Improving our mental health during Covid-19 is a new challenge that many of us are coming to terms with. As life takes an increasingly restless pace, we are constantly bombarded with events indistinguishable from a TV drama. The increasing importance of mental health brings to mind whether the typical “eat well, sleep well, exercise more” approach is sufficient. While not undermining its relevance and effectiveness, here are more grounded and immediate ways you can improve your mental health, especially during Covid-19.
Ways to improve mental health during Covid-19
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is about being present with our thoughts without deeply engaging them. This video cleverly sums up what it entails through the clever analogy of experiencing hectic traffic. Through taking a conscious break, we can then observe our thoughts and emotions clearer. Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t mean suppressing your concerns and thoughts but rather acknowledging them. The great thing about mindfulness meditation when it comes to improving mental health is that it can be done anywhere and anytime. Thanks to the rising public interest in the practice of meditation, there are a ton of easily accessible online resources such as Headspace.
From coping with loss to improving mood and well-being, the benefit of writing and journaling should never be ignored or underestimated. There are different types of journaling that can sharply improve our mental health, from labelling our overwhelming emotions to grounding ourselves in just five minutes. Looking at our manifested thoughts on paper can help us organise our thought process and differentiate the real from our make-belief fears and anxiety. We can learn and better understand the causes of our emotional state and tackle the roots. Feel like trying this out? Try doing a daily check-in with yourself at the end of the day with your journal. Ask the very simple question “How was I today?”.
3. Cleaning the room
In case you’ve missed this great speech from retired U.S. Navy Admiral SEAL William H. McCraven, he mentioned how making your bed in the morning could give you a sense of pride and motivation to do more. Cleaning the room works by the same logic. By doing a simple chore, we can get our bodies active with a sense of accomplishment. The process of cleaning can be quite meditative while we’re at it too. When we clear out unwanted items from our rooms, it acts as a reflection of negative energy being removed from our minds. As much as we’d like to hope that our emotions are solely affected by internal factors, studies have shown how our mental health is directly influenced by our environment. Hence, taking care of our external environment can play a huge role in how we feel internally.
4. Reach out to friends
As cliché as it sounds, we are innately social creatures and social connection has an extensive impact on our mental health. Sometimes when we are deep down in our own personal turmoil, we may need others to help bring us out of a rut. Talking to peers and family allows us to externalise our frustrations, making it easier for us to release negativity. It also facilitates introspection when using others as a soundboard, oftentimes you may end up with a solution to your problems!
5. Talk to an expert
At the end of the day, one of the most effective ways to improve and maintain your mental health during Covid-19 is to seek the advice of a healthcare expert. Having a meaningful and targeted consultation with a professional can help you narrow down unhealthy habits and beliefs that are hindering your mental health. The best part is that you won’t have to leave your house for an appointment when you book a consultation with one of our registered counsellors!
Improve your mental health during Covid-19 effectively!
Given this gloomy period, getting a case of the blues is perfectly normal and it is alright to seek help. It takes courage for one to recognise and acknowledge when something could be better and we commend you for taking your very first step towards the betterment of your mental health. We hope that our list of ways to improve mental health serves you well!
Written by: Asier Loh Xi Hong