Self-isolation can be really hard to deal with for any of us. If you are worried about the effect it will have on your mental health, you are not alone. Extreme feelings of boredom, frustration and anxiety during this time are common, and some days may be harder to deal with than others – but this is totally normal. Whether you are working from home, unable to work, looking after children, caring for other family members, or isolating alone, here are some tips for looking after your mental wellbeing during quarantine.
It’s a proven fact that regular exercise can boost your self-esteem, help you to concentrate, improve your sleep, and make you feel generally more positive. Even in isolation, keeping active should still be part of your daily routine. Even though we no longer have the luxury of visiting the gym, there are some home workouts you can do to stay both physically and mentally healthy.
You can find plenty of work out tutorials on YouTube, but there are also numerous personal trainers on Instagram offering free work-out guides to help stay fit during this pandemic. Find one that suits you and create a routine to fit into your day; but try your best to stick to this routine, as it can be really easy just to climb into bed instead.
What we eat has a direct effect on how we feel, so it’s important to stick to a healthy diet whilst in isolation. Your brain needs a mix of vitamins and nutrients in order to function properly, so don’t just raid your cupboard for biscuits, crisps and chocolate – make sure you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, dairy and fish.
Being at home can make it easy to snack throughout the day, but trying to stick to your three meals a day can really help. Limit the amount of sugar you consume, and avoid drinking too much alcohol. Most importantly, make sure you drink plenty of water.
We live in a world filled with technology and digital communication, which comes in particularly useful in times such as these. Face-to-face communication is really important for our mental health, and as this is limited during self-isolation, we have to rely on our devices as the next best thing.
Video calling is much better than a simple phone call, as seeing someone’s face can make you feel less lonely and help lift your mood. Scheduling video calls with your family and friends will not only make you feel better, but also can brighten their day!
If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home, schedule regular video call meetings with your colleagues to discuss any tasks, client status’ or even just normal conversation – it can really help to make connections with the outside world as much as possible.
If you’re feeling lonely, find an online community you can connect with and talk about things you are interested in. This can be in the form of social media groups, online forums, online gaming or even online community apps run by the NHS. There are a lot of positive online communities where you can talk to people with similar interests, make new friends and also get advice.
Look at the positives of self-isolation, you now have more time to spend doing the things you love! Concentrating on a hobby like gardening, baking, painting, drawing, learning a musical instrument or even crossword puzzles can help you forget your worries for a short while, and make you feel a lot better. This may even be watching a TV series or movie marathon.
This time is also the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and take up hobbies you haven’t previously. This has been proven to boost your self-esteem, build a sense of confidence, and help you take time for yourself away from the stresses you may be experiencing.
Things can get very overwhelming sometimes, and spending a lot of time on our own can leave us entirely with our own thoughts – which for some people aren’t always positive. Nobody is superhuman, and it’s likely that you would have never experienced anything like this before in the past. Many people have pre-existing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and this experience can be incredibly hard to cope with. If things are getting too much for you and you feel unable to cope, do not be afraid to ask for help. Pick up the phone and talk to your family and friends who may be able to offer a listening ear, or there are always local services and mental health helplines there to help you.
Your time in self-isolation is only temporary, instead of getting bogged down with the stress of staying at home, make sure you keep reminding yourself about all the good things to come following the end of this self-isolation period. You will be able to go and see your friends, go to buzzing sporting events, visit beer gardens, go for lunch dates, and everything will return back to normal, but everything will seem just that bit better. This isn’t going to last forever, but it will be remembered as the time we all saved lives by staying indoors.
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