Coronavirus Pandemic: 5 tips for coping when self-isolating

Man lying down on a sofa with a book covering his face.

With the announcement from the Prime Minister to avoid pubs, restaurants and all non-essential travel in order to tackle the vicious spread of COVID-19, most people have no other choice than to stay at home and self-isolate.

While the term ‘self-isolation’ can leave people feeling an urgent sense of fear at the prospect of spending time alone for the foreseeable, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you will cope whilst social distancing.

Whether you will be spending your self-isolation working from home or your organisation has shut down in response to the pandemic, we have put together 5 tips for coping during this challenging time.

1. Check in with family, friends and teammates

If you’re particularly struggling with the loneliness aspect of self-isolation, a simple ‘hello’ to a friend, family member or teammate can go a long way. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, human contact is essential and being without it can make some feel anxious and on edge.

Luckily with the advancement in technology, self-isolation doesn’t mean we have to spend 2 weeks on our own with no contact from the outside world. Regular contact is essential during these hard times, having little to no communication will have a severe impact on mental health and well-being.

Ensure you allocate times to contact peers, this could be through SMS, social media messenger chat, mobile phone call and probably most importantly, video call.

Remember, you may not see people for days or even weeks, so chatting to a familiar face through a video call is essential to keeping up high spirits.

2. Exercise

It’s proven that regular exercise is a key stress reliever and can work wonders for your mental health and well-being. Although it may be difficult to conduct a proper work-out from the comfort of your own home, without specialised machines and equipment, it can still be done.

Set up some space in either a bedroom or living room and get moving. This could be doing some yoga to calm the mind or getting the endorphins flowing by following a high-intensity routine. Whatever exercise routine you chose to follow, it is a great way to switch off from the outside world.

3. Retain a normal sleeping pattern

If you experience a severe sense of boredom during the self-isolation period, it can be tempting to take yourself off to bed for a couple of hours during the day.

Although it can be beneficial in some cases, it’s best to be avoided whilst in self-isolation. Never nap to pass time due to boredom, this could result in a messed-up sleeping pattern, which is the last thing you want.

Aim to get between 7-8 hours’ sleep per night. This will help maximise your productivity and concentration levels, improve your immune system and relieve stress and anxiety.

4. Keep up to date with the latest news

During this challenging time, it can be easy to get wrapped up in rumours and false information surrounding the pandemic, but this can lead to severe worry and anxiety. Take time to read information using verified news outlets and keep up to date with news bulletins every day.

Top tip: don’t believe everything you read on social media.

coronavirus self isolating
5. Positivity Prevails

It can be very easy to sit back and dwell on everything that is happening in the world, but it’s not going to make a difference and will leave you feeling worse about the situation.

Negative feeling and emotions will have a chronic impact on stress and mental health. Although there is a stark lack of positive news in the world now, it’s important to look on the bright side and bear in mind that this lifestyle change is only temporary.

A great way to eliminate negative thoughts is to practice gratitude. Research by Harvard Medical School found that gratitude helps people feel more positive, improves health and can help build stronger relationships.

It’s no secret that self-isolating will make people feel lonelier and more anxious about the future that lies ahead, so, follow these 5 simple steps to combatting the blues. And don’t forget, this lifestyle change will not last forever.

Stay positive and stay connected.

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