Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, Hanli Hoefer & Munah Bagharib Share Advice On World Mental Health Day 2020

On 10 October 2020, hoolah is observing World Mental Health Day, a day devoted to promoting and destigmatising mental health issues.

In challenging times like today, where anxiety levels are high amid a pandemic, the value of our mental health is even more important than before. With the boundaries between work and home being blurred due to COVID-19, it is crucial to learn to identify signs of stress or an impending burn-outs. More importantly, it is salient to take time off for yourself to rest, recharge and rejuvenate.

Related Article: How To Protect Your Mental Health, According To Psychologists From PsychHabitat

In the lead up to World Mental Health Day, social media giants Facebook and Instagram are broadening their conversation on mental well-being and mindfulness through intimate sharing sessions with local content creators, such as Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, Munah Bagharib, Anita Kapoor and more. Furthermore, an informative and engaging live panel “Building Resilience in a Digital World” will also take place at 3.30 pm on 10 October.

Both the creatives’ sharing sessions and the panel discussion are part of Facebook and Instagram’s #heartbits campaign that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and destigmatise the negative connotations to mental illnesses. At troubling times like today, the social media giants are encouraging us to stay in contact with and care for our friends, families and loved ones.

Related Article: Local Model Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw Is Breaking the Mould

Ahead of the discussion, three local influencers, Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, Munah Bagharib and Hanli Hoefer, shared with us some tips of staying mindful while staying ahead of unprecedented challenges.

World Mental Health, Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw

Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw (@aimeechengbradshaw)

With work from home being a new normal, many of us have been geared to wanting to be productive. Do you have a similar experience? And how do you cope with this worry of not being able to keep up?

Definitely, especially so during the circuit breaker. I suddenly felt like I had all the time to do the things that I had been putting off, like decluttering. I didn’t find it worrying though; I’d use a journal and write my daily goals – the things that I want to achieve for that day – in it. Once I get them done, I feel accomplished and satisfied.

How do you stay mindful at home?

Meditation and gratitude journaling! I started doing dedicated seated meditations for the first time a few months back. I found seated meditations to be incredibly powerful.

Another way I stay mindful is with my journaling. Each day I write down three things I’m grateful for, and it has made me into a much happier person because I end the day with so much positivity that whatever negative thing that happened melts away from my memory.

What advice would you give to your fans and readers alike on unhealthy social comparison?

Ohh! I actually put in a lot of time and effort to make an awesome Instagram Guide about how to deal with unhealthy social comparisons! In a nutshell, my advice would be to first notice when you’re doing it, remind yourself that you’re looking at someone’s else’s highlights and not their behind-the-scenes, and then redirect that negative energy into something positive.

World Mental Health, Hanli Hoefer

Hanli Hoefer (@hanlihoefer)

With work from home being a new normal, many of us have been geared to wanting to be productive. Do you have a similar experience? And how do you cope with this worry of not being able to keep up?

At the beginning of the CB I was full of optimism. I wanted to maximise my time and be as “productive” as possible. When I started to lose motivation and inspiration, I started to judge myself for not staying consistent with my ambitions. I also started to feel guilty when I wasn’t spending my time being “productive”. I started to realize that I was putting all this pressure on myself when I should have been focusing on practising self-compassion. When I started to be kinder to myself I loosened the grip on my own expectations.

How do you stay mindful at home?

I am committed to my morning ritual, which involves coffee, incense, music and natural light. I also love watering my plants and taking time to check in on them. 

You have spoken to a therapist before, could you share how seeking help has helped you become a healthier individual?

Seeking professional help has allowed me to gain so much perspective on so many levels. It has humbled me and encouraged me to practice more self-compassion, it has shown me new areas of myself that are worth exploring even if it is uncomfortable and I have been able to let go a lot of resentment and shame.

Taking the first step to get professional help was hard because it made me feel like I had a big problem. But now I know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness and is instead the bravest thing one can do.

World Mental Health Day, Munah Bagharib

Munah Bagharib (@munahbagharib)

With work from home being a new normal, many of us have been geared to wanting to be productive. Do you have a similar experience? And how do you cope with this worry of not being able to keep up?

When Circuit Breaker first started, it was a complete change from my usual lifestyle (I was constantly out and about for work). There was a period when I felt odd staying put, which made me want to work more to “compensate” for the lack of activity. I would work at home with no breaks and at night, I’d be exhausted! Two weeks in, I realised, I need to force breaks on myself; it’s not healthy when you push yourself but end up feeling tired and becoming unproductive.

How do you stay mindful at home?

I try to find pockets of time to just shut off from everything. I have this weird habit (haha) of getting comfy on the couch or in bed and stare at nothing. It helps me calm down after a long day. Taking time to shut off, even though a small step, helps a whole lot. 

We spend a lot of our time on social media and we may have exposed ourselves to toxic online behaviours, like cyberbullying, too. Why is creating good social media etiquette important and how can this etiquette help us? 

On social media, there is a lot more freedom to say whatever you want. But as the saying goes, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. And that’s why we need to be responsible for what we publish online.

We need to also take charge of what we consume on social media. We can’t control what other people do, but we can control what we are exposed to by reducing interaction with those posts.

Images courtesy of Facebook and Instagram Singapore.
Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Ler Jun

Full-time storyteller. Avid coffee-drinker.

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