give yourself a mental health boost.

Self-isolation is now in full swing and people are finding their rhythm despite the constraints of the lockdown. Being confined to your house the entire day can have a negative impact on your mental health, if you do not make the most of your time. In addition, losing social connections can also make people feel lonelier.

However, self-isolation and the extra time that comes along with it, can be used to your advantage. We’ll cover how you should be using the ‘extra’ time on your hands, to maintain and enhance your happiness levels.

First, remember four things:

  • Social connections are important, however social distancing is important as well. Keep your friends and family close by catching up frequently. Group video chats have become a new-found favorite. Hang out with your parents, siblings and loved ones at home and do fun activities together. It is important to regularly speak to friends and colleagues, to talk, catch up and vent when needed.
  • Blessings become much easier to count. The ample amount of time on our hands now, can make some feel a bit low if they have nothing to do, and others can use this time to really reflect. We recommend the latter. Think about what you usually take for granted, that has become a luxury now. What were your priorities and how have they shifted? When you used to say you didn’t have time to do this or that, what can you do with your time now? Now is the time to pivot and reflect on matters that really mean a lot to you. Then start investing time in them.
  • This phase is temporary. Self-isolation is vital for society due to the potential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, being alone and not having your daily routine, can get overwhelming. Remind yourself that this phase is temporary. Use it to enhance your quality of life, in every way possible.
  • Take breaks from the news, social media and chats. At this point, most of us have become experts on COVID-19, its symptoms and its impact on the world economy. Over consuming news and negative information may further dampen your mood and make you feel that the world is in a state of chaos. This will have a negative impact on your mindset, which will hinder your growth in all aspects.  Try instead, to tune into things that stimulate your mind and make you feel happier. There are many pieces of ‘good news’ and stories that revolve around human kindness. Read those instead.

With that in mind, there are many activities that you can do, alone or with your siblings / loved ones, that can stimulate your mind and increase happiness levels. Here are ideas to keep you busy during the lockdown:

  • Meditate: Meditation can do wonders for your mental health. However, it can be difficult to stay focused and clear your mind when meditating. There are numerous Apps that provide guided meditations, such as Headspace and Insight Timer. Go at your own pace and explore what works best for you.
  • Declutter: Is your room, house, kitchen etc. too cluttered? Have you piled up items and clothes over the years? Now is the time to clear your space and declutter. Start with your closets, remove items of clothing you do not need, and donate them to charity. Are there items in your room that you no longer use? Start throwing out what you don’t need. Studies have shown that decluttering and organizing spaces can actually reduce anxiety, reduce tension and can be energizing.
  • Read: Reading can not only stimulate your mind, but you can also learn a lot from books. Set a reading challenge and try to get through as many books as possible. You can download books from the web (seeing that bookstores are closed) and keep track using the Goodreads App. Or look at your bookshelf and get started on the books you either haven’t read, or want to reread. Finishing a book is always a gratifying experience that can make you feel like you have accomplished something.
  • Keep / get fit: Working on getting your body healthy, shouldn’t just be for aesthetic purposes. Find the fitness regimen that works for you that can be done at home. There are numerous apps that provide guided workouts and routines that you can follow. A lot of sports influencers are also giving free lessons online. Tune in and find your flow. Exercising releases endorphins, reduces tension and anxiety and boosts physical and mental energy.
  • Learn something new: Is there a new skill that you have always wanted to pick up? Or a course that could help you improve in your professional life? Now is the time to register and get started. There are thousands of free courses online, offered by leading universities. Google Digital Garage is also tailoring digital courses that you can take for free online. By stimulating your mind and challenging yourself, you are contributing to keeping your mind healthy and focused on specific tasks.

From not having enough time, to having an abundance of time… Use it to your advantage. Just imagine how much society will have changed if we all used our time more wisely. Manage your mental health by keeping busy, nourishing your mind and engaging in enriching discussions.

Stay safe and healthy!

Self-isolation is now in full swing and people are finding their rhythm despite the constraints of the lockdown. There are many activities that you can do with all this extra time, to give yourself...
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