As we are gradually returning to work from the COVID lockdown, anxiety is high and fear is in the air. While mental health has been a hot topic across the media, one of the positive tactics is to tap into your inner talents, long lost hobbies and interests. In doing so, it triggers happiness associated with older times with your younger self.
In my Facebook Group “The Talented Dentists”, men and women share their fun hobbies and interests. Including paintings, photography, video-making, gardening, athlete-training, music performance; amongst which the most popular posts are food posts. There are members from different parts of the world sharing ethnic recipes and to celebrate cultural holidays. One of my members even told me she had to stay away during Ramadan because my group made her hungry! Happiness is shared through the lowest denominator that bonds people together–food. From home-made birthday cakes to Indian dosa to Vietnamese pho to Spanish empanadas to Italian lasagnas, we have been sharing hundreds of recipes before, during and after the lockdown. One member was made famous by her Disney-themed bento boxes! It is through sharing food that people connect and build friendships.
These steps are crucial to build mental health.
During this time, it is important to eat healthy. Some of the foods that can help to reduce anxiety are: dark chocolate, salmon, eggs, berries, green leafy vegetables, turkey, banana, oats, almonds, yogurt, and camomile, to name a few. Watch for your caffeine intake. WebMD states that regular home-made coffee has about 100mg of caffeine while Starbucks tall coffee carries about 250mg. Consuming more than 400mg of caffeine can lead to anxiety and stress.
Take care of your physical health and soul by eating well while having fun! While Ubereats is quite popular these days, a lot of us still enjoy simple cooking at home with family.
During the lockdown, we suddenly have time to look back to interests and hobbies that once made us happy in our essence. We can pattern-interrupt and reprogram our brain for happier thoughts.
When we look back to this time years from now, the COVID lockdown has mandated no choice but to allow our innate creativity to flow. The fruits of our creativity are to stay as a reminder of how life can still be beautiful and that we will continue to DEW and to thrive.
If you’d like to read more from Dr. Hung you can find her book here.