WATCH: How South Africans are protecting their mental health during Covid-19

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It has not been easy for South Africans during this Covid-19 period. Some have lost their jobs or faced salary reductions. Some have become isolated while others drown in their negative thoughts. Some South Africans fear what’s coming next.

Positive mental health during the coronavirus pandemic is essential for survival. Being stuck in a negative headspace is unhealthy and detrimental in the long term.

For someone like me who has faced depression and anxiety in the past, it was hard not going back to that dark space, especially when you are confined to your house for two months.

It is easy to slip into negative thoughts when life throws bad news in your face everyday or when your president tells you that the country will remain in lockdown due to the rising Covid-19 cases.

Many South Africans, including myself, have adopted coping mechanisms to keep negative feelings at bay. I enjoy meditating and prayer, and I say positive self-affirmations like “it’s going to get better”, “you got this” or “better days are coming”.

These affirmations create a sense of comfort as I assure myself that life won’t remain the same.

I also found the reading and listening to music helped me. Here are what other South Africans are doing to protect their mind during these tough times.

Sharon Emmerich said she takes each day as it comes.

“To relieve stress in my life, I read extensively, I have lovely Zoom meetings with my loved ones, and I end my day with a prayer to express my gratitude for everything that is well in my world.

“We know that old chestnut, when all else fails, pause and have a cup of tea. Just breathe, somehow you will find an answer to what is bothering you.”

Itai Makazho started gardening and baking to keep a positive mindset. He also does online workouts with his friends every morning to keep fit.

“I try to keep myself busy,” he said.

Phindile Mkhize also enjoys keeping fit.

“To keep your mind at ease, one needs to engage themselves in some form of exercise. It could be jogging, aerobics with music or yoga. You can also eat healthily,” she said.


By Clinton Moodley


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