Practising good mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic

mental wellbeing

Healix International’s Dr Adrian Hyzler offers up some informed advice

With all the travel disruptions, changes to normality and worrying headlines, it is entirely normal to have feelings of anxiousness and confusion, but it’s important to make efforts to remain centred and practise positive mental wellness. 

As such, we’re glad to be able to share some advice from Healix International’s Chief Medical Officer, who has put together a list of things that employees can do to tend to their mental wellness while navigating this new situation.

Dr Hyzler recommends the follow to help reduce anxiety:

  • Maintain a routine: Maintaining a regular routine will mimic the structure that was previously provided by work (or ‘normal’) life. This will go a long way in helping individuals to feel productive. Part of that routine should include showering and getting dressed.
  • Eat regular, healthy meals: Dr Hyzler insists that eating well will help maintain physical and mental wellbeing, especially making meals from fresh, local ingredients.
  • Exercise: A fitness routine will serve as a distraction and help to boost your endorphins, says Dr Hyzler. ITIJ also recommends getting online and joining some of the group exercise classes happening there! Thank goodness for the 21st Century!
  • Stay entertained: Reading books, writing in a journal, listening to music.
  • Engage with others: Use video conferencing (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom) to stay connected with friends and family as well as work colleagues. Dr Hyzler adds that in times like these, a phone call is better than a text.
  • Shut it down: Individuals should switch off social media for a few hours a day so that they are not constantly bombarded with terrible stories, haunting imagery and incessant memes. Dr Hyzler also recommends a ‘digital detox’ such as deleting social media apps from mobile phones.
  • Know your sources: ITIJ also puts great emphasis on this advice from Dr Hyzler. It’s important to choose a few, select trustworthy media sources and avoid reading fake news, opinion pieces and viral threads. It’s also important for people to be careful with what they share on social media and how this might impact others.
  • Break the 24/7 news cycle: It’s advisable to set aside a short period each day to check news stories and let that be it.
  • Explore: While practising social distancing (staying six feet apart at minimum) it’s worthwhile noting that society is still there, and it’s good to go out and take a walk in the local park if possible. And while ITIJ notes that this piece of advice may only apply to certain locations and may change as events develop, regardless, the importance of fresh air and vitamin D cannot be underestimated!
  • Have some fun: Scrabble, Monopoly or other traditional games that can now be played online in order to get a sense of community.
  • Get enriched: It might be a good time for people to learn a new language or skill or enrole in an online course.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: There is access to mental health professionals via helplines that are open 24 hours a day.
  • Be kind: It’s important to check up on vulnerable neighbours and offer assistance if possible such as help with shopping for food and medications.
  • Try and find some meaning: Dr Hyzler states that though it may seem impossible at times, it’s important that people try and learn from this experience.

Some great advice from Dr Hyzler. We hope that everyone is keeping calm and allowing themselves some positive head space during this unaccustomed time. And here at ITIJ, we’ll be sure to continue bringing helpful advice and positive tips as we go along. Even while being physically apart, we’re in this together!