• Amberlyn How

What should I do? Do I need to stop my Yoga Practice? Why not online?

When the world begins to fall sick, changing the status of COVID-19, an illness caused by corona, from epidemic into pandemic by World Health Organisation in the early March 2020, what was your feelings at that point of time? Feeling worried and anxious? Yes, I was too.

Many thoughts came to my mind without my control. Would this pandemic be "disappearing" one day? What should we do as our part? The situation was worsened when Malaysia started the Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18 March, the beautiful Wednesday. This marked the first day of temporary "jobless" for most of the people who are living on daily wages, paid off days for some lucky salaried workers, unpaid forced leaves for some employees working with small business model, forced working days for certain group of people where they are putting their lives at danger, loss of revenue streams for bosses who operate bricks and mortar stores and many more people from all walks of lives.

In this situation, most of us have been panic buying because we are afraid of running out of food supply one day as no one knows what happen the next. Yes, we witnessed how the classic white bread became so precious in the market during this MCO period. There are many types of staple food now become the hot items in the town. I personally experienced it when I tried to get the item from one mini market to second, third and fourth, finally got it as if I was in a treasure hunt game. I got anxiety, I felt sad, I was down and I experienced rapid mood swings. I understood how it came and I tried to get rid of all these feelings via my yoga practice.

Not only me, I believe many people out there might have been experiencing the same things, repeat and repeat with endless cycles, as we are worrying our finances, our jobs, our studies, our family and infinite problems in lives.

It is called the FEAR. Fear is a mental health issue where it originates from your inner self.

When we clearly know the problem now, we have to understand the origins of the fear and how are we going to overcome it together.

The FEAR of being Alone, Restricted, Quarantined and/or Isolated.

During the hard times, we have no choice but to stay at home. The feelings of being alone at home, or being confined into the space where it limits your movement in the daily routines you used to have before MCO, are suffering. We are restricted on our physical movement, but not our social media. Many of us spend more time online now, trying hard to keep in touch with family and friends via social media platforms. You're definitely NOT alone. We are together here to undergo this period and thanks to all the food deliveries that fix our cravings for food sometimes.

The FEAR of Worsening Situation

It is a fact that the news keep on updating on social media platforms. The worries of the global pandemic, escalating confirmed cases for COVID-19 worldwide, possible nationwide lockdown and many more are all over the media now. It is not wise move to scroll the endless stream of bad news which you have no control over it at all. If you are good at managing your stress and anxiety levels, it has nothing wrong to keep yourself abreast with the latest development on the pandemic. However, if you get messed up or stressed out easily, try to limit yourself for about 30 minutes a day of news intake as recommended by Associate Professor Kevin GF Thomas, the head of UCT’s Department of Psychology

The FEAR of being NOT Productive, Slacking and Aimless

Yes, I experienced this fear at the very beginning. I conquered this fear by giving myself a project and timeline. By forcing yourself to complete a certain project within a timeline you set, it drives you through all the way to success. Believe in yourself, do not care about how people look at you, or think about you. Just keep on doing, you do it for your sake, not because of herding behaviour or trend right now. No one can set a target or an aim for whatever you do, fully utilize the rest of the days during this MCO period to achieve something you would like to achieve, or something that might have been neglected for some time in your life.

Recall what you wanted to achieve, and ACT NOW.

The way to reduce the FEAR is not to avoid it but to ACCEPT it with open heart and go BEYOND the FEAR.

When the FEAR turns into STRESS

When you realize yourself still connects to social media, keeping in touch with family and friends, spending not much time on news and feeling super energetic in giving yourself a target to achieve something during this MCO period. Nevertheless, you still feel yourself uneasy and hard to describe the feelings. It is probably the STRESS you developed from within.<