How to Support your Mental Health during Isolation
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
As social beings, this time of isolation is hard on all of us. Especially how we are going from 100 miles a minute, to being forced to slow down, be alone and at home.
Taking care of our mental health right now is super important, not only because isolation can cause symptoms of depression, but also because there is fear, uncertainty and anxiety all throughout the world right now.
I have put together this list of ideas on how to get through this tough time.
1. Keep Moving
Even if you are someone that doesn’t exercise, now would be a good excuse to start! If you don’t have any at-home equipment to use, don’t worry. There are tons of videos online that you can do. If you go onto YouTube just search what you are looking for. I personally like Heather Robertson, Sofie Jayne and Yoga with Adriene.
2. Be outside as much as you can (as long as you are isolating)
If you are able to go for walks, hikes or do outdoor activities where you are not coming into contact with many people, this helps. If not, sit on your deck, open your window, be in your yard. Whatever you can do to get some fresh air and light.
3. Do something you haven’t had time to do
I can think of a whole list of things that I have been saying I am too busy to do because of work and other commitments. Well, now is the time. Maybe that is cleaning through your house, closets and drawers. Maybe you have an old hobby such as playing an instrument, knitting, cards, that you haven’t done in a long time. Maybe you want to take up reading. Whatever it is, keep your mind busy with things that you used to or do make you happy.
4. Educate Yourself
Have there been any courses that you have put off or things you have wanted to study that you just haven't done yet? Maybe for personal interest or you could use some more education for your career? There are tons of online courses that you could dive into right now to further your education or career in the long run. Or it doesn't have to be something formal. Pick up some books about things that interest you and spend some time learning.
Now more than ever is a great time to really learn how to take care of yourself. What do you need during this time of uncertainty to care for yourself? Maybe it looks like journaling. Maybe you want to take up meditation – there are tons of resources online such as Headspace, Calm App, The Honest Guys or my personal favorite Carolyn Anne Budgell. Maybe it is time to do some personal development by reading a new book. Maybe it looks like reaching out to a therapist or coach to see online for support. Whatever it may be, tune into what you need and create some new routines.
6. Get Creative
Now would be a perfect time to get creative whatever it may be that you are interested in. For me I am using this time to work on my online course – Release: A Life Without Dieting – and making sure everything is in order. Maybe you want to do art, or think about what you want your life to look like after this is all over. This is a perfect time to reflect on what was and get really clear on what your future looks like. It is an opportunity to create newly.
7. Set up dates online
Just cause you can’t see people in person, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with them. Get FaceTime, Whatsapp Video Call or Zoom and keep up with your social life with the people you love. Last night I had a glass of wine over FaceTime with a friend and we chatted for an hour and it was great! Next week I am setting up a group Zoom call with my family. There are still ways to fill your calendar. Businesses are also going online to keep connected so get on social media and see what online events are happening around you soon.
8. Feel your feelings
It is OK to be sad, angry, anxious, scared, whatever feelings you have right now. Feel them. Let them out. Let them move through you instead of stay in you. Have compassion for yourself and the other people in this world that are suffering from what is going on right now. Whatever comes up for you right now, it is OK. It may not even be related to what is happening. Maybe old scars are being opened now that you have had time to be still. Whatever it is, show yourself some love and be your own best friend.
9. Cook for yourself
This is something else I see a lot in people these days – no time to cook! Well now you have time. I suggest right now to make some meals in batches so you can freeze them, just in case you aren’t able to get fresh supplies each week. Soups, stews, chilis, currys, pasta dishes, casseroles. There are endless recipes online or maybe you have a few up your sleeve you haven’t made in a while.
10. Check in on people or do something nice for someone
This has been proven to promote feelings of happiness and turn the attention away from whatever you are dealing with. Maybe you want to get involved with a new cause, maybe it is time to call an old friend or relative and ask them how they are doing. Whatever it may be, pay it forward. It feels good to be of service to people. However you can support other people, animals or the environment right now would help greatly.
I hope these suggestions give you some ideas and spark some positive energy in you. If you need any support, please don’t hesitate to message me on social media or by email. If this was helpful to you, please share with your community.