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How to Take Care of Your Mental Wellbeing Whilst in Self-Isolation

Monday 23 March 2020

7 minute read

By Sarah Burns

We are living in frankly unprecedented and bizarre times. COVID-19 is nothing like anyone in living memory has experienced, apart from perhaps your grandparents, or great-grandparents that may remember the last world war and its aftermath on the way of life for all. 

But even so, there’s no reason for us all to completely lose our heads. Although it could be really easy to do so, given the frightening daily updates on death tolls, infections, stockpiling, self-isolation (12 weeks for the elderly!) and so much more… it’s exhausting.

Here at Thrive we have started to trial home-working and by the time this blog post goes live we may all be working remotely for the first time in our company’s short but substantial seven-year history. 

Although I’m only in my late 20s and have little memory of swine flu, bird flu, or SARS, there is nobody that I speak to that can recall a time like this, so it’s important that in our “always on” society we make some time to switch off and do some self-care. We may be in this situation for a while, after all...

Switch off

That goes for Instagram (sorry Mrs Hinch), Twitter, the TV news, phone alerts, and so much more. It pays to unwind and unplug from all of that noise and chatter - some of which is so exaggerated it’s not even true when it comes to COVID-19. 

It’s important to listen to the key updates directly from national and local government sources - but you don’t need to always be listening.  My anxiety levels immediately drop when I switch off the TV news, put my phone on silent and just enjoy ‘something else’, whether that’s Friends, reading a magazine or doing the housework (really!).

Tune in

To your friends, colleagues, loved ones… Make time for those that you may not be able to physically see (thanks self-isolation!), but who you can still catch up with via FaceTime, phone call, Skype, text, WhatsApp… You don’t have to cut yourself out from society and should make regular breaks in your day - including whilst working from home - to ensure your social life adjusts well to these newfound ways of living. 

If you’re lucky to have elderly relatives still with you, make it a priority to ensure they are still engaging with others - introduce them to FaceTime or Skype if they’ve never used it! They will be so thrilled to hear from you and have no shame if COVID-19 has bizarrely meant you’re more engaged than ever with family and friends, just enjoy this new way of socialising!

Tips for topping up your social levels: 

  • Move away from messaging platforms, including WhatsApp, Instagram, text, Snapchat and more…
  • Pick up the telephone and have an old-fashioned phone call with your aunt, or Dad, or best mate… 
  • Arrange a video call date with your mates - sure it’ll be weird if it’s not the ‘norm’ but you’ll all be feeling out of sorts for a while, so get over it, grab a glass of wine and gossip virtually!
  • Multiplayer games or have a Netflix Party! If you’re finding yourself stuck for conversation why not use iPhone’s Games Room and battle your friend at Connect 4, or use an online gaming platform. Or, try out the new Netflix Party extension, which means you can both watch the same thing and text chat at the same time... perfect for your 237th binge of Friends!

Love yourself

If you already practice yoga or meditation, don’t drop it. Equally while it’s safe for us to leave our homes continue your usual exercise, or drop the gym and go for a jog around your local park, to prevent infection. 

Why not make now the time to download one of the many health and fitness apps at our fingertips and take up yoga, or use FIIT for regular fitness classes during your day? 

Equally, continue to take care of your mental and physical state by ensuring you make an effort to get up at your usual work time, and get dressed properly, take the time to paint your nails, put on your makeup, trim your beard, moisturise… keep normality wherever you can!

Most importantly? Remember to focus on you, whilst we’re all busy trying to manage a WFH (work-from-home) lifestyle, check in with loved ones, keep an eye on the finances… just take an hour ‘here and there’ for some ‘me’ time. Your mind and body will thank you for it. 

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