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Stay home, stay happy

With the new restrictions in place to fight the pandemic, let's help each other stay in a positive mindset.

By Nisthula Nagarajan

Published: Fri 29 Jan 2021, 3:32 PM

Things were just getting back to normal when the cases in Dubai spiked up, causing a change in social distancing laws. It's become difficult to meet our loved ones, especially those we are cautious not to infect. The stress associated with this can have an effect on us.

One aspect of this might be the possibility of being stuck at home all day. Being alone all day every day can take a huge toll on our mental health. I experienced it as well last year. If you live alone, you have no one to interact with, and if you don't, seeing the same people every day gets tiring. With no one to speak to and nothing to do, the body gets lethargic, and when we aren't challenged, our mental and physical health take a hit. It's important to keep our spirits up and push away any anxiety or stress to keep ourselves fighting fit.

Unless you invest some time in yourself, your work, relationships, and productivity will suffer.

Read on for some activities and lifestyle routines you can adopt to ensure a positive atmosphere.

Keep connected

Even if you live alone, ensure that you keep in touch with friends and family. Call your loved ones to vent, chit-chat, give and get updates on each other's lives. Even one conversation can change your mood. Organise weekly video conference calls with different groups of people. Host online game nights or a cooking party - decide on a date and a dish with a group and attempt your own virtual MasterChef through video calls. There's a lot of scope for this one.

Reduce social media

While you stay connected to the important people in your life, get rid of the unnecessary. It's no secret that social media is detrimental to mental health; you could end up sitting on the couch for hours on end, scrolling. Seeing photos, comparing yourself and your life to a random 'influencer' living in a mansion in California, is a completely wasteful act.

Try to follow people you know and celebrities you admire, rather than random people that seem famous. Set a time limit on your smartphone for the amount of time you spend per app, especially Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Become a short-term pawrent

If you can't commit to adopting, foster a dog or a cat. Caring for a pet brings an immense amount of benefits. I always feel a boost of serotonin when a cat chooses to sit on my lap. And the happiness on a puppy's face when they get a tiny bit of attention is enough to make even the most cynical smile from ear to ear.

Moreover, a pet forces you to get out of bed on time to feed them, along with a daily workout when you walk a dog!

Develop a green thumb

If animals aren't your thing, purchase a few plants and spread them out around your house. The presence of plants in your house is scientifically proven to improve mood.

The greenery is a vibrant addition to your home and balcony. Science also says that talking, petting and singing to your plants help them stay fresh and green. Just don't end up replacing your friends with plants.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is the time your body and brain recharge. If you don't get the right amount, it can affect your whole day. It's important to sleep around the same time every night. Use your smartphone to set a reminder for bedtime. If you have trouble sleeping use apps which provide audiobooks and guided meditations for this very purpose. Of course, on some nights it becomes inevitably late, maybe with a work deadline or a friend's party. To fix this, no matter what time you sleep, try to wake up at the same time. Even if you feel tired the whole day, try not to take a nap of more than 30 minutes and hit the hay early to compensate for lost sleep.

At-home fitness

Regular moderate exercise is good for your immune system. The endorphins that are released while working out push you forward as well. Get on a yoga mat and do some full-body daily stretches. YouTube has a tonne of fitness gurus that you can follow. I really enjoy dance workouts as that gives an element of fun to the workout while I work up a sweat. Involve everyone you live with to make it a fun and eventful time. You can also go out for a run or a bike ride, get some fresh air and Vitamin D.

Join online classes

Get the creative side of your brain working and explore your hobbies and interests a little. Last year, I joined a weekly online musical theatre class all the way from London and I had a ball! I interacted with people who were a seven-hour flight away, creatively collaborated with them and discovered a new passion.

Forming new friendships can definitely give you a mental boost. Search online and find out what online classes are happening around the world and boost your serotonin while developing a few extra-curriculars from the comfort of your home.

Place motivational décor

Why not decorate the place you spend most of your time in with mantras to keep you going throughout the day? Whether it's at your office or home, put up some inspiring posters and motivational mantras. They help your mind enter a meditative state to become more present.

Mantras can help deal with stress, anxiety, and calmness. It helps me realise that I am on a train of negative thoughts. It's like the sun on a rainy day.

"The past year has been so challenging for everyone. For me, I train daily to keep me both physically and mentally strong. If I have had a bad day, nothing lifts my mood like a power hour in the gym with my music blasting. I also love taking my dogs a long walk along the beach followed by a relaxing bubble bath with a good book. Self-care is more important now than ever."

Lyndsay Doran

Founder of L'Couture

"Remind yourself of all that you are still able to do, instead of focusing on the things you can't do. You are still able to go out with protective measures in place, go to your workplace, and see that people that are in your inner circle. Remember that all these measures that are being taken are not to imprison you, but to keep you safe until the situation stabilises."

Dr Saliha Afridi

Clinical Psychologist

Managing Director at The LightHouse Arabia

Simple but valuable mantras to keep in mind during those tough days. Repeat these to yourself for two minutes each day or keep them as your phone's home screen.

  • Today is a great day.
  • I am strong and nothing will hold me back.
  • I bring positive value to the world.
  • I can make time to nourish my mind, body, and spirit.
  • I choose to see the bright side in all situations.

talabat takes charge

As part of talabat's ongoing commitment to safety during the pandemic, the organisation started the rollout of its voluntary rider vaccination programme across the UAE in 2020.

Over 3,300 talabat UAE delivery riders already vaccinated

The first phase of vaccinations started in December 2020 with 1,700 riders in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

The second phase started in January 2021 and included 1,600 riders in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

Throughout the pandemic, talabat has been first in the industry to roll out industry-leading safety measures to keep riders, customers and partner restaurants, safe and protected.

"Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to protect ourselves from Covid-19. Our riders are choosing to vaccinate to boost their immunity, helping to protect them while on duty," said Jérémy Doutté, Vice President - UAE, talabat.

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