Multiple lockdowns have been reinstated over the past few months, resulting in the rakyat feeling a sense of hopelessness. The current situation has caused a mental health problem. Despite how tiring this situation is, we need to ensure we remain mentally healthy! You’ve probably seen lots of social media posts, encouraging positive thoughts and happy feelings but realistically, it’s really difficult to drag yourself out of this state of mind. However, with the right steps, it certainly is possible! Here are a few tips we thought might be helpful: 1. Don’t buy into stigmas Mental health issues have always been stigmatised, especially in Southeast Asian nations like ours. It’s important that we don’t buy into these false opinions on mental wellness. If you’re feeling down and depressed, accept these emotions. Don’t fight them. It’s okay if you’re struggling, most of us are! And it’s definitely advisable to seek help if you need to. We are living in unprecedented times, so go easy on yourself and remember to always prioritise your mental well-being. 2. Exercise your worries away Okay, you probably won’t resolve your struggles by exercising but it certainly helps to brighten your outlook on life. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly feel more energetic and positive, they sleep better at night and their memory power improves too! Whilst it may be difficult to start, it is an important aspect of dealing with mental health issues. Start slow and don’t pressure yourself with a full-blown workout regiment! 3. Stop the ‘doomscrolling’! Whilst it’s important to stay updated, it can also be mentally harmful to constantly read the news. Social media is made to keep you addicted, so consciously try to avoid it. Keep tabs on the number of minutes or hours you spend on social media and try reducing this bit by bit every day. If you find yourself scrolling through social media, try to follow more positive news accounts to brighten your thoughts. 4. Declutter and create spaces The boundaries between working, sleeping, eating and relaxing have blurred since we’re always at home. This dull way of life can affect us mentally as there are no separations. So, we have to work with what we have. Declutter your work spaces and try to avoid doing too many things in one place. Carve out sections for working, eating and relaxing! 5. Stay Connected Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, the distance from friends and family can be mentally draining. Humans are used to having people around – it keeps us sane. It’s important to ensure you stay connected with friends and family during the lockdown. Social contact can help reduce feelings of depression, anxiety or sadness. While not all of these suggestions will help, some of them might! Mental health is a very tricky issue and if not dealt with properly, it could be harmful in the long run. So, please do prioritise your mental well-being and recognise when it’s time to seek help. Get in touch with ReachOut or any of our partner NGOs if you’d like to speak to someone – you are not alone!