Looking after your mental health during isolation

Globally we are facing unprecedented challenges and new territory as many countries have gone into a state of lockdown, with restrictions on where and how frequently people are able to leave their home. Not only does this put pressure on the economy, jobs and businesses, schools and universities who are forced to shut, but for many their mental wellbeing is also directly under fire by the circumstances.

Looking after your mental health during isolation

Some are forced to stay home in a hostile environment, whilst others are experiencing loneliness as they live by themselves. We all would normally have our ‘go-to’ activities such as swimming, sports, classes, visiting the shops, going out for a meal or meeting up with friends and family which we love and keep us connected to both ourselves and the people in our lives. The question now becomes, when some of these things are out of reach, how can we maintain this connection and our wellbeing?

EXERCISE & STAYING ACTIVE

Exercise has been proven to boost mood by releasing endorphins and improving body confidence, and having a regular work-out routine at home is a great way to make sure that looking after your body stays high on your priority list during isolation.

Creative ways to exercise at home:

  • If you have an at home gym: look for an app or online workout program and commit to following it every day for a series of weeks. Challenge yourself with increasing your dumbbell weight over the course of a month, the number of sit-ups you do each day or the frequency of another exercise
  • If you don’t have a home gym: don’t let this stop you from equally following an exercise program, as many of these you will be able to do without gym equipment or weights but in the living room
  • Yoga & stretching: throughout the day, try taking breaks from working at home to do a series of stretches or 10 minutes of yoga
  • Not a fan of at home workouts? There are plenty of other things you can do to stay active such as gardening, walking, playing in the garden with the kids. You would be surprised at how much you move doing these activities

DOING WHAT YOU LOVE

Different people find different things fun, challenging and therapeutic. From cooking to cleaning, writing, painting, photography or kicking around a ball, there are so many things to experiment with and explore in and around the home.

The things you love can also be shared with others, and all of these activities can be fantastic fun for both families, couples and friends. If you are home alone, Skype or Facetime cooking dates can be a way to share a meal even when you can’t go out somewhere or sit down together.

TRYING NEW THINGS

We are all used to the freedom of going out at our leisure for some down time, and it can feel strange to be indoors and remain in the same environment each day. Trying out new hobbies and routines is a great way to make isolation feel less ‘isolating’.

IF YOU DO FEEL LONELY OR NEED SUPPORT

If you are feeling down, lonely or stressed, don’t feel ashamed to reach out to family, friends or your doctor, as it is paramount that you look after your mental health.

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