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Saturday, Nov 27, 2021

Limit social media use and do yoga: mental health advocate

Limit social media use and do yoga: mental health advocate

A concern group has advised the public to limit time spent on social media and instead engage in calming activities such as yoga, as the pandemic weighs on mental health.
One of the most unfortunate consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is the considerable harm it has caused to the mental health of Hong Kong people, which was already in a highly vulnerable state after the social unrest of 2019, said OCD & Anxiety Support Hong Kong's Minal Mahtani on World Mental Health Day on Sunday.

Mahtani said a research study in 2020 showed that 25 percent of Hong Kong people had deteriorated mental health.

Covid-19 was the single largest contributor to employees’ worsening mental health in 2020, with 87 percent of workers feeling highly stressed during the pandemic.

“People had to work from home, while taking care of children, and attending Zoom meetings,” Mahtani said.

“All these are tiring and people have no time to look after their mind.”

The fear of contracting Covid, the isolation from social distancing, and the fear of job security and uncertainty had been created in all areas of life in the community.

Urging the community to take a break from their stressful lives, Mahtani advises people to engage in things that help them calm down -- such as yoga or handicrafts.

She also recommended the public limit their screen time on social media, to avoid stress brought by the massive amount of information.

Give oneself a big cuddle when one feels stressful, she suggested. Thinking positively and being thankful to oneself are also Mahtani’s own self-care hacks.

In encouraging the public in releasing stress in the World Mental Health Month, the OCDAHK is organizing an “unwind your mind” campaign until October 31. Members of the public are encouraged to upload photos of their stress-releasing routine to social media.

People can also wear a green ribbon or a touch of green to raise awareness of mental health issues.

She hoped the campaign can help reduce stigma towards mental health disorders and increase people's willingness to talk about their emotions.

Mahtani said she was surprised by the response this year, as participants have doubled from 14 last year. Some 30 companies and hotels, including HSBC and The Hari, had joined the green ribbon campaign.

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