COVID-19 Guide: Managing Your Mental Health
With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it is without a doubt that the general public is sinking into much uncertainty. The worries about their job stability, finances and the state of the world moving forward. For those with existing mental health conditions, the stress from the current situation is only further exacerbating their condition.
With the government implemented Circuit Breaker status, more than 70% of the global population have migrated to working from home and schools migrating to e-learning. The sudden pressure for all family members to be under one roof can cause both overwhelming anxiety to both adults and children. But the good news is that there are many ways that may help you reduce stress and take care of your mental well-being and here are some tips.
Talk to People
Social distancing does not mean to socially isolate. Human are by nature – social beings and rely on interaction to stimulate the mind and stay sane. So, reach out to your friends and family and connect through chat apps and video calls. Share your concerns with them and in the process, make sure that they are okay too.
Stay Physically Active
It’s easy to let your mind wander when you are doing nothing. Engage in simple activities such as a walk at the neighbourhood park or just dedicating 20 minutes a day to simple exercises. Exercises are essential as it gets the blood flowing and help it to circulate better in the body – ensuring ample energy throughout the day. Exercising also enhances the responses to bacterial and viral intruders and is important to maintain a stable immune system.
Not sure of what exercises you can do at home? June from 1 Workout A Day has many exercises videos on her channel that you can get started on.
Know When To Power Off
Make routine your new best friend. It helps you to create a clear distinction between work and non-work time, essential to both your physical health and mental workspace. While working from home trains people to be focused and disciplined, it is easy to miss the cues and work beyond the hours. Overcome the problem by implementing work hours and stick to it. Refrain from sending out work emails or reading them past your working hours and allocate time to your family and well-being. With proper work-life balance, you will be able to realise that you working is not as stressful as it seems.
Know Your Red Flags
Always keep your emotions in check. If you find yourself feeling frustrated, worry or sad, or feeling physically uncomfortable like tension, constant upset stomach or jitters, or even unexplained actions such as sudden outrage or compulsively checking the latest COVID statistics -recognise these as symptoms of stress or anxiety.
To avoid sinking deeper into the negative emotions, try to distract yourself. It could be to take time off from the screen or news by stretching, listening to music or journaling. If it gets too overwhelming, allow yourself some time to calm down and address the issue.
Using the box breathing technique can be useful to calm yourself down and regain control over your thoughts. It can help you focus and identify why you are feeling that way and help you to rationalize to feel better.
If you felt as though you have exhausted all methods and is still feeling very much helpless. Do not panic and know that if you need help, you can always talk to someone about it. Sometimes it is not easy speaking to family or friends about things but speaking to a stranger might be much easier. Here is a link that may help : https://www.sos.org.sg/get-help/other-available-resources
Let’s hope we all can press on and overcome this pandemic together.