THE restrictions on stepping out of the house during MCO have had a big impact on daily life.
In the initial one or two weeks after the movement control order (MCO) was enforced on March 18, it was hard for most Malaysians to be positive.
However, when the MCO entered its third phase last month, people started getting used to the ‘new normal’.
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) psychiatrist Associate Prof Dr Asrenee Ab. Razak suggested drawing up an activity-packed daily schedule to deal with the boredom and frustration of staying at home 24/7.
“Keep yourself busy all day and you won’t feel lost.
“A packed daily schedule will make your life more structured and beneficial.
“Also grab the chance to spend more quality time with your family, ” said Dr Asrenee, who is deputy chairman of the Brain and Behaviour Cluster, School of Medical Sciences, USM, Penang.
To ward off anxiety-inducing thoughts, she recommended doing some deep breathing exercises which will help the mind to become calmer and more focused.
The MCO period, she added, is also a good time for parents to shape their children’s minds to become more creative.
“Encourage your children to explore and learn new things, ” she said.
Dr Asrenee also urged Malaysians not to circulate fake news on Covid-19 as it may cause panic and anxiety among the people.
“Those who have family members with mental health issues should continue to give them support.
“Be a good listener as they may feel depressed during the MCO period, ” she added.
Penang women and family development, gender inclusiveness and religions other than Islam committee chairman Chong Eng said the state has implemented an eco-craft project to help single mothers and other women who lost their livelihoods after the MCO was enforced.
“We also help them to apply for cash aid to run their businesses, ” she added.
Adapting to MCOInsurance agent Mohd Azeli Ali, 42, said the MCO has given him the opportunity to spend more time with his five children.
Daily, the children do their homework, study, recite the Al-Quran and perform their prayers.
The family members also cook and play traditional games together.
Retired policeman Mohammad Zain Rasit, 61, said he spends most of his time now reading, bonding with his family and doing carpentry.
“Of course, it’s stifling to stay at home all day but as a former cop, I can see that the MCO has been effective, ” he said.
Single mother Nurrul Huda Ghazali, 49, who has four children, said she spends her time cleaning the house and teaching her kids to do household chores.
“I also do some light exercises every day.
“Being in the premenopausal stage now, I tend to get emotional so I exercise to keep myself calm, ” she added. — Bernama