As the circuit breaker measures continue, we need to focus on strengthening our physical and mental well-being to deal with this prolonged period of staying at home. This means creating new habits to tide through these difficult times. These new practices can also be applied in the future as we adjust to a new ‘normal’.
We strongly recommend using the Institute of Wellness Education’s ‘10 Dimensions of Wellness’ as a personal checklist during this home-bound period.
Although you may have the flexibility of time while working from home, avoid neglecting your physical wellbeing. Ensure you have at least seven to eight hours of good quality sleep every night to maintain your in-built body clock.
It is important to have two to three regular meals a day and not over-eat. Eating healthy and well-balanced meals will provide you with the necessary nutrition to fuel your body, keeping it functioning at its best.
Youths need to feel actively engaged and to have a sense of purpose. At home, parents can assign responsibilities to youths, such as taking charge of certain household tasks, planning purchases, helping grandparents with online search etc. Youths can also take this opportunity to pick up a new leisure or skill which can be performed at home, such as learning a new language, arts and crafts, cooking, learning a new instrument etc. Incorporate social elements into these activities, such as learning a new language online with a friend, cooking with family member etc.
Medical and psychological services are essential during this circuit breaker period. Do not overlook any important or urgent medical appointments, and continue to keep up with your dental hygiene.
COVID-19 has made social-distancing a norm – an unusual practice for humans who are social beings by nature. While you follow the requirements to keep our physical distance, remember to stay virtually connected to your friends, family members or therapists. Having social connections will alleviate loneliness and help you cope better with anxiety. It is also good to dedicate time for video-conferences with friends or join support groups if you feel a need to talk to someone. You can reach out to mental health organisations that provide peer support too. For example, PSALT Care runs daily check-in peer support Zoom sessions. (www.psaltcare.com)
If you are struggling to create a proper space for your home-office, now is an opportune time to ‘Marie Kondo’ your home and ensure you have an organised space for work. Decluttering your house will create a more conducive living environment that fosters a peace of mind and enhances mental well-being.
The spiritual effect of the COVID-19 outbreak cannot be neglected. As such, set aside time to reflect on your spiritual values and anchors on a daily basis. It can be beneficial to your mental health, and helps you stay grounded and calm.
Try something new. Take on a new hobby or learn a new language. Finding activities to stimulate your brain can help to divert attention away from thoughts of loneliness, isolation and negativity. Meaningful engagement in acquiring new skills will also contribute to a sense of empowerment and hope.
Practise self-care by limiting your consumption of negative news and turn your attention to positive or inspirational news instead. You can also start keeping a gratitude journal to list five things you are thankful for each day.
Stick to a fixed work schedule. Start and end your work day as usual to maintain a work-life balance, which will help massively in keeping you focused. Maintain the practice of dressing for work to increase motivation and positive engagements during online meetings.
COVID-19 has brought about many economic uncertainties . While you might have saved on transport, eating out, and entertainment during this period, take this opportunity to set aside the savings for any future emergencies. Avoid getting carried away with online shopping while cooped up at home. We hope that these tips will help you maintain your well-being, both psychologically and physiologically. It typically takes 21 days to build new habits. Use this extended time to take these little steps to build yourself up and emerge more mentally resilient and empowered in all 10 dimensions of your life!
This article is contributed by PSALT Care.