Eight Little Things to Keep Mental Health on an Upward Plane

good mental health
Image credit: Max van den Oetelaar | Unsplash
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As Malaysia cautiously moves into a new phase of dealing with both the economic impacts and medical concerns of Covid-19, it seems that going back to our way of living before March 2020 is highly unlikely for at least a whole year.

Many are frustrated with the uncertainty of stable prospects, and some are still struggling with the knowledge of maintaining current quarantine-like habits for the foreseeable future.

Here are some little things to do to keep a good day going, regardless if you have resumed going out and back to the office, or if you’re still practicing working from home!

1. Stimulate your senses

When performing your morning routine, as elaborate as an entire yoga routine, or as simple as getting your cup of coffee, try spicing things up.

senses stimulation for mental
Image credit: Solstice Hannan | Unsplash

Lighting a scented candle, opening a window, or adding a dash of cinnamon to your coffee can boost your receptors quickly, giving you an instant pep as soon as you are ready to start your day.

2. Time table check-listing

Reverting to a timetable even seven-year-olds can follow can be more helpful than a vague to-do mockup. Schedule and time everything, down to the minutes you spend aimlessly browsing for a change of scenery on your screen.

timetable organisation
Image credit: Google Images

Not only will you get to manage and figure out your most productive moments, but spacing out your responsibility with intervals of rest and eating can help ease the burden of trying to stick to a work-heavy set of hours that will eventually cause burnout.

3. Make being healthy easy

Rather than try out a new rigid form of dieting, adding more fruit and veggies into your diet can be as simple as blending them up into an easy smoothie.

healthy blend
Image credit: Jake Weirick | Unsplash

With Malaysia’s hot and humid weather constantly being a discomfort, beat feeling sluggish and lethargic with a hydrating beverage that will also supply natural vitamins and nutrients any time of the day!

4. Remove small bouts of guilt

Now that we’ve collectively understood that the entire world is going through a rather terse point in history, a little forgiveness goes a long way towards oneself.

mental calm
Image credit: Dingzeyu Li | Unsplash

Instead of beating yourself up over breaking your streak of waking up early everyday, or having one really bad day out of five so-so days, understand that it is okay to not be okay all the time, and calling it a night early to move on to the next day is completely alright.

5. Give personal art a chance

Stop being that person who claims they can’t even draw stick figures! Doodling can help thinking processes flow, and your absent-minded thoughts have another place to go instead of down an anxiety loop.

good funny childlike egg
Image credit: Miki Fath | Unsplash

In your scheduled leisure time break, spend at least two minutes doodling, or play around in Paint on your computer. You can be very good at putting geometric shapes together, and remember, even a bunch of squiggly lines can look like rain!

6. Move

Kudos to those who have a whole exercise and yoga routine mapped out, but for those who need a little more motivation to get off the cushion, here are some ideas to try.

mind and body
Image credit: Scott Broome | Unsplash

Set some markers throughout the day for you to get up from a sitting or reclining position. It can be as elaborate as doing a stretching routine to get all the areas from head to toe, or as simple as your glass of water running low and you having to go to the filter to get more.

And if you’re in a position where you are on your feet all day, make sure you can get at least ten minutes of rest every other hour to save your heels and back.

7. Be a child again

Skip down a corridor. Listen to that song you loved when you were a little younger. Use a different coloured pen!

Derive joy from the littlest things in your day, and tell yourself a little nonsense fun story when you’re winding down later that night.

good ridiculous dog
Image credit: Braydon Anderson | Unsplash

Too much time as an adult is spent worrying about things outside our control, and while responsibility isn’t something to take lightly, it does help to break down things for your own understanding in your own comfort zone. No one is going to judge you pitching a business recovery plan to a stuffed toy!

8. Recentre yourself

To keep a good mood going, it is important to remember that bad things are going to happen regardless of how controlled or how ready we were to start the day.

gap in platform
Image credit: Bruno Figueiredo | Unsplash

If the problem must be dealt with then and there, remember that you are in control of what to do next. Remember that it’s okay that you can’t solve the mess, and take solace that you have performed to the best of your abilities at that given moment.

Ground yourself with your coping mechanisms, and try again.

We at ExpatGo would like to wish everyone a safe and stable going forward with the new social norms of keeping clean and appropriately distanced, as well as new working conditions and a resuming of life as we are learning to know it again.

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