We Need To Protect Our Emotional Health During Isolation
Protect your emotional and mental health during this crazy time because let’s face it. Social distancing and living in isolation can get tough. Many people are feeling the emotional repercussions of being stuck inside, particularly those who live alone. It’s difficult to protect yourself against this especially since humans are social beings. That’s if you’re social distancing right now. You need to keep yourselves busy – so that the mind doesn’t wander off on you.
There are a variety of tasks and activities you can do to keep yourself strong and positive. After all, we need to protect our health, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s also important to remind yourself that you’re not alone in this. The whole world is facing this, head-on, trying to guard themselves. Half the globe is practising self-isolation and social distancing in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We’re all being urged to work from home, and yes, the reality of confinement is hitting home. It’s a reality we’re soon all going to have to face. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The upside is that you can make this time just as fun and productive as going out. That’s what you make of it. Protect yourself with optimistic and productive thinking rather than getting sad about it all. And when boredom strikes, try to learn new skills, start that business you’ve always wanted to and make those decorative changes to your home.
We thought we’d share some ideas to help you stay on track during this time.
Protect Yourself Against Cabin Fever
There’s no doubt that you might be feeling frustrated and all kinds of emotions right now. And for good reason. Many of us have had our routine disrupted and families have been thrown into quarantine. The reality of cabin fever is a real danger.
However, it will only be exacerbated by predispositions and thought processes that can start to manifest in our minds. Psychologists say that these emotions, when not controlled, can lead to anxiety, extreme frustration, depression or low mood.
This is why we need to protect ourselves during self-isolation. If we don’t it can hit three critical components of mental health: our sense of autonomy, relatedness (a sense of being connected to others) and competency (feeling effective).
Luckily there are some effective ways to help combat these emotions to keep our minds healthy.
Get The Family Involved
It’s now or never. We MUST work together to move forward. We suggest the first step is to sit your family down and discuss how you are going to help support each other during this crisis.
Ask your family members how they are feeling and open up a discussion. Try to protect them and yourself by discussing what you think will be the biggest challenges. Go around the table to figure out what each family member’s strengths are and how they can play their part. When you talk about your concerns and expectations it makes it easier for each family member to help and understand what’s going on. This will protect you and create a better environment.
You’ll be stronger and better equipped to tackle the situation. Together.
Express Your Feelings
There’s no point in pretending like everybody is okay. You cannot protect yourself if you do not let others know you’re not feeling okay. It’s normal to feel upset in times of uncertainty – which is why we must support one another.
This is particularly important for parents to do with their kids. Take time to sit them down, empathize and allow them to express their fears. We must speak truthfully about the situation in an age-appropriate manner and put it into context.
If your children are feeling uncertain about the situation, open up a discussion. Let them know what the facts are and emphasize the importance of hygiene. Protect yourself against anxiety by keeping perspective and sourcing information and advice from credible sources. You should also be open about your experience to reduce any possible stigma or embarrassment attached to self-isolation.
Establish A Structure
Try not to allow yourself to go off track, Anybody who has ever worked from home will tell you that structure is the most important aspect to getting tasks done. You don’t need to be super strict, but maintaining a routine is important.
If you don’t want to lose your mind – then create a routine. This is the best way to protect yourself against going crazy. We suggest setting a time to wake up, shower and get dressed! There’s no such thing as pyjamas every day. Then get productive and if you work online – start working. It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to slot in a workout before you shower or later in the day. It’s really beneficial for the mind and the body to move daily. You could try out yoga or a YouTube workout.
The upside is that you will have a lot more time for yourself and for your family. Enjoy this opportunity. It’s a very rare scenario. Get busy playing games, creating art or reading books. Try not to sit on a screen all day. It might be tempting to just sit in front of the television for two weeks. This won’t protect your health and the novelty will disappear quickly. It’s also not good when people withdraw from their normal activities because it can seriously affect their moods. It’s also not practical to solely rely on Netflix and the internet for entertainment.
Having said that, it might be best to focus on securing a fast and robust internet connection for working at home.
As we said, you cannot sit around all day because your immune system requires exercise to build strength. It’s also vital to boosting your mood.
Doctors explain that it’s especially important for children to exercise to guard them against frustration and boredom. The same goes for adults. We must protect our health with regular activity. And no, you don’t need a gym to stay active.
Get creative and try setting up an obstacle course in the backyard or a mini circuit. Get the entire family involved. Or maybe try breaking up your day with some micro-exercises, like jumping jacks, running upstairs or playing basketball and soccer.
Maintain Your Purpose
Respect Everyone’s Privacy
It’s very important that whilst you are trying to guard your emotions, you must also help other people protect theirs in the household. This means respecting everyone’s space. This is very important if you want to protect yourself against conflict of any kind.
It is difficult to live on top of each other all the time which is why it’s important to find activities you can enjoy on your own. It is an intense time for many of us and that’s why you’ll sometimes experience conflict. It’s not normal to be on top of each other all day.
We recommend that families with children create specific sections in the house for playing games and others for peace. You can also protect your relationships at this time. Perhaps set aside times for reconnecting family rituals, she says. Try cooking family dinners and getting everybody to eat together at the dinner table.
Reach Out and Connect
You are in isolation but do not isolate yourself from the world entirely. Remember to connect with your friends and family. Fortunately, we have the technology to do so. (For this instance, it’s not in the bad books.) A very important component of good mental health is feeling connected to others. Connecting and making time for friends on social media or over the phone will be critical for adults. Experts also recommend ”reciprocal social support.” This is when you reach out to others to make sure they are OK.
Learn As You Go
You never know what might come out of an experience like this. We do know that it’s certain we will have learned a lot. Human beings won’t be the same after it’s all over.
You might learn to protect yourself in terms of who you are as a person and your level of compassion and patience. There is some beauty in removing your busy life. It’s nice to finally slow down and focus on yourself and your personal behaviors. We can grow together.
The core message being that it’s time to rest and reset so we can evolve. Stay safe and stay busy.
Let’s guess, you just got into a solid routine at the gym to stay fit and now you’re feeling lost and frustrated. No worries, we’ve got you covered in our list of the top YouTube channels!
How to survive isolation with your roommates, your partner, your kids – and yourself. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/17/self-isolation-survival-guide-relationships-coronavirus
How to cope with self-isolation and anxiety amid the coronavirus outbreak. ITV News.
Are you social distancing? 21 things you can do to keep yourself busy. HELLO. https://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/health-and-fitness/2020031686372/things-to-do-if-self-isolating-at-home/
The family lockdown guide: how to emotionally prepare for coronavirus quarantine. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/the-family-lockdown-guide-how-to-emotionally-prepare-for-coronavirus-quarantine