Everywhere you go, every way you look, everything you hear; it is always pandemic this, pandemic that.
Your mobile goes off, a forwarded text message from your mum about the latest conspiracy theory surrounding the coronavirus. You turn on the telly, and what do you see? The news reporting on a new COVID-19 cluster near the place where you live. Even a supposedly relaxing chinwag with your friends on Zoom becomes a platform for a heated debate surrounding the merits of wearing a face mask.
The problem begins when you are left alone with your thoughts. All that pent-up anxiety and frustrations bursting at the seams require only a mere catalyst to go off. Prolonged self-isolation, the fear of infection, unforeseen changes in employment status, and the lack of physical contact are enough to drive the sanest person mental.
Despite the arrival of the new normal era, our minds will never be truly at ease until a vaccine or a cure is produced – especially when the risk of transmission is still there. The World Health Organization (WHO) have emphasised the need to keep our mental health in check during these trying times, which is easier said than done.
In essence, a delicate balancing act between physical and mental well-being is crucial now more than ever for our own sake and others. But what can we do to curtail these negative thoughts and keep our mind off the pandemic? For starters, here are a few ways to do so:
Limit your news intake
There is no shortage of doom and gloom on TV and across the Internet. Even a quick peek of your social media can leave you feeling downhearted. Keeping up to date is important, but curb your attention towards them and focus on the good news instead.
Maintain a journal of the things in life that you are most grateful of and show your appreciation to the people you love. You are not alone and there are others worse off. It is good to be alive and you know it.
Get plenty of rest
Get a nap, be idle for a bit, listen to music that soothes the heart and soul, and just relax. A sound mind needs a sound sleep.
Reconnect with nature
Now that we can go out and about – as long as we follow health and safety guidelines – take a trip to the nearest natural environment on your own and bask in the splendour of Mother Nature. You will feel so much better for it.
Draw up your bucket list
Normality will resume at some point and with life still having lots to offer, why not start drafting your bucket list? You have so much to look forward to.
Have a daily routine
Wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat a hearty breakfast, and so on. Maintain this routine consistently to keep thoughts about the pandemic at bay.
Play lots of video games
Video games were invented exactly for situations like this.
Photo: Simon Rae