Covid-19: Three steps to take care of psychological well being

The current enjoyable of the motion management order (MCO) shall be welcomed by many.

We all know staying residence helps save lives, however it may be troublesome to spend so lengthy in a single place.

Nevertheless, the adjustments to the MCO are unlikely to resolve all our issues.

We should still be involved about our earnings or the well being of our family members.

It’s regular to be fearful given the uncertainty and the drastic adjustments we’ve skilled in such a brief time period.

A few of us might have discovered the quiet life below the MCO simpler and be fearful about what comes subsequent.

So, what can we do to enhance our well-being throughout this pandemic?

Listed below are three steps, backed by psychological science, that you would be able to take proper now:

1. Give attention to what you possibly can management

When you’re worrying about an issue, ask your self: “Is there something I can do about this proper now?”

If the reply is “Sure”, that’s nice – go forward and remedy the issue, and also you’ll really feel lots higher.

Nevertheless, Covid-19 has created a variety of issues that we can not remedy.

No person can reply questions like “When will we have now a vaccine?”, “When can we journey?” or “When will life return to regular?”.

Worrying about issues like these simply makes us really feel dangerous.

It’s higher to concentrate on issues we are able to management, e.g. “Which buddy or member of the family can I video name?” or “What can I study at this time?”.

Shifting our consideration from worries to issues we are able to management is troublesome, however the extra we apply, the higher we get.

We are able to additionally develop this attention-shifting ability with workouts*.

2. Acknowledge feelings, however don’t give in to them

Throughout this pandemic, it’s utterly regular to really feel feelings similar to concern, frustration, anger, loneliness, disappointment, boredom, and even pleasure and happiness.

Nevertheless, feelings can turn into an issue if we allow them to push us round.

For instance, feeling unhappy makes us wish to do much less, however the much less we do, the sadder we really feel.

Concern makes us keep away from attempting new issues, however the extra we keep away from, the extra afraid we turn into.

Frustration causes us to search out fault in others, however the extra faults we see, the extra pissed off we turn into.

We shouldn’t simply do no matter our feelings inform us.

It’s tempting to assume that it could be higher to not have feelings, however we don’t have the power to modify our emotions on and off.

If we attempt to ignore our feelings, it normally makes us really feel worse.

The extra we push our ideas and emotions away, the extra these ideas and emotions will come again.

Even when we might flip off our feelings, it wouldn’t be a good suggestion.

Each emotion is helpful; concern retains us secure, anger fights for equity, disappointment helps us study from our experiences, and so forth.

So we shouldn’t ignore our feelings, however neither ought to we do precisely what they need.

We should always deal with our feelings like over-eager associates.

They might have one thing helpful to inform us, however even when they’re very insistent, we should always take a step again and determine find out how to act based mostly on our personal values and what’s necessary to us.

Appearing in keeping with your values, relatively than following your feelings isn’t straightforward, however you’ve most likely already managed it.

Have you ever ever spoken in public regardless of being afraid?

Have you ever ever felt drained and demotivated, and nonetheless made it to the health club?

Have you ever wished to shout angrily at your boss, however managed to maintain issues skilled?

So, how are you going to enhance in your capability to take acceptable motion, even when your feelings are telling you to do the other?

First, you have to discover what you’re considering or feeling.

The sooner you discover your ideas and feelings, the simpler it’s to withstand being caught up in them.

Practising the attention-training workouts described earlier can enhance your consciousness of your ideas and feelings.

The primary signal of an emotion may be bodily. Maybe you’ll discover your coronary heart racing, the muscle mass in your shoulders tensing and/or that sinking feeling in your abdomen.

Attempt to label the emotion, “Ah, right here comes concern”.

You might turn into conscious of ideas similar to “I gained’t be capable of cope” or “I’ll fail”.

Attempt to get just a little distance from these ideas by noting to your self that “I’m having the thought that I gained’t be capable of cope”.

This reminds us that what we’re considering is a thought, not essentially the reality.

Be curious concerning the ideas and feelings you feel.

Why would possibly you be feeling this manner? What is that this emotion telling you?

Ask your self what would occur should you let this emotion dictate what you do.

Wouldn’t it take you in the direction of or away from the life that you really want?

Taking this method gained’t essentially make you are feeling higher instantly.

It simply provides you the house to make a greater choice about what to do.

You would possibly nonetheless have robust ideas and emotions as you are taking motion.

However should you’re capable of do extra of what’s necessary to you, then you might be more likely to really feel extra glad and fulfilled by life.

3. Do one thing necessary to you

Think about that the Covid-19 pandemic is over and also you’re trying again at the way you responded. What would you want to have the ability to say?

There’s no right reply to this query as a result of it is determined by what you worth.

Your pals’ response may be utterly totally different from yours.

Listed under are just a few methods of being which might be necessary to some folks. Do any attraction to you?


Specific your self! Dance, draw, paint, write, craft or do your regular duties in a brand new approach.

It doesn’t matter how good your efforts are, it’s the method that issues.


Increase your information with the assistance of books, audiobooks, on-line programs, documentaries and podcasts.

Most individuals gained’t have the time, however there’s even the choice to check free programs from universities similar to Harvard, MIT and Oxford at

Mastering abilities

Train your self to cook dinner, bake, juggle, communicate a brand new language or play a musical instrument.

Or should you don’t have free time for a brand new ability, enhance your present ones.


Deepen your relationship with God.


We might not be capable of discover exterior, however there’s lots we are able to uncover through family and friends or by means of the web.

Join with others

The MCO makes bodily assembly folks troublesome, however we are able to nonetheless attain out to family and friends by telephone or video name.

We might even attempt to meet new folks through on-line video video games.

Well being

It’s tougher to maintain slot in your personal residence, however there are YouTubers on the market who’ll discuss you thru it.

With the partial lifting on the MCO, we could possibly get again to the extra conventional technique of retaining match like jogging or enjoying badminton.

Serving to others

You don’t must be a frontline medical skilled to make a optimistic distinction to somebody’s life.

When you get pleasure from serving to others, are you able to consider something you are able to do for another person?

When you attempt to comply with your values, do keep in mind to deal with your self kindly.

It’s finest to not examine how a lot you do with others, as a few of us have extra time and assets accessible to us.

Don’t simply make a listing of duties.

It doesn’t matter how a lot you obtain; it’s about doing one thing that’s necessary to you every time you possibly can.

Doing issues which might be necessary to you gained’t instantly make you are feeling higher.

Nevertheless, if we are able to do issues which might be necessary to us, then over time, we’ll really feel extra glad and fulfilled by life.

When you can apply this method throughout a pandemic, you’ll be properly set for what life brings subsequent.

Dr Daniel Seal is a British scientific psychologist with a non-public apply in Kuala Lumpur. He additionally teaches and supervises clinicians on the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. For extra data, e-mail The data supplied is for instructional functions solely and shouldn’t be thought-about as medical recommendation. The Star doesn’t give any guarantee on accuracy, completeness, performance, usefulness or different assurances as to the content material showing on this column. The Star disclaims all duty for any losses, harm to property or private damage suffered instantly or not directly from reliance on such data.

*Coaching your consideration

One train you possibly can use to coach your consideration includes listening to music.

Play any tune and attempt to focus your consideration completely on the music:

  • What sounds are you able to hear?
  • Are you able to tune your thoughts into the sound from one specific instrument?
  • Are you able to shift your consideration between totally different devices?
  • How do the sounds merge collectively?

As you attempt to concentrate on the music, your thoughts will drift. You might start to consider work or another random thought.

That is regular – our minds frequently bounce between totally different ideas.

Don’t get pissed off at your thoughts for being so busy; it’s helpful for creativity and problem-solving.

As a substitute, simply discover that your thoughts has drifted and gently direct it again to the music.

You would possibly must redirect your thoughts each few seconds.

That is fantastic because the intention isn’t to take care of a zen-like concentrate on the music; the intention is to apply redirecting your thoughts when vital.

In case your thoughts drifts, it’s simply one other alternative to apply shifting your consideration.

You may apply this at any time, and should you don’t have music, you possibly can simply hearken to the sounds in your setting.

It may be fairly tiring, however only a few minutes every day will enhance your capability to shift your consideration.

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