COVID-19 has slowly but surely made itself known across the world, and what started as a new virus discovered in China a few months ago has now turned into a worldwide pandemic.
While Singapore isn’t on any lockdown yet, there have been a series of guidelines given to us by the government and health authorities that we should follow. But social distancing and self-isolation can take a toll on your mental health so here are eight ways to practise self-care during these trying times.
Put your thoughts to words and chronicle what you’re going through or feeling each day. No, we don’t mean doing this through social media posts, get a journal instead. This way, you’ll be free to write your deepest thoughts without any judgement and you can really dig in deep. Write about any anxieties you might have, your fears about the pandemic, your goals for the next year, or even how you can’t wait till the day you’ll be able to go on your next holiday (you can even plan it now!). If you aren’t the wordy type, create a sketchbook instead and doodle anything you like.
There’s no time like the present to pick up new skills and spending more time by yourself is the perfect opportunity to do so. It can be anything from knitting to scrapbooking to even jogging. It’ll be a good way to let off stress and also give your ego a boost by achieving something good during these tough times.
Exercising is a great way to keep your mind active too so don’t get lazy even if you’re self-isolating. Download a fitness app or find a fitness video on YouTube and do a workout at home. Or go for a walk or run if you’re able to leave the house. If you want to feel more centred, try some breathing or meditation exercises instead. A Google search will easily find a relevant workout for you.
We live in a world where there’s a constant buzz of information, be it through social media posts or 24/7 news channels. And, in times of a worldwide pandemic, it’s good to always be informed about what’s happening and what we, as a member of the public, should do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. However, there is such a thing as information overload and this can be harmful to our mental health.
The constant bad news and state of panic can get us down and it’s hard to see any glimmer of hope sometimes, as the virus spreads around the world. Plus, the plethora of ‘fake news’ articles out there means you could be getting stressed out over things that aren’t even true. So switch off every once in a while so that your mind has time to recover from the doom and gloom. Read a book, binge watch a TV series or try that new hobby you’ve picked up.
While we don’t exactly know how long this coronavirus pandemic is going to last, it’s not good for our mental health to worry about what we’re going to do each and every day. Plan a number of activities you want to partake in or the goals you want to achieve during this time. Having something to aim for is a lot better for your mental health than facing the possibility of going stir crazy, not knowing what you’re going to do.
Surrounding yourself with greenery is a good way to alleviate stress and calm yourself. Go for a walk in the park if you have the time (as long as you’re not on a quarantine order). Or why not bring the greenery into your home? Invest in a few indoor plants and spend time nurturing them. You’ll be amazed how rewarding it can be to watch them grow each day.
Why not discover your inner domestic diva during this time? Learn to cook or bake – or build on your recipe list if you’re already an expert in the kitchen. You’ll have more time to indulge in this kitchen activity so why not make the most of it? You’ll also be more self-sufficient and won’t have to leave the home as much if you have delicious home-cooked meals every day.
You could also channel Marie Kondo and take this time to declutter your home. You’ll be so distracted by getting your home in better shape that you won’t have time to worry too much about the coronavirus pandemic. Cooking and baking can help to reduce stress and decluttering your physical space will also help to clear your mind.
You might be practicing social distancing but this doesn’t mean you should ignore everyone in your life. Reach out to your family and friends and check in on them. And talk to them if you’re struggling as they won’t be able to be there for you unless they know what you’re going through.
Sometimes a FaceTime phone call or What’sApp exchange with a loved one is exactly what you need to lift your day.