Becoming a Quarantine Champion


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Admit it. Day 49 of the Movement Control Order (MCO) has gotten you extremely restless. You have done what you can and you are starting to feel sick of being at home. You are hoping that this will be over. You wish this would be over. You miss sunlight, you miss your friends, and you are even starting to miss school and the homework teachers gave.

As a young person, it might feel daunting to be experiencing this alone. With school postponed and learning restricted to Google Classrooms, WhatsApp messages and laggy internet signals, it feels frustrating and discouraging. Many of us might already be struggling with anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. In the midst of so many uncertainties, it is difficult to know what to do for what's left in our days of isolation.

Yet, the truth of the matter is, we can do something.

The most powerful thing we can do right now as youths is to ensure we are doing all right. Our mental health is crucial, especially in this difficult time. The world may change for the better or worse, but if we neglect our own wellbeing, we will struggle to see the good in whatever situation we are in.

Here are some ways of practicing self care while emerging as a champion during this challenging time.

  #1 Create A Routine 


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It is easy to laze around and rot away in your room. To jumpstart a new way of life, create a daily routine. Organising your day into time blocks helps you to manage your time more efficiently. It gets you motivated and productive throughout the day.

Whether it is as simple as watching 2 episodes of Crash Landing on You after lunch, playing a few rounds of DOTA 2 with the gang at 10am, or even cooking spaghetti carbonara with your family members for dinner, make a plan for it and execute it well.

Be specific in planning and ensure you have set out to do what is necessary. This structure will help give some fun in your isolation life.
 
#2 Explore and Learn 


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There are loads to do online that can be fun and rewarding! Explore the different capabilities of the online world and have fun with it. Identify what you miss the most and search for virtual alternatives to try. Whether you are an introvert who likes to look at life as it passes by, or an energetic extrovert who needs to do something fun, there is something online for all of us.

If you like to watch musicals, go on YouTube and catch the weekly broadcast of several shows online. You can even visit a museum or explore an online exhibition virtually with a few friends. Besides that, if you prefer to learn something new, try signing up for a free online tutorial class.

Likewise, if you need something high impact and fun, host a Netflix watch party or watch silly parody videos with your friends virtually. It can lighten up the mood and help you ease your boredom.   

Although it is not the most ideal of situations, we have to work with what we have. Remember, a fun activity a day keeps the negative emotions away.

#3 Spend Time With Family


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There are people in your life who love you and cherish you very much. Your family members are also struggling through this ordeal. It might be awkward at first, but do remember that this might be the only possible moment to fully spend time with everyone. To make things simpler, you can organise activities to better connect with them. For example,
 

  • Be more involved in doing house chores together
  • Play board games with each other
  • Get your parents to share their stories and have a good laugh
  • Share your stories with your parents and get their insights
  • Play pictionary or charades and see who's good at it
  • Do some exercises through workout videos with the family
  • Teach your younger siblings how to play a game or help them with their studies
  • Teach your parents how to use their gadgets / devices
  • Plan movie or TV show nights together
 

The important takeaway from this is spending quality time. The activity can vary but the presence and effort to invest in them will greatly improve your relationship with your family.

#4 Disconnect

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If you feel too overwhelmed or just need a break from the online world, just disconnect yourself. Since the quarantined order started, we suddenly find ourselves scrolling through our social media accounts and other streaming services for long periods of time. It affects us more than we are willing to admit and sometimes, it can be rather overwhelming to be bombarded with so much information.  
 

Find constructive hobbies to occupy your mind positively. Pick up a comforting hobby such as drawing or even journaling. Do some online exercise videos like HIIT or Tabata.

Balancing your time online and offline is vital as one can use it as a form of escapism. Just remember to look away from the screen once in awhile and live life. 

#5 Practice Emotional First Aid 


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Be compassionate to yourself in this chaotic situation. Your mind can be a scary place and you might be replaying negative messages to yourself day and night. Whether it is remembering a bad experience or having thoughts that destroy your self-esteem, it is time to break that cycle.
 

  1. Act immediately when you recognize the symptoms (Eg. When you feel negative, depressive thoughts).
  2. Change your responses towards this negative mind set
  3. Distract yourself with a positive activity
  4. Treat yourself like how a good friend will treat you
  5. Talk to someone about it

Reach out for help if you need to. Talk to someone who will hear you out and understand your situation. In contrast, be the friend who helps out as well. Connect with your friends who are feeling this way. Send them a WhatsApp message, do a video call to check up on them, even organise a game day to get everyone’s spirit up, example like Sketchful.

When you start to build others, you start developing yourself to be a better companion throughout the journey.

 
Being Safe in Your Home

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ― Mother Teresa
 

By embracing good well-being measures, we are able to see a tremendous change within.

We do not necessarily have to save the world by doing big things. Sometimes, caring for yourself is the best way to show love to others around you and to our nation.

Let’s start by being a quarantine champion and change our world for the better.


Dennis Tan
Youth Services
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