How to mentally cope with the Circuit Breaker
How to come out of this period of isolation happy and healthy.
If you think about it, here in Singapore we are pretty darn lucky. We have a relatively small number of Coronavirus cases (compared to the rest of the world), our government has been swift, helpful and reliable in feeding us correct information and keeping us healthy and even our lockdown isn't really that bad compared to other countries around the world. But, having said that, as we enter our second week of Circuit Breaker, challenges are most definitely arising; the isolation from friends is challenging, daily tasks such as shopping and even work as fraught with logistical challenges and then there's the worry of economic impact both personally and globally.
So, with so much going on right now, how can we make sure that we stay happy and healthy? Here are a few tips:
Feel your feelings
Sorry to sound all gooey here but there's no better way to put it. Right now you just need to allow yourself to be honest with your feelings. It's easy to try and put on a brave face or laugh it off but there is so much going on around us right now we need to work through any negative feelings and, most importantly, share our feelings with others which not only allows others to be open with you, but creates a wonderful bonding affect, even though we are not physically together.
This one is super important. Since we are pretty home home bound at the moment, it's easy to feel almost overwhelmed by people staying in touch. While it's important to stay connected and checkin on loved ones, you need to create boundaries so that you can do your daily tasks such as work and childcare without constantly being interrupted. Wether this means simply not taking a few calls or sharing a schedule so people understand - do what suits you.
Boundaries are also super important when it comes to news consumption. We are being constantly bombarded by information from every outlet from news sites to social media. This constant thought over the global pandemic can be damaging for our mental health so set yourself limits. This can be from muting certain whatsapp groups, setting timers on news apps to altogether limiting phone time, it's important to ensure that you are staying informed, but with verified and purposeful facts.
Sure, nothing quite feels like a hug from your Mum who lives 20,000 miles away but at least today you can see each other through literally dozens of modems. To stay truly connected and make it purposeful, try and set up a routine such as having your morning coffee together, the 7pm glass of wine over zoom or even a workout - it's all about creating memories and staying bonded.
Be alone you ask? How is this even possible when you live with others? Well, it is and its important right now. Go for a walk, (with your mask on) take a long bath or even just spend 15 minutes extra in bed in the morning or evening collecting your thoughts - it's important to carve time out right now for yourself.
Set A Structure
It's so easy to let the days go into nights and visa versa but you need to have a structure like you would in any other time. Keep your routine as it has always been as much as possible so get up at the same time, shower, get dressed. Try and lunch away from your desk and log off at your normal time. Your home doesn't need to become your office or your battle ground so set a work space away from where you relax to ensure you can switch off at the end of the day.
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