Ever since the announcement of the Movement Restriction Order from the government, those of us working from home and under home quarantine are starting to suffer a kind of cabin fever that comes from staying indoors for too long. The world and the near future seems bleak, and not even Netflix is doing much to remedy our stress and anxiety.
However, now’s the time for us to be strong for the greater good, and fortunately we’ve come up with a brief survival guide to help you combat those spiralling negative thoughts during these uncertain times. Read on and let us all hang on tight while weathering this storm. Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Reframe your focus
Try to take this temporary home quarantine situation as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the outside world to your internal workings. Retune your attitude from “I’m stuck” to “I have time to care for my home and myself”. Whether it comes in the form of journalling, doing chores, reorganising, or working on a passion project, you finally have this time to yourself. By approaching the situation with a more positive mindset, you’ll be able to keep your calm while indulging in some long-avoided self improvement.
Control your media consumption
If you have a tendency to consult Google every time your nose itches or there’s a tickle in your throat, you may be obsessing over the current pandemic. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the chaos, news – real or fake, and information that brings more stress than relief. Social media such as Facebook is rife with these triggers, so try to limit your usage to a limited amount of time each day. Only consult certain credible websites such as the Ministry of Health Malaysia for any important updates on the matter.
Pursue a calming hobby
If you’re running out of books to read or getting tired of your exercise routine to help pass the time at home, why not seize the opportunity to pick up a new hobby? Preferably a calming one that requires you to focus so that time ticks away quicker while easing your anxiety. Now’s not the time to whinge about how knitting or embroidery is “an old person’s hobby”, it can actually be incredibly soothing since you have to focus on what you’re doing for a long time. If you don’t have the tools, you can even look up a free online tutorial and learn how to sketch or paint – after all, these are all nifty skills to pick up that could benefit you in the long run!
Try meditation apps
We’ve talked about how technology can be a vessel for stress – but how about using it for good? If you have a smartphone and have perused the internet, there’s a high chance you’ve heard of meditation apps. It’s also a pretty good way to start if you’ve never tried meditating before. Now that we must practice social distancing while keeping our anxiety in check, these apps are probably one of the best ways to help you achieve those mental health #selfcare goals. Some of them help offer an assortment of experiences and exercises to help you relax, while others equip you with tools to help you begin your mindfulness journey. Popular apps include Headspace, Calm, Simple Habit, Sanvello, and Serenity (iOS & Google PlayStore).
Maintain (virtual) social support
Following the aforementioned point about using technology for good, connecting with our loved ones is made easier thanks to our electronic devices. Social distancing can be painful as we are social creatures at the core, so now’s the time to bump up the effort with phone or video calls. While video-chatting may not provide the same emotional benefits as face-to-face contact, it is enough for you to maintain some semblance of social support. Just talking to your loved ones can do wonders in reducing your anxiety, while fulfilling your need to socialise. If you don’t have anyone to reach out to, try forums or social media groups to help ease your loneliness.