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    Practising Mindful Vitamins To Ease The Combat Against The COVID-19 Pandemic

    08:31AM, 27 April, 2020

    With the virus spreading, the danger growing and our day-to-day lives being severely tested, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought much devastation to mankind. However, as we reflect upon this, there are important lessons to take away from this crisis and mindfulness

    approaches to cope with this challenging moment.

    Mindful vitamins are mantras, i.e. short phrases which we can employ to aid us in developing a more positive mental attitude while coping with difficult moments. Exercising these mindful vitamins consistently can help us develop a more positive, healthy and helpful mindset to ease the battle against this formidable threat.

    Mindful Vitamin 1: WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
    During this pandemic, we are reminded of humility. We are reminded that we are all equal, regardless of age, race, religion, political affiliation, occupation and financial status. This disease treats us all equally, so why can't we?

    We are reminded that we are all inter-connected, regardless of where we come from. This virus which affects one person has an effect on another. Similarly, the outbreak in one country has an effect on another. During the Covid-19 health crisis, our values as humans and as a society will be tested. Every one of us will be challenged to be the best that we can – selfless, generous, kind and thoughtful.

    This health crisis serves as a wakeup call for every one of us. It is reminding us of how precious life is, a gift we often take for granted until it is being threatened. It is reminding us of all the little things we have taken for granted. It is teaching us about the often forgotten virtue of gratitude. So let’s all slow down and learn to be grateful, for this is our most powerful tool for navigating the current crisis.

    You can, of course, choose to view this pandemic as a great disaster, but why not embrace it instead as a valuable lesson of humility? This is the time for reflection and understanding, it is the time for us to be reminded of all the important lessons in our life that we have somehow forgotten and neglected.

    Mindful Vitamin 2: I AM NOT ALONE
    As this crisis unfolds, difficult feelings WILL surface; fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, loneliness, frustration, anger, confusion and so much more. They are absolutely natural and inevitable. Know that you are not alone with these feelings, and that you can always reach out to
    others to share how you feel, and for them to do the same.

    The upheavals caused by Covid-19 have been considerable, many lives have been upended by this microscopic virus, but we are in this together, and we will get through this, together. The uncertainties brought about by this adversity are undoubtedly extreme, but together we can face these uncertainties and emerge stronger than before. Resilience stems from the acceptance of this new reality, even if it is not as good as the one we had before.

    Mindful Vitamin 3: IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE
    We are protecting ourselves in a safe environment at home, but how about those who do not even have a humble abode to call home? While most of us are staying safe with our families at home, what of those whose families are not with them during this predicament?

    Perhaps they are far away in another land, or worse, being quarantined in the hospital. Many of us have sufficient food and financial means to carry us through this crisis, but how about those struggling to even put food on their tables? We complain of being forced to stay home, deprived of entertainment or social connections, but how then of those who by being out there means obtaining enough daily wages to survive for that very day?

    While breathing comes effortlessly to us, the same cannot be said for infected individuals who are fighting to merely draw air into their lungs. Hence, no matter how tough things are right now, no matter how stuck you feel, no matter how many days you have spent wishing things were different, no matter how depressing or hopeless this seems like, be thankful instead for whatever good we have and the problems we do not shoulder. It could always have been worse.

    Mindful Vitamin 4: WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
    Many of us may feel powerless in the face of this adversity, but what we hold is the power to change the way we view and approach it. We can develop a positive mindset shift during this health crisis and acquire wiser ways of dealing with challenges during this difficult time.

    Appreciate these challenges and use these moments to reflect, grow and create new opportunities. While we have no control over the situation around us, we do and can have control over our actions. We cannot control how we feel and eliminate the perfectly natural fear and anxiety, however, we can control what we do HERE and NOW, and that is what really matters. Because what we do, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, will not only make a difference in our lives, but also that of our loved ones and our community.

    This is the time for prudence, not panic; solidarity, not discordance. It is when adversity strikes that we have to be at the calmest. Focusing on preparedness, staying grounded, caring for self and others will help us all through this difficult period. Remind ourselves that Covid-19 is a formidable but temporary disease, and that normalcy will soon return in time.

    Mindful Vitamin 5: THIS TOO, SHALL PASS
    With this passing pandemic, our world has ground to a halt. In our own way, each of us will have to come to terms with how Covid-19 has upended life as we knew it. No one can predict how long more this microscopic virus will continue its threat to mankind, how much longer the global economy will remain impacted, how many more deaths the world will continue to see and how this will all eventually end.

    As in any times of adversity, there will be uncertainty. But with every adversity and uncertainty, there will always be solace. Life is, after all, cyclical, and this is just another phase in life’s great cycle. Amidst the looming panic all around, be reminded that this too, shall pass. And when it does, we shall restore, redeem and renew.

    The practice of mindful vitamins is not a panacea to this forbidding crisis we are all facing now. It will not protect us from Covid-19 and the pandemic’s rising uncertainties. What it will do is allow us to navigate through this uncertain time with more positivity, calm, grace, spaciousness and compassion. Collectively, these will pave the way for better judgments and wiser choices in this challenging moment in history.

    Shared by:

    Dr Wong Kit Chan,

    Consultant Psychiatrist

    KPJ Seremban Specialist Hospital

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