Zoom. This is in fact the best time to catch-up.
7. LEARN SOMETHING NEW - Take this opportunity to educate yourself. Read new books or learn a new skill online. This is that “one day” that you’ve always promised to use to learn a new passion.
Our current circumstances are unique, others may achieve things that we do not, however, this does not mean we should not be proactive or try as what’s been given to us should not be taken for granted.
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