10 Simple Tips To Improve Your Mental Health During Lockdown
Here it comes again, another lockdown! This is the second time our country is going into a state of complete lockdown and for most of us, this is not good news. To be living in social isolation, maintaining no physical contact with anyone and staying indoors all day long can take a huge toll on our mental health. Adapting to this ‘new normal’ is not easy as nothing is the same anymore. Many have lost their jobs, livelihood, family during the first time around but let’s not repeat the same pattern this time around.
Malaysia saw a huge spike on mental health and domestic violence during the first lockdown. In attempts to curb the pattern, many mental health organizations have put forth guidelines to help combat the stress of the coronavirus pandemic. Below, we present you some simple tips that can help improve your mental health during this lockdown period. I understand, it is hard to remain calm with all the current happening but it is important that we do not let this get the better of us. We got this together!
- Maintain a Daily Routine
One of the highly recommended tips to improve your mental health is to have a routine for your day. This means setting time for your meals, sleep, workouts and work. Unstructured time can create boredom which can lead to anxiety and depression so make a schedule and try to stick with it as much as is possible! Having a daily routine can also keep you going and organised and create balance in chaotic times.
- Exercise At Least 30 Mins A Day
Research has shown that our physical and mental health are closely linked. So by maintaining your physical health, your mental health will be stable too. Working out at home in these times can also help you kill indoor time. There are many at-home workout videos online. Pick the one that best fits you and do it 4 to 5 times a week. There are many options, from yoga to Zumba. The most important thing here is to get your heart pumping as it is excellent for both physical and mental health.
- Start Blogging or Journaling
Take my words for it, you can never go wrong with writing a blog or journal. Whether you’re making a new space to share your passions or taking an opportunity to try something new, it’s always timely to express your creativity. Journaling can be relaxing and exciting, as you can write whatever and whenever you want. Jot down your best ideas. Doodle. Write about your day. Create a list of goals. The choices are many.
- Go On A Social Media Detox
Most people turn their attention to social media for their daily dosage of news. Try limiting your social media time to at least once a day. News on social media can be daunting. The numbers of people dying every day can be very triggering and concerning.
A limit to one news update a day or filtering the news sources to avoid unreliable coverage and spreading of fear is important.
- Join An Online Class/Learn A New Skill
The lockdown period can be a time to improve your professional resume or to pursue a new hobby. There various online courses that one can join. Utilize this time wisely on educational recognition and it can also keep boredom at bay. You can also try new recipes and spend time with your family. With diverse cooking channels online, you can start with the basics and work your way up to more signature dishes.
- Indulge Yourself in Self-Care Practice
Self-care is not selfish especially in times of incredible anxiety and stress like now. Focusing on what makes you feel nourished, is part of easing those feelings and giving you a more peaceful being. Self-care can include a myriad of practices that you find enjoyable and healthy for both physical and mental health. Whether it is making a hair mask or enjoying your favourite drink or meal, you need to take care of your own health.
- Avoid Excessive Snacking, Eat Intuitively!
Now that you are home all day, there is a tendency to binge eat all day long but don’t do it! Impose strict rules on what foods you can eat and how much you can eat. But it is not a diet plan. Intuitive eating doesn’t restrict any specific foods. Instead, it is a practice to listen to your body and pay attention to what you need at the moment. Basically, you eat when you feel hungry, and you stop eating when you feel full.
- Declutter Your Space
Most of you could be working on your home at this moment. Take the opportunity of the extra time by decluttering and organizing your home. Cleaning can help fill up your time and offer your mind body and soul an outlet from traumatic stress. Try switching up the layout of your house, move around the furniture or you can paint your house. Using the extra time to undertake productive activities is always helpful.
- Take a 20 Mins Meditation Break
Meditation is most probably the easiest way to improve your mental health, as you don’t require any special equipment or space. Meditation is the process of thinking deeply or focusing your mind for a set period of time. It can help reduce stress, ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and regulate negative thinking. There are also many meditation apps available that one can download and start meditating now.
- Pay Attention To Your Financial Wellness
According to surveys, financial matters are the top source of stress for many people. Financial wellness is not just about how much you have in your savings, which is itself crucial and warrants other critical write-ups to identify the problems and limitations, but more to how stable you feel when it comes to your finances. This is when self-control is a must. Don’t get carried away with buying unnecessary things and stick to a budget. You can also download a free personal-finance app that can boost your budgeting skills.