Taking Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19

art-267-01Your mental and emotional well-being is as important as your physical health during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic

While we take the necessary precautions to help contain the spread of COVID-19, some of us might be experiencing stress, fear or anxiety from concerns of being exposed to the disease or being overwhelmed by countless of COVID-19 related news.

For that, taking care of our mental health is crucial in ensuring our overall well-being, more so during a crisis such as the ongoing pandemic, where we are faced with unexpected uncertainties and drastic changes in our lives due to the disease.

Here are some ways to take care of your mental well-being during this challenging time:

  • Talk about your worries to people you trust can help. Contact your friends and family.
  • If you must stay at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes proper diet, sleep, exercise, and social contacts with loved ones at home and by email and phone with other family and friends.
  • Don’t use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counsellor. Have a plan, where to go to and how to seek help for physical and mental health needs if required.

In addition to mental health hotlines provided by the Government, you can contact those of non-governmental organisations that are offering emotional and psychological support for those affected by the pandemic, such as Befrienders, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) and Relate Malaysia.

  • Get the facts. Gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as WHO website or a local or state public health agency.
  • Limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you and your family spend watching or listening to media coverage that you perceive as upsetting.
  • Draw on skills you have used in the past that have helped you to manage previous life’s adversities. Use those skills to help you manage your emotions during the challenging time of this outbreak.

Be sure that these skills enable you to maintain positive mental and emotional health in the long run.

  • Relieve yourself of your anxiety or loneliness by doing things you enjoy. Preoccupy yourself with your hobby, learn something new or simply take time to relax and focus on the present.
  • Set goals. Setting goals and working towards achieving them, as well as keeping your mind active, give you a sense of control and purpose in your life.

Source: World Health Organisation; Public Health England

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