Editorial
22 June 2020

Mood Booster: 7 Ways to Uplift Yourself During These Challenging Times

As more social issues that plague humanity continue to surface, it may be inevitable to avoid the news and media. Whether it’s keeping track of the coronavirus updates, supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement or the many other human rights issues that demand your attention and response, albeit important, they can physically and emotionally drain you. 

Consuming all of this distressing and heartbreaking news regularly can be difficult to deal with and will eventually affect our general well-being. As we brace the unpredictable future, most of us are also affected mentally which can be overwhelming and lead to unpleasant emotions like fear, grief, anxiety, and stress. 

With that, here are some simple ways to help uplift your mood and stay collected no matter what hits us.

 

1. Log off from social media

 

We’re all guilty of scrolling endlessly on our screens to fill the space of time that is suddenly abundant to us.

But being overexposed to news and social media sites can lead to panic attacks and trigger anxiety, especially if you’re constantly bombarded with news from unverified sources.

To avoid being overwhelmed, take a break from your phone.

Log out of your social accounts. Mute keywords that may trigger you in your social apps. Silent the WhatsApp groups that are oversharing. Set a quiet hour to yourself. Though it’s vital to keep yourself updated, it’s time to be more aware and mindful of the information you consume to keep you sane.

PS: Listen to Taylor’s podcast here, as Associate Professor Dr. Anasuya Jegathevi Jegathesan who is a Programme Director for Psychology from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Taylor’s, shares her expertise about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and ways students can cope with these uncertain times.

2. Eat good food

 

It goes without saying that you should try to maintain a nutritional diet given that you’re probably more sedentary and sweating it out less these days.

Well, if you’re feeling down, gobble up some eggs, bananas, salmon, walnuts, apples, or mushrooms as these foods are known to help alleviate moods.

That doesn’t mean you should skip the comfort food you crave as well. Since eating makes us happy, you’re allowed to eat the food you enjoy. 

Go ahead and order that cup of bubble tea and deliver that pizza when you crave for ‘em! Just remember, excessive consumption will bring adverse effects to your mental health too. So, moderation is key! 

Studying hard? Here are some superfoods that can give your brain a boost!

3. Realign your thoughts

 

Is your glass half full or half empty? While it may be hard to stay optimistic, brooding your contempt on worldly issues will not help you either.

Why not shift your focus to and think about something positive instead?

Researchers have found that expressing gratitude is often linked with greater happiness

Whether it’s to the higher powers that be, your family, or friends, being thankful will refocus your mind from what is lacking to what you have in life, which should automatically make you feel good. Here are 5 ways to say thanks and show someone you care.

You could also choose to not think about anything at all. How? This is where mindfulness comes to play. Being mindful is known to help understand our mental and physical pain, reduce stress and the endless noise in our minds. 

It’s to be aware of your actions, senses and feelings and avoid being overwhelmed by our surroundings, typically through meditation. All you need is to sit in a comfortable position, set a timer (5 - 10 mins is good enough) and pay attention to your breathing. Your goal is to refocus your thoughts to the present moment each time your mind begins to wander. Keep doing this and watch how it changes your life!

4. Stay connected

 

At times like this, everyone needs to have a strong support system. Being social creatures, whether it’s setting up a WhatsApp group chat or virtually meeting your friends, staying connected plays a fundamental role in keeping ourselves sane.

So, don’t be shy to initiate conversations with your old friends! 

You should also reach out and keep tabs of people you know who live alone or those who are passive and less likely to call for help. Give them a ring to check on them from time to time and perhaps send a care package if you’re able to. They’ll appreciate it more than you know. 

It’s also a good opportunity for you to have a healthy and open discourse among your friends to exchange views and stay objective with regards to recent issues. This could widen your life perspective and lead to a deeper and more meaningful connection. Remember to maintain civility and respect even if you disagree with the other!

5. Fix a self-care routine

 

Forget about what’s happening for a second! This is your cue to treat yourself like the queen or king you are. Whether it’s applying that fancy facial mask while you soak luxuriously in a bubble bath, slipping into your comfiest pyjamas and hitting the couch to play Animal Crossing all night, or just sinfully indulging a cake, you deserve a treat from the noise and commotion out there. 

Make a list of things you’d love to do and schedule an appropriate time to unwind from everything and JUST DO IT. We swear we won’t judge!

6. Help someone in need

 

Do you recall that ‘feel good’ feeling that resonates when you helped out a friend through a breakup or even with their maths homework? It’s no secret that helping others does, in turn, enhance our emotional well-being as well.

Instead of moping around at home, if you’re able to, why not use this time to support others who are in dire need?

You can start by contributing your time and money to various charity organisations that either fund the poor, single women, children, and many other social causes. If you’re unable to donate, just sharing and amplifying the voices of the marginalised on your social platforms works too.

You don’t have to support every single cause, but choose the one you’re most compelled to and give them a shout out!

The mission never stops. Check out how Taylor’s CSR has continuously supported the marginalised community here. You can also follow Taylor’s Community Facebook page for updates about their initiatives.

7. Be kind to yourself

 

“Ugh, why is this happening to me?”

“Why didn’t I see this coming?”

“I can’t do this.”

Do these sound all too familiar in your head? Are you guilty of constantly being harsh on yourself? But we bet you would never utter these exact words to your friends. So why do it to yourself?

As you deal with the everchanging times and the world that’s constantly abuzz with new issues,  it’s unnecessary to fuel yourself with more unkind words. Just as you’re mindful of what you say to others, so should you to yourself. 

As a young adult, it’s normal to feel lost and helpless. But, don’t get carried away and remind yourself to pause, reflect and be kinder to yourself. The weight of the world is not yours to shoulder alone. You can still make an impact by lending a helping hand to people around you regardless of how big or small. Every bit counts.

Practise self-compassion. Don’t blame yourself or others for what has happened. Accept and recognise that everyone on earth is also on the same boat as you are. Being compassionate to yourself will ease the pain and help navigate you away from negative feelings such as fear and isolation. Remember that pain is only temporary and you’ll come out of this stronger than ever.

We know this is an extremely trying time for many people. But remember to never give up hope and always reach out to people around you when it gets too overwhelming. You are never alone.

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Josephine Serena
Editor
TAGS
EMPOWER
MENTAL HEALTH
SELF-LOVE
WELL-BEING

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