12 Practical Things You Can Do To Support Yourself During Social Isolation
It is normal to feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed during this epidemic situation.
Telling yourself it is OK and normal to be upset and feeling those emotions is vital.
This unique time is bringing lots of changes to our usual daily fast pace routine, and it affects everyone.
Take time to be aware and express how you feel.
Accepting any negative feelings you have helps you to take precaution measures on the best way to manage your physical and mental health.
If you are already dealing with mental health issues, the pandemic might increase some of your symptoms.
Let’s begin by looking at what negative feeling we need to acknowledge
Acknowledge Your Feelings for a Better Mental Health
- Low moods
- Fear and sorrow
- Sleeplessness Confusion
- Anger and frustration
- Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)
- Stress and depressive symptoms
- Emotional disturbance and exhaustion
- Detachment from others and isolation
- Poor concentration and indecisiveness
Practical Things You Can Do To Support Yourself
1. Take care of your body
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals and nourishing foods. Move regularly to keep your nervous system regulated. Doing chores around the house, walking, dancing, exercising, and doing yoga are great ways to keep moving. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
2. Create A Routine And Stick To It
A routine is a schedule of when you’ll do things, and how you’ll do them.
A routine prevents you from feeling overwhelmed and help avoid having a meltdown.
A routine also includes how you share space with other people. You might work from home, your partner as well, and the kids have home school.
You all need the space to do work, as well as the space to have quiet time if needed.
If you aren’t working right now, a routine and schedule are still imperative to your daily activities.
3. Connect With Others
Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member.
Maintain healthy relationships and build a strong support system.
We need to keep our distance physically, and we can also stay emotionally and socially connected.
4. Take Breaks
Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths and do activities you usually enjoy.
5. Stay informed
When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous.
Watch, listen to or read the news for updates from officials.
Be aware that there may be rumours during a crisis, especially on social media.
Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
6. Avoid Too Much Exposure To News
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories.
It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
7. Coping Mechanisms
Try using coping methods that have worked in the past or employing new ones such as relaxation methods, meditation, breathing, journaling, soothing music, or calming self-talk.
Engaging in positive distracting activities and keeping your thoughts in the present.
Don’t let your mind dwell in the past or move into the future.
8. Focus On Things that you Can Control
Start by identifying what you can and cannot control.
It is natural to crave control.
Let go of what you cannot and focus your energy on what you can. Change is difficult – disrupting our daily routines.
In moments of significant uncertainty, finding what you can control helps to anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.
Focus on tasks you can get done, such as a workout, cleaning, usual tasks like washing dishes, and going for a walk.
Focus also on things you want to do, like organizing your bookshelf, purging your closet, and grouping your belongings.
9. Engage your senses
All you sensory warriors know what I’m talking about, but if you’re new to sensory regulation, be sure to engage all eight (yes, I said eight) senses daily.
Smell foods and flowers, listen to music and do some heavy lifting.
Engaging your senses helps you be in your body, thus helping you stay present.
10. Go Outside And Connect With Nature
Grounding ourselves in nature is something we should be doing every day anyway. Listen to the birds and the trees. Breathe in the air. Even if you only go out on your balcony, do it!
11. Do Things That Bring You Joy And Laughter
We should already be doing things that bring us joy each day, but sometimes we forget.
Remember to laugh and often smile too, especially during a time of social distancing.
If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.
12. Seek help when needed
If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, reach out to someone (family member, friend, psychologist, psychotherapist, doctor), or contact the Distress Center of Ottawa at 613-238-3311; or Crisis line at 613-722-6914 or 1-866-996-0991.
Did I Miss Anything
Are you using any of the above coping strategies?
Are you doing something that I have not mentioned above?
Either way please leave a comment below.
The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor.