Mental Health

Tips on Living a Better Life

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The S.E.R.E.N.E. Model

People with depression usually have constant levels of sadness and are no longer interested in their activities. It is good to help depressed patients reengage with their social lives and take good care of themselves. I learned these tips (also known as “SERENE” in short) from a clinical psychologist. However, I find that these tips are not only helpful for depressed patients, but also quite relatable to everyone else. As we all know, living in a fast-paced and stressful life, we may forget the need to take good care of ourselves. So, here you go, the SERENE method for you to spice up your life!

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S: Social

It’s about social interaction, seeing people and friends. It can be the one who you like to see: family members, boyfriend/girlfriend, classmates. It can also be someone who inspires you a lot: motivator. So try to meet up or organize a small gathering with these aforementioned people.

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E: Entertainment

It is about fun and happiness. The things that you love to do: watch TV programs, or play music instruments, or even write or draw, if you are feeling the inspiration to do so.

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R: Regressional

Going back to nature. Go for hiking, jogging in the park, having picnic near the waterfall.

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E: Education

Educate yourself with subjects which is opposite to your profession/field. Read literature, novel, newspaper.

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N: Nurturing

Pamper and reward yourself (especially after you have achieved something). Treat yourself with a good meal, a gift, facial treatment (especially for girls)

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E: Existential

Do something meaningful. Join volunteering works or donate essential items to those who are in need.

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As long as the activities listed in each category is not risky and harmful to individual, it will definitely bring benefits for depressed patients. Always remember to take good care of yourself! Cheers! 😉

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Gary Yap
Hailing from Sandakan, Sabah (The Land Below the Wind), Gary Yap has developed a keen interest in psychology and mental health issues ever since he was 15 years old. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree of Psychology in HELP University, he volunteered at the Psychiatric Department of Duchess of Kent Hospital and worked as a para-counsellor at a private psychiatric clinic. He later completed his Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. During his training in becoming a clinical psychologist, Gary was professionally trained at the Health Psychology Clinic, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; the Psychiatry Department, in Hospital Kajang; and the Psychiatry Department in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre. Gary is currently a clinical psychologist associate at SOLS Health and also the director of MY Psychology (Malaysia’s Leading Online Psychology Educational Platform) where he and his team utilized the strength of social media to increase psychological literacy and awareness about mental health issues in the public community. With the motto of “Learn . Share . Apply”, he is striving to build a society where psychology is for everyone.

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