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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Quick Guide to Mental Health Care Post Pandemic


When it comes to the topic of mental health, I have learned to embrace it. It's no longer a taboo topic. I have never been clinically diagnosed with any mental illness. However, I have had my fair share of struggles dealing with a miscarriage and self-diagnosed post-partum depression.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent movement control orders or lockdowns threw a monkey wrench into my business and career plan. I did my very best to adapt throughout the past two years in both my career and family life.

Appointments that were usually done face to face are moved to screen-to-screen. The kids used to spend 7-9 hours at school and daycare. We used to enjoy family dinner at kopitiams. We used to spend the weekends "hiding" at shopping malls with the kids. We used to travel back to hometown as and when we fancied. I used to cinema-hop and cafe-hop with my sister.

Having said that, after almost two years, the new normal routine seemed to have finally fallen into place or rather I should say, we have gotten used to staying safe at home.

And now, it might be time to go back to "normal".

To be very honest, I'm not a fan of dealing with changes after changes despite the irony that change is the only constant in life.

Then again, with a history of struggling with anxiety in overwhelming situations, I have put into practice eight basic and practical ways to look after my mental health post pandemic, should there be unforeseen changes, again.

P.S.: Based on "How to look after your mental health" published by Mental Health Foundation UK.

1. Talk, Talk, Talk

Talking about feelings isn't a sign of weakness. This is indeed my favorite practice: talking. Just being listened to can help us feel supported and less alone. It works both ways; if we open up, it encourages others to do the same.

I personally think that blogging or online journaling are helpful too. We could "talk" by penning our thoughts and let others, including strangers "listen" to our feelings. Then again, one must be open to feedback. We can't please everybody.

2. Move It, Move It!

It's a no-brainer that exercise is known to release chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. Regular exercise can boost our self-esteem and help us focus, sleep, look and feel better.

3. Eat Well

Nutritionists say, eat three meals a day from a variety of healthy ingredients. Stay hydrated. Limit intake of caffeinated and sugary drinks. Avoid too much alcohol.

4. Make Friends

Make time to catch up with friends by giving them a call, dropping them a note or chatting online. Bottom line is, keep the lines of communication open! Yes, remember point 1, talk, talk, talk? Just bear in mind that if someone starts to spiral and talks negatively, we could either stop the chat for our own sanity, fair?

5. Do Something You Like

Think about something you like to do or activities that you could lose yourself in. Doing something we like helps to beat stress and boost self-esteem. For me, I set aside 2-3 hours every night watching my favorite shows on Netflix with my husband after we put the kids to sleep.

6. Take A Break

This is related to point 5, do something you like. I'm a big fan of 'me time' and take a break whenever I need it. Also, if you're really tired, go to sleep. Quality sleep boosts mental health and focus.

7. Ask for Help

We are all human after all. We get tired or overwhelmed when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you can't cope, ask for help. If you think your family and friends can't help you, try other means, for e.g. Befrienders, Talian Kasih 15999 (for children and teens), among others.

8. Accept Who You Are

Being happy with who you are means you enjoy living in the moment. Recognize and accept what you are not good at, but focus on what you do well in. Amen to this!

This blog post is written in conjunction with World Mental Health Day 2021.

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