COVID-19 Mental Healthcare Tips

Date: 5 February 2021
Written by: KLIHC

Since its debut in 2020, Covid-19 has overshadowed pretty much everything. It appeared on newspaper headlines, articles, social media, videos and even government generated messages. However, it hasn’t been kind to anybody. We were all held in the clutches of its ongoing terror. Apart from the obvious physical severities, it has undoubtedly impacted the mental health of people all around the world. As we were restricted to the confines of our own homes, many people have reported feeling lost, trapped, immense loneliness, heightened anxiety, stress and many more. 

1. Eat healthy food!

We all love instant food – from ramen to Mcdonalds, Starbucks, fried food etc. While there is nothing wrong with indulging in these savoury and delicious treats once in a while, it is more important than ever to keep a balanced diet. This is because a balanced diet can help supply the body with the necessary nutrients to thrive and work effectively. Think of it like this: your body is a car and you would prefer feeding it with the best fuel possible! Without the proper nutrients, you will be more prone to diseases, infections, fatigue and low performance especially during this ongoing pandemic 🙁 

One tip that you can utilise is to find and recreate delicious recipes online! This can help you plan for your grocery shopping and be occupied in a positively fun manner. 

2. Drink lots of water!! 

It is important to hydrate because it can help regulate your body temperature, keep your joints lubricated, keep organs functioning properly, improve sleep quality as well as keeping your skin looking supple. 

3. Exercise indoors regularly

We have all been advised since our times in sekolah rendah to exercise regularly due to the multitude of benefits we can reap. The most obvious benefit would be that our weight can be regulated more easily, and the more intense the activity, the more calories we burn! You won’t have to worry about downing an entire cake or that box of fries as much anymore! (Key word here is: consistency > perfection so try to come up with a schedule and find workouts that are interesting online so you are less likely to falter and stop).

But perhaps the most important benefit in regards to our mental health is that it can help improve our moods! This is because physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. You may also feel better about your appearance, and this can help boost your confidence and self-esteem! 

4. Perform deep breathing exercises

Many of us truly underestimate the importance and benefits of deep breathing. According to an article, doing frequent deep breathing exercises every day could help decrease stress and help relax your mind and body so you can sleep better. 

The several benefits of deep breathing include and are not limited to:

  • Being a natural painkiller: (when you breathe in deeply, your body releases endorphins or also known as the “feel-good hormones”
  • Improves blood circulation: when you take deep breaths, the upward and downward movement of the diaphragm helps eliminate toxins from your body
  • Reduces anxiety: a holy-grail of many experts and psychologists, this is because deep breathing helps slow down your heart rate > allows the intake of more oxygen > signals the brain to calm the heck down. In a sense, it also helps lower your cortisol levels and increases the release of endorphins! 
  • Improves sleep quality: Taking slow and steady breaths can signal your body to detoxify and be more relaxed, which can be further elevated with a good amount of meditation every night before bed

5. Spend quality time with family members

Yes. Sometimes our loved ones are also the people who get on our nerves the most, but we all still love them dearly for a reason! They help us cope with stress. Feeling sad? They are there to hear you out. Feeling overwhelmed? They are there to calm you down. These are the people who help distract you from the negative thoughts, and contribute more to the positive ones! 

Try to find interesting activities to do with your family during the MCO to help strengthen the relationship you have with one another, as well as to keep productive! A few things that you can do is to always have meals together at the dining table without having your faces glued onto your devices! (We have all been guilty of this at one point in our lives). Make a grocery list together, have a cooking competition, or even bake enough cookies to feed your neighbors! If everyone is awake in the morning on weekends, try to go for a bike ride around the neighborhood; work on those glutes!

6. Read books

There are A PLETHORA of benefits that you can get by reading, and what better time to do so than now? 

Reading helps you improve brain connectivity, increases your vocabulary and comprehension, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure and heart rate! And what more with the existence of the Internet, you can even read things online now! There is quite literally nothing to stop you from doing so.

Just by reading, you are able to transport yourself to an imaginary planet and have the BEST time of your life without having to fork out a cent (book readers, if you can vouch for this please let me know)! You can forge positive connections with the characters in books and may even help you emulate their positive qualities in real life. You can also definitely expect to be more proficient at a language that you would otherwise have a mediocre understanding of. 

Here are a list of books that you can check out during the MCO: 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (a movie by the same name was adapted from this book!) 
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
  • The Book Thief by Makus Zusak 
  • A Wild Sheep Chase, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. (They are all 3 separate books!) 

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