The outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted so many of us psychologically as individuals. Given the stream of pessimistic news about the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country and globally, we can feel perturbed. During these times, anxiety is an expected reaction since COVID-19 has reversed our lives, routines and more severely, has menaced our sense of safety. Furthermore, the issue of confinement order being extended has certainly caused more uncertainty for the future.

All schools, colleges and universities across Mauritius are temporarily closed until further notice. Of note, student learning is undergoing major disruptions in lecture delivery, assessments, examinations and even graduation. Consequently, all these may create concerns for students. Moreover, higher education institutions have migrated face-to-face classes to virtual classrooms.

A lot of new students can feel distressed since they are new to the academic system. Institutions are being slightly lenient with regards to assignment extensions if students are facing some difficulties. Libraries are in the form of e-libraries where students can access ebooks and databases like Emerald and Ebscohost. Classes are running virtually to assist all students and tutors are availing themselves more than the usual, so that students feel well surrounded and guided.

Some of you, as parents, are now dealing with the new normality of having to work from home, looking after your families and studying.  Trying to reduce work-family-study conflict can feel overwhelming.

Here are 5 pertinent hacks to turning anxiety into positive mental health habits and enhance your psychological resilience.

Practice mindfulness

Taking time for yourself could be hard especially, with children at home all the time. You naturally want to cater and hover around them. Nevertheless, it is equally important to focus on and develop healthy thinking. Try useful apps like Calm, Happify and MindShift (yes, they all offer free features!) to help yourself get into the therapy and process your feelings into positive ones.

Communicate with dear ones, friends and colleagues

Technology is an enabler rather than a disruptor here. We can easily connect with our families, friends and teammates even under the social distancing norm. Share your assumptions and thoughts about the situation, seek comfort from your dear ones if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Manage your time on social media

Social media can be very distracting during quarantine. There is an abundance of news flooding on social media pages, which can absorb our minds. Hence it is vital to manage the time spent on social media. Restrict your use of social media to connect with family and friends. For news, go to trusted sources like World Health Organisation (WHO), reputed local e-news platforms and official press conferences to obtain reliable information. You may also visit our coronavirus update page (updated daily) for more info on the situation and how to protect you and your family. Indeed, filtering your news consumption will help you have a positive mindset.

Indulge in activities that you would not have time for otherwise

With the fast-paced life, we rarely have time to do the things that we personally like to; for instance, deep clean the house, spending enough time with parents and grandparents, taking care of the plants, binge watching that favourite show amongst others. Doing things that interest you have a direct impact on your mental wellbeing. Use the confinement time to do a maximum of activities at home that could bring you peace and good energy.

Stick to achieving your goals

Follow your daily schedule pertaining to work or studies, do not accumulate a load of work. Completing all tasks on your to-do list could give you a sense of satisfaction or fulfilment, hence boosting your mental state.

BetterHelp has prepared an advice page on what you should know about the coronavirus, which can be accessed here.

To conclude, your mental health needs to be a priority during these times. It is evident that Covid-19 will not be permanent; it will surely exhaust itself at some point. In the meantime, try out the above-mentioned hacks to lift yourself out of heavy thoughts during the confinement.

Stay informed, stay in touch and, most importantly, stay safe!