How To Survive A Restricted Movement Order in Malaysia

March 23, 2020


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In under a week, Malaysia announced a Restricted Movement Order as the country fights the spread of Covid-19. The Malaysian Armed Forces have been deployed to help the authorities ensure that we stay at home, and comply with this restriction order. All these sudden changes, both in the country and globally, can be overwhelming for all of us. What are some things we can do to help ourselves and our loved ones, as we get used to this ‘new normal’?


Illuminairre pulled together a couple of simple things you can try in these uncertain times.


Check-In with Friends and Family

person holding piece of paper with phone a friend written text


As human beings, we are wired for interacting and communicating. Very few of us can go for days without any conversations or interactions. While we need to self-quarantine and stay home to keep our communities safe, we need to remember to maintain communications with our loved ones, friends, and family.


Many families are currently separated due to movement restrictions. Keep an eye out for each other, and create a daily check-in routine through a video call on WhatsApp, Skype or Facetime. Ask each other how things are, and if anyone needs help. Find ways to stay connected, as this is key to ensuring we know how everyone is doing.


Setup Online Delivery Services For Your Folks

Free Delivery glass window signage


If you’re worried about your parents/grandparents managing on their own, set up home delivery services for essentials like groceries and other things. If you live in the Klang Valley, there are many services that you can start using today. You can find this list here for reference.


You can also opt to support your local businesses, by trying takeout and delivery service a few times a week. This helps to sustain their businesses, provide income for our Grab and foodpanda drivers, and allow us some downtime from cooking.


Instead of going out to buy other essentials like home supplies, try using an online delivery service as well. You can find a list compiled by here to consider.


Create A Routine For Yourself

person writing bucket list on book


Let’s face it—this is super new for all of us! To be at home all the time is not something we’re used to as people. Finding a sense of normality in this period is extremely important, and one way to keep ourselves focused is by creating a routine for the day.


A good routine should include room for exercise, writing and reflection, some reading, time carved out for work, time for cooking and attending to chores, and finally some time for entertainment at home.


You can find tons of resources for reading, exercise and even cooking online! Just do a quick search on Youtube and you’ll be sure to find something you like.


A routine will help us to retain a sense of familiarity, normality and balance. If you’re currently under the restriction with family, include them in your routine as well.


Prioritise Your Mental Health

woman sitting on floor and leaning on couch using laptop


It is absolutely normal to feel anxious and worried during these times. We need to ensure that we do the best we can to remain optimistic and positive, and live our lives without allowing it to come to a grinding halt. Sometimes, these fears can be overwhelming. Talking about them with someone we trust can help alleviate the anxiety, and also relieve us from the toll it takes on us.


If you don’t have anyone to talk to, Woebot is a great app to download and try. Created by psychologists from Stanford, Woebot is designed using AI and cognitive behavioural change, allowing the bot to share tips and information that is useful for anyone experiencing difficulties at this stage. It is important to note that Woebot is not a replacement for therapy or counselling, but is meant to be a supportive element to those who may not need it. It is also for those who may still be going for therapy but need some additional support.


Do Things You Enjoy More Often At Home

three silver paint brushes on white textile


Keep doing things you love, especially if you want to try to express yourself and your feelings. One great way to do this is through art; maybe try your hand at drawing or painting, writing a poem or story, or journaling your thoughts.


Spend more time exercising if that makes you happy, or do other things like cooking, reading some new books, gardening in your compound, or playing with your pets!


Limit Your Screen Time and Unplug From Social Media

pink breathe neon sign


Now this, this can be really hard. We’re constantly online, checking the latest information or scrolling aimlessly on social media. Studies have shown that the constant bombardment of information can do a few things like raise our anxiety, reduce our responses to numbness, or create unnecessary emotions within us, especially on things we have no control over at the moment, such as (surprise, surprise) the current Covid-19 global health pandemic.


To keep this in check, reduce your screen time to specific parts of the day. We highly recommend avoiding any sort of social media consumption in the mornings when you wake up or before you go to sleep, as this will affect how you start and end your day.


Focus On Love, Not Fear!

woman in black shirt sitting beside man in white t-shirt


There are a lot of other things we can do to ensure you stay optimistic and energised throughout the day while we help to keep our communities safe. We don’t know how long this will last, or how long the virus is here to stay. What we do know is this: we can get through this, TOGETHER. Let’s focus on doing things out of love, and not out of fear. Let’s take care of each other, and remember to check-in with everyone as often as possible.

.  .  .

As we support each other through this trying time, we will surely emerge stronger and better together.


Let’s do the right thing and #StayAtHome, so we can flatten the curve and keep each other safe.


Do you have any tips to share with us? Leave a comment for us and we’ll add it to our list!

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