It’s 10 days since the Circuit Breaker began for our sunny little island. Feelings of anxiety are natural in a time like this where we abruptly lose the physical presence of our support system. If this Circuit Breaker has got you feeling a little lost, here are 8 tips from Lee Siew Hua (Travel Editor for The Straits Times) we hope can help you boost your mental wellness.
Tip 1: Reframe the situation
Remind yourself that you are not stuck at home. Instead, you are indulging in a long-awaited opportunity to slow down, focus on yourself and the home.
Tip 2: Shut out negative thoughts by focusing on your surroundings
Listen to the birds outside the window, look at a pleasant object and describe it in your mind, make a cup of tea or coffee and notice how it smells and tastes. How our body experiences our surroundings can help our brain register that we are in a safe place so that our body can relax. Immerse yourself in this present moment.
Tip 3: Keep our hope alive
This is a good time to rethink our ways of life and reflect: What would a better tomorrow look like? Make the best of every moment – and we will come out of Covid-19 stronger.
Tip 4: Practise self-care and self-compassion
Try to sustain routines that bring comfort and stability, whether it is prayer, art, journaling, exercising, cooking or supporting others. Also, be gentle on ourselves when we cannot always shut off fear and pain – our own and the world’s. Fear is no fun but it signals that we are fully human.
Tip 5: Try to be adaptive
Be flexible to function optimally in changing circumstances like this pandemic.
Tip 6: Take this as an opportunity to learn to get along with family members when facing them 24/7
Pause before giving negative comments. Be more liberal with such phrases: Thank you. Well done. I appreciate your help. Take the time to bond with them as well.
Tip 7: Keep socialising safely
Make use of video chatting tools like Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts. You can also connect over voice calls, text messages and e-mail.
Tip 8: Limit exposure or take a break from Covid-19 updates
While it is important to stay informed, it is good to reflect if checking for updates has become unhealthy or obsessive. Focus on recovery numbers instead of mortality rates. Separate real news from rumour. Balance the news intake with reading or watching videos with themes that you delight in.
One pro-tip I practice personally is to establish a routine. Having just joined Helpling as their Marketing Intern in April, I took a while to adjust to working from home. Establishing a routine of waking up at 10am every weekday and taking my meals at regular timings has helped me keep track of time and affirm the productivity of my day.
I make it a point to get on video chatting applications to workout, play games or just chat with my friends so I retain the feeling of being social while in the safety of my home.
I also make an effort to think optimistically about the recovery of Singapore from this situation, and share that sentiment on my Instagram account daily to keep others optimistic as well.
I hope this article has been a helpful read for you. Please stay safe and take care. We’ll get through this together <3