How to take care of your mental health when you’re in self-isolation
Being told to go into self-isolation is like an introvert dream. However, there can be severe physical and emotional ramifications of long term isolation. But there are simple ways to take care of your mental health while in self-isolation.
The dangers of slipping into depression are real, Even quiet loving introverts need to know how to take care of their mental health when forced into long periods of alone time. And the extroverts amongst us need to be particularly careful.
In this post I’m sharing What I’m doing to take care of my mental health while in self-isolation.
Don’t lock yourself away. Take care of your mental health by finding ways to gather with your community.
We’ve all seen the Italians singing together on their balconies—what a fantastic way to foster a sense of unity in uncertain times.
While your neighbourhood may not be up to impromptu sing a longs, maybe you can arrange to meet your neighbour for a chat from your balcony? Or over your backyard fence, at a safe distance. Face to face interaction is so important to our wellbeing. Even a short talk from a distance of a few metres can help you feel like you’re not alone.
Work on your creativity.
Creativity doesn’t have to mean painting, writing, designing. There are so many ways to practice creativity.
Do you have an indoor or outdoor garden? Now maybe a good time to take cuttings and see if you can begin a new garden project. If you don’t have access to plants, you could pop online and research on how to start an indoor garden. Take time to watch where the light falls in your home and watch its movement throughout the day. Then take your new-found knowledge and research which plants would grow in your light conditions. From there, you could pop on Pinterest and check out plant styling tips and begin to plan your first indoor garden.
Find something new to create will keep your mind engaged and guard against boredom. And being in the process of creation is such a beautiful thing.
We are all born creators, and it is our innate ability to create continually
Learn a new language or brush up on an old one
Learning new languages creates new neural pathways in our brain. And these days there are so many apps for learning new languages.
If you wanted to take this a step further, spend a few days learning then befriend someone on social media from a country that speaks your new language and practice talking with them via video chat.
Or co-op a friend to learn with you and face time with them, challenging yourselves to only talk in your chosen language for 10 minutes.
Use movement to take care of your mental health.
When I first went into self-isolation, one of my biggest concerns was my exercise regime. I overcame my worries by creating short workouts that I could do daily. I also dusted off my hula hoop, and that is a constant source of humour as I try to swing my hips enough to keep that hoop up. How did I do this so easily when I was a kid?
If you’re a yoga or Pilates lover, there are millions of YouTube videos guiding you through classes. You could do sets of squats, lunges or pushups.
Whatever you choose, turn it into a daily habit. Exercise releases all of the feel-good hormones and helps to reduce our stress levels. If you’re not a regular exerciser, maybe this is the time to start, while your home and no-one can see you. I’m confident that if you start now, by the time this cover 19 situation has passed, you will be in love with the benefits of exercise.
I have to mention meditation as a way to take care of your mental health. While all of the fear and uncertainty is raging around you, taking the time to stop, calm your mind and draw your attention inward will help you keep your mind clear and free of anxiety.
What we all need now is to focus on the positive. To keep our communication open and not allow ourselves to fall into a sense of hopelessness. Meditation can do that.
Here’s a link to a free meditation on insight timer that I created to help you relieve anxiety: Meditation for breathing away anxiety
- Eat as well as you can given the circumstances.
- Don’t lose yourself in mindless entertainment.
- Now is the perfect time to create, to learn and to better ourselves.
- Keep working towards your goals.
- Stay connected with the people you love.
- Take care of your tribe.
- Show love to your neighbour in practical ways.
We can take this uncertainty and use it to create a healthier, more genuinely connected world.
I’m standing with you as our world changes