Lockdown doesn’t bode well for one’s mental health, especially with those who already struggled to keep it in check even before Malaysia’s various MCOs started. Let’s not even begin talking about how we’re feeling demotivated to maintain self-care. But this demotivation can lead to hopelessness, so we’ve gathered for you a list of things you can do at home to stay healthy in the mind, body, and soul. And feel empowered throughout.
1. Paint your emotions away
This is the perfect time to pick up new hobbies; make painting one of them. In times like these, our social are practically non-existent, lessening the opportunities for us to rant, vent, or share with close friends. Artwork such as painting or sketching is the way around it. Channel all your emotions, be it good or bad, into your creations. The best kind of art is when it comes from within. Trust me, I’ve tried it myself and it’s what I most look forward to everyday!
2. Blast music in your home
Fill your home with inspiring and empowering songs. Create a whole playlist of songs that’ll elevate your mood and make you feel strong. If you need a change of environment, get in your car and jam to your favourite tunes instead. Get your family in on it too (if and when you can) and cruise around while on a carpool karaoke.
Just remember not to include any sad songs! Instead, stick to sure-fire hits. If you really want to come out of a funk, you’ want to be belting out Beyoncé’s greatest song lyric, “Who run the world? Girls!” We also have some songs suggestions you can tune out to.
3. Write your favourite quotes or own mantra
No one does a better job of convincing you than yourself. Use this to your advantage by listing out your favourite quotes to keep you feeling positive. Then, to ensure that they resonate with you, have them all written down in the most creative way and display them around the house.
For instance, stick quotes on a mirror you look into every day or maybe on your refrigerator. Every time you make visits to the kitchen or look at yourself, say the mantra or quote aloud, so you’ll instantly be reminded of and agreeing with. Even a line as simple as, “I am beautiful,” will do. Self-praise isn’t bad; especially for the purpose of uplifting yourself.
4. Watch awe-inspiring movies
There’s no better way spend your weekend than by binge-watching some good movies that’ll satiate your wanderlust. Watching notable actresses will automatically make us want to become like them too – successful and inspirational.
But when we’re able to find a connection between their movies and our real life, that’s even better! These feminist films and documentaries are sure to make you feel proud of who you are. Get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or some popcorn at the ready, then you’re good to go.
5. Create a photo album
Going down memory lane will remind you of your happy times and how far you’ve come. It’ll contribute to your self-worth and confidence. So, it is not wrong to reminisce. This is another outlet of self-expression, so be creative with how you arrange your photos. You can even insert some ephemera, little drawings, artwork to make it more appealing. Just bear in mind to stay within the lines of good memories. You don’t want to revisit bad ones; especially those that’ll affect your wellbeing.
6. Social media detox
In the process of focusing on yourself, it’s advisable that you remove yourself from an environment with negative energy, toxicity, and distractions. Such as social media. Perhaps it’s just for the weekend or as long as a month – it’s entirely up to you.
A lot of the time, social media gives off false perceptions of a person’s world – and that can either be very good or very bad for your self-development. It is not wrong to take a break from all this and return as the best version of yourself with stronger willpower and the understanding that social media is a highlight reel, not an accurate depiction of someone’s life.
Although sometimes uplifting, social media’s also a place full of toxic people. Cut out and remove these people who cause you to feel undervalued. Even if you don’t get off the socials for a period of time, you can also declutter your social media friends to achieve absolute peace of mind. Or look for empowering accounts to follow instead.
7. Give yourself a new look
If there ever was the perfect time to experiment with your beauty regimen, now is it! Try out new looks that you never thought you could or would. Dye your hair with daring colours, paint your nails in neon, experiment with a new skincare routine and be consistent, change your wardrobe – just get out of your comfort zone! You’ll be surprised at how much this can do to your self-esteem. Make the best comeback once you’re ready to present the new you to the world.
8. Don’t forget to give your home a new look too
The fount of all your zen energy is your beloved home. Thus the importance of its appearance and the feeling its environment will give you. Redecorate your home with new furniture, lovely trinkets, fresh flowers, stunning paintings, paint your walls with mood-lifting colours, or perhaps even get some pet fish. Just make it livelier and a reflection of your happiest self.
9. Start gardening
If you have an empty or unadorned backyard or lawn, why not grow some plants? Not only will this occupy your free time, but it’s also a good practice for commitment. Once you start get into it, your plants will end up becoming your babies. And as you care for them, they’ll grow and bloom into beautiful adult plants that’ll then become a source of happiness and pride.
10. Put pen to paper
Physically write down your to-do list for when the lockdown is over. It’ll crystallise all your dreams and plans. Everyone talks about their dream places to go to, but a lot of the time, their bucket list is not in an actual list. Properly outline these travel plans, goals, and dream of yours. Set a target by when you envision to have it all achieved and keep this as your motivation to progress.
11. Engage in charitable works
While you’re empowering yourself, you should also empower and help others. Help other women in need, be it financially or mentally. You can even donate some of your old clothes or give financial and mental support to single mothers out there or young women who’ll benefit from your generosity. This tiny hope you inject into their lives will take some load off of their shoulders – and that’s a wonderful achievement.
12. Become a therapist to your friends
Of course, only do this if you feel you have the mental and emotional capacity to do so. Spare some time to check in on your circle of friends and make sure everyone is doing alright. Arrange calls every now and then to chat with friends or relatives and have some girl talk.
Include a lot of giving advices (should it be warranted), validating, and motivating each other in your girl chats. Or perhaps even share the tips you learned in this feature. The aim is to strengthen your support system and to not lose contact.
Leia is neither a princess nor a fan of Star Wars (which she hopes isn’t a deal breaker). Besides her consuming passion for writing and travelling, humanitarian works have always interested her. Standing true to her life motto “To give is to receive”, Leia believes true happiness is gained when it is shared. She dreams to retire in a cottage at the foothills of the Swiss mountains with her mother and become a florist.
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