South Africans have experienced so much throughout our history that we have become a resilient nation. However, this month has been physically and emotionally draining for so many across the country. The country is currently experiencing the third wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has had a massive impact on lives and businesses around the country.
This, naturally, can certainly take a toll on one’s mental and emotional wellbeing. During this chaotic time in life, it’s important to take a step back and ensure that in the eye of the storm, you are taking time out to look after yourself.
Radio and television personality Kriya Gangiah has been open about her experience with mental health during this trying period. “It has taken me a little longer than expected to recover from everything we are dealing with as a country right now,” Kriya explains.
She adds that it’s important to allow yourself time to experience the different emotions that you may be experiencing at this unpredictable time. “Don’t feel bad if you are working from bed for the third week in a row or if you haven’t mowed the lawn yet. It is completely understandable,” Kriya adds.
As she regains control of her mental and emotional health, Kriya shares five tips that have helped her get through this tough time.
Do something for someone else
I recently worked with my family and communities around Gauteng to collect food donations for people affected by the unrest around KZN. Working with other individuals with the goal of helping people made me see that there is positivity around us. Even if you may not have much you can still make a difference in someone else’s life.
Take a day off from social media
The more time I spent on social media the more depressed I was becoming. Seeing images of the chaos mixed between the narcissistic way in which people portray their “perfect” Instagram lives was really starting to affect me. Taking a day really helped clear my mind and find a little bit of clarity.
Try something creative
Being creative doesn’t always have to be about making something but it will help convert your energy into something that you enjoy. You can bake, rearrange the furniture or plant a tree. Anything that is different from your everyday norm.
Do something that makes you feel good. Paint your nails, take a long bath, or do a face mask. You can even meditate for a while.
We are not alone in this. Most people are experiencing the same feelings that you are. Give a friend or family member a buzz and just catch up. You never know they might need it as well. Remember, if you are struggling right now and don’t have anyone you feel you can share your thoughts and feelings with, organisations like SADAG offer free counselling sessions. You can contact them on 0800 456 789 or visit www.sadag.org for more info.