Are the streams of updates about the coronavirus keeping you glued to your phone all day long? Perhaps the Movement Control Order (MCO) is causing you to be restless and gloomy at home.
As the nation battles with the chaos out there, you are not alone if you are feeling anxious about the unpredictable future. Here’s what you can easily do at home to shake off the anxiety instead:
Bracing this semi-lockdown period does not mean that you have to stay cooped-up in your own room. In fact, to give yourself a quick boost, you should step outside (within your home compounds of course) and bask in the sun! After all, it is a natural mood booster for when you’re feeling down.
Studies have proved that people exposed to more sunlight have higher levels of serotonin, a chemical that induces happiness and calmness, whereas the lack of sunlight exposure can lead to depression and a heightened anxiety level. So go ahead and put on some sunlight on your skin!
Pro Tip: In addition to elevating your mood, the sunlight also helps build stronger bones for you as it causes your skin to create Vitamin D from the cholesterol in your body.
Let’s be realistic. While you may find yourself with ample time to spare, you aren’t going to turn into a bodybuilder overnight. We get that. But spending 100% of your time at home means you probably aren’t moving as much as you used to pre-lockdown.
A sedentary lifestyle can affect you physically and also mentally since exercising helps you release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin (remember the happy pill?) in your brain that relieves stress. So, you should incorporate at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day.
Before you scratch this off your list, wait! Your workout doesn’t have to be elaborate nor require fancy sports equipment. In fact, you are all you need. Some easy routines as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) include stretching, Jumping Jacks, knee -to-elbow exercises, squats, chair dips, wall sits, and planking. Simple tools like a jump rope or a hula hoop, works too!
If you were always out and about, you’re probably not accustomed to the unstructured life at home. Having too much time with nothing to do can be daunting and tiresome. So, don’t just scroll on social media all day and wait for time to pass! This is where your time management skills come into place!
Start things off with a to-do list. Write down the tasks you would potentially like to accomplish for the day and then fix a time for every item on the list. Depending on your goals, you could create a schedule for the entire week or even choose to list them out every morning (which could be part of your daily tasks too!). Nothing is more satisfying than checking off the list at the end of the day!
Pro Tip: With nothing to do and all the time to spare, this MCO is the perfect time for you to ponder about your daily habits and start cultivating new ones!
We can all agree that staying at home is great because less effort is required to look presentable. This means going make-up free and less time styling your hair. But not heading out is definitely no excuse to skip the shower — even if you feel clean!
Aside from the obvious reason of maintaining cleanliness (which is extremely crucial during this pandemic), taking a shower, especially a cold one works wonders for your mental health too. The shock from a cold shower actually triggers the release of an organic chemical called the norepinephrine, a brain hormone that will make you feel happier.
However, if you’re terrified of the cold, a warm bath can do the trick too. It’s known that taking a warm bath helps you relax as serotonin (again the happy pill) is released as your body temperature increases. So, yes, this is your queue to indulge in a nice long bath!
As human beings, we long for social interaction no matter how minimal. Being trapped at home, you might be feeling lonelier than before since all those 'mamak' sessions or cafe hoppings are off limits now.
Lucky for you, we live in a digital age where you can easily compensate your hang out sessions through video calls. Some free video call platforms include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime. If you’d like to connect with more people, you can also use Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts Meets instead. Easy peasy.
Need more ways to engage with your friends from home during this MCO? We've got some ideas over here!
PS: Remember that you should isolate yourself physically, but not mentally. If you’re feeling stressed out, keep in mind to always reach out and express how you feel to your loved ones for support.
We hope these essential tips help you in safeguarding your mental health throughout this difficult period of time. Always remember that you’re never alone and #STAYHOME!
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