Isolation and your Mental Health

Charlotte Paul 2019

Charlotte Paul
Marketing Coordinator, Assurity Consulting
6th April 2020

With our first full week in isolation over, some of you will already be starting to feel the strain.

We're suddenly trying to juggle home schooling, keeping the kids entertained, working from home, keeping ourselves fit and healthy all whilst trying to digest the rapidly changing situation we find ourselves in! So now, more than ever, it's vital we look after our mental health.

With that in mind, here are some ideas that could help:

1.) Connect with people!

We may not be allowed to gather in groups, however big or small, but it's still vital we stay connected! There are numerous ways we can stay in contact with our family and friends through phone call, text or instant message. There are plenty of apps available which allow us to make video calls in groups, which is a great way to see all of our family and friends when we can't all be together. Try downloading an app such as Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp or HouseParty and why not organise a group quiz for a Saturday night or simply have a drink together and a chat.

2.) Get yourself a new routine!

Try and keep to your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at your normal time, have your usual breakfast. If you can't stick to a routine, why not plan your day ahead, write it down if it helps. Try and spend your time as efficiently as you can.

3.) Try and stay active!

Despite being told to isolate at home we are still allowed 1 hours exercise outside each day. Take advantage of that hour outside, as long as you stay 2 meters away from any members of the public and only venture out with people in your household. If you have a garden you can make use of that or the internet is great for finding online workouts that can be done from your own home. For the kids, Joe Wicks is running his P.E with Joe at 9am every Monday-Friday. You can find all of his videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1. Joe Wicks doesn’t just provide workouts for the younger generations he also caters for adults with his HIIT workouts and he’s recently released some gentle exercises for the elderly that they can do in the comfort of their own home. The NHS website has a great selection of 10-minute workouts for all areas of the body, take a look at their suggestions here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/. Les Mills is another great option for all ages, with a great variety of exercises including HIIT workouts, dance workouts and toning workouts. Take a look at the Les Mills  YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChJHUmT_EREEs4WV6jpmnBw

4.) Find ways to relax!

You may not have tried it before but why not give some relaxation activities a go. Yoga or meditation can be a great way of calming your mind and help you to take notice of the present moment. Why not take a look at the mind website which has different relaxation techniques: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/relaxation/relaxation-exercises/

5.) Be creative!

If you've never been into arts and crafts, now could be a great time to take up a creative hobby. Research shows that people who regularly take part in crafting activities are less likely to suffer with anxiety and depression and crafting can even help with preventing dementia later on in life. The internet has many arts and crafts ideas and is full of instruction on how to get started. Alternatively, the hobby craft blog is a great starting point for inspiration, have a read of it here: https://blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/home-crafts/

6.) Find a new hobby!

Keeping busy during times like this is really important. It can be hard to know what to do with all of your spare time. If you do have days when you're feeling a little down it can be hard to push yourself to do something productive. Having a hobby can give you something positive and constructive to focus on. Research has shown that people who have a hobby are less likely to suffer from stress, low moods and depression. If you don't have a hobby, go to google. The internet is full of hobbies, something that will suite every one of us. Hobbyhelp.com have given a list of 100 hobbies suitable for all ages, why not take a look at it here: https://hobbyhelp.com/inspiration/list-of-hobbies/ (some listed here may be more suitable for the future!)

Most importantly, if you are feeling down or you're having a bad day, talk to someone. Whether it's a member of the family or a friend, a colleague or your manager. Everyone is going through the same at the moment and it really is true...a problem shared is a problem halved! If you are feeling very low there is always expert help out there – the Samaritans offer a 24 hour service, all of their contact information can be found here: https://www.samaritans.org/ or mind also offer mental wellbeing support: https://www.mind.org.uk/. The following .gov link is full of information on mental health and wellbeing specifically aimed at dealing with the current Coronavirus situation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19

Stay Safe!