The Department of Psychology at HELP University, Malaysia, brings you our ‘5 Keys Series’ providing five practical tips on five topics to help you stay mentally, emotionally and physically strong. Drawing on evidence-based psychology, you can be sure of getting 5-star quality insight and guidance from HELP University: the university of achievers.

The first of our ‘5 Keys Series’ is called “The 5 Keys to Good Mental Health during COVID-19”. Be sure to watch this space to get regular insights into the psychology of everyday living.

By Dr. LIANNE BRITTEN and RACHAEL D’ROSARIO

Being alone in this time of social distancing during the COVID-19 separation can prove to be quite a challenge. Life seems to have morphed into a semi-monastic routine and the only ones in the room are me, myself and I. Here are some tips to stay positive and connected as we continue to navigate our collective challenge.

Tune out and get attuned within Now is a great time to find that space to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of work and societal roles, find some space in the day to time out and get connected to YOU. Because who you are and who you’re choosing to become will impact the future of this world. Reaffirm values, relationships and life goals to get grounded in who you and how you would like your life to be. Try this exercise to tune into your inner self; Check out this cheerful chat to ignite your life’s potential and possibilities as you emerge on the other side of isolation.

Time for that new routine at home Creating a good routine is going to help establish some sense of normality even if you have to work at home, manage household chores, or have little kids and older family to tend to. If you are working from home, here’s a tip: take one day of the week (or 3) to dress up as if you are going to work. And have fun with the routine. Schedule in time to try new things like a new work-out routine, meditation, new spa techniques, or schedule that phone/WhatsApp or Facetime call with a friend. The sky’s the limit with new possibilities to recreate a new YOU! 
Try Google Calendar or play with any other calendar you find (even a real one) to help keep you motivated to build new daily habits that will leave you empowered and inspired.

Get creative with connection We are living in an era where connecting and communication is beyond what people would’ve imagined 50 years ago. We can connect with someone on the other side of the globe right now by an instant swipe of the phone screen. Make a list of people you want to connect with for the week and schedule them in your calendar. Be intentional about these connections. It could be family, distant relatives, friends, potential dates, an acquaintance, mentor… An older relative or senior will LOVE a call from you. You could have a one to one catch-up, online dinner party, book club, discussion group, music group, cookout group or even online gaming groups. Experiment — try this. If you are using this time to connect online and date, here are some questions to stir the conversation.

Connect to industry experts through online courses Resources to try new skills are limitless — why not use some of your spare time to learn something new? So many free programs are available. Everyone one of us has an innate desire to reach our fullest potential and discover more about who we are. Sites like Skillshare have great programs that connect you to organized webinars and group classes on a wide range of skills. Check out sites that provide online classes for that certificate you have been thinking of for the longest time. Don’t hesitate — if not now, when? If you were fretting about being too old to learn, check this out: the oldest graduate in the world is a 96 year old Japanese man who graduate from Kyoto University with Bachelors Degree in Arts! There are no excuses, now…

Dream about the future Connect with a life coach or your favourite mentor (they will love to hear from you). Get someone to motivate you to dream about the future, build on your purpose in life, start asking good questions about what needs to shift if you were to live a more fulfilled and enriched life, what are the steps to get there. With reduced travelling time and socialising out there, there is more time to start thinking and dreaming about the future you are empowered to create. Check out these coaching sites to get you started https://opendoorcoaching.com.au/ , https://iamcatalyst.live/ccc/ and https://apicoaching.com/about-us/

Questions? Reach out to Lianne at: HELP5keysblog@gmail.com