COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on everyone’s lives especially your mental health when isolating. From our work situation to the amount of time spent seeing relatives and family members, COVID-19 has seriously changed how society operates, and it doesn’t appear to be going away too soon.
One of the most notable and challenging issues that we face in the wake of this pandemic is its impact on mental health. Being stuck indoors, unable to see loved ones, with only your mind to keep your company, can have a severe effect on mental wellness. This has been shown in some of the figures that health bodies and charities have been releasing, indicating that many people face mental health crises during the lockdown and when self-isolating. During this isolation you need to maintain proper work life balance.
With this in mind, it only makes sense to try and put together some strategies and techniques we can use to stay positive during these difficult times. Whether you’re finding it difficult to keep things together or know someone struggling, these methods will hopefully help you get through isolation, lockdown, and COVID-19.
Spend Time Outdoors
To start with, just because we’re stuck self-isolating, it doesn’t mean we can’t spend any time outdoors. Countless studies have shown that spending some time outside and in nature can have a considerable impact on mental wellbeing and attitude, which is why it’s vital to ensure you’re not cooped up inside every day for months on end if you can get your shopping delivered.
Going out for light exercises such as long walks or light jogs will make this time in nature even more effective, as exercise releases endorphins, which also have a positive impact on your mood. Plus, it will help keep you healthy, which can have a significant effect on self-confidence and generally how you feel.
You don’t even need to go out to a park. Gardening for an hour a day will do the trick or, if you have a low maintenance garden that requires little attention, strolling or relaxing in your outdoor environment will also help. In the end, all the little things make a difference!
Talk to People
By nature, humans are social creatures. Even for people who aren’t particularly social, spending weeks or months without speaking to anyone can have a hugely negative effect on mental wellbeing. With that in mind, it’s important that even when isolating, you find time to speak to people – particularly if you live alone.
This doesn’t have to be a face-to-face meeting. Chats over the phone help, video calls are even better-using tools like WhatsApp or Facetime, and even over-the-fence conversations with your neighbor will give your brain a social boost.
Don’t underestimate the impact that a casual conversation can have. Loneliness is one of the leading causes of mental health issues, especially in men, so even if you’re not accustomed to having quick greetings and small talking with those around you, strive to do so where possible.
Break Your Routine
Finally, think about what impact your routine is having on your wellbeing. If you’re furloughed and isolating, it can be very easy to settle into an unhealthy set of behaviors, whether that’s spending all day in front of the TV or skipping meals. Even if your routine isn’t particularly unhealthy, breaking up what you’re doing each day will help avoid stagnation and boredom, which can both have an impact on mental health. In short, try to do something different each day!
With any luck, these strategies will help you moving forward. Together, we can stay safe and get through this.