• Raihan DS

Keeping my sanity intact during lockdowns

Raihan, from Malaysia, talks about the COVID-19 response in her country as well as what she did to keep herself occupied during lockdowns.


The COVID-19 virus infecting the whole world has indeed changed and affected the life of many in various ways. I know people who were and still are emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially affected by it, and I pray that we’ll all be able to get out of this misery soon, well and healthy.


Malaysia is onto its third lockdown now, and it has been ongoing for 3 weeks – and to be honest, I have not been out for almost 3 months now except for necessities such as hospital visits and groceries. We have been through a total of three lockdowns since March 2020. The first one was a success, but our hopes to see Malaysia becoming normal again were crushed when leaders made rash decisions to feed their hunger of power and money. For example, businesses were allowed to operate at 60% capacity, which was a debatable decision. Many families and individuals suffered due to incompetent and selfish acts. Well, with power comes greater responsibilities.


Speaking of pandemic effects, I was not excluded from being mentally and emotionally challenged while being in the lockdowns. I wasn’t in my healthiest state of mind due to many reasons, mainly my studies and feeling trapped all the time. I looked for ways to cope with these newfound feelings.


"The first one was a success, but our hopes to see Malaysia becoming normal again were crushed . . . with power comes greater responsibilities."

I hopped onto the fitness bandwagon and started doing some physical exercises. That managed to keep me fit and sane whilst having to stay indoors for almost two months at my campus dorm. Working out kept me occupied then. I still am consistent with my workout sessions now, but maybe slightly less motivated.


Some of the physical exercises that I thoroughly enjoyed were skipping and body-weight trainings. I still do. It made a huge difference to my haywire mental state and terrible mood swings. Skipping or jump rope made my body feel lighter and kept my mind at ease while I kept track of each jump. Body-weight trainings forced me to focus on the muscles I wanted to activate, so that kept me occupied with things other than school and the pandemic.


So, try to pick up an exercise routine – or something that keeps you physically moving. Start small and light. It will make a difference to the state of your body and mind. For a start, I would suggest pilates for anyone who prefers something more challenging than yoga. And then, I recommend doing a few minutes of planks and squats after a quick pilates routine.


I hope to stay consistent with this lifestyle and will continue finding (physical) trainings enjoyable, as one of the ways to keep me healthy – physically and mentally. I wish the same for everyone who tries!


Happy exercising!