How To Stay Mentally Healthy While Self-Isolating
If you’re self-isolating and feeling like your mental health is suffering - you are not alone. A lot of people are saying that they feel a bit rattled, chaotic, or down right now. It’s a tough situation for us all, and the good news is there are plenty of things you can do to boost your mental wellness while you’re staying home!
LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA
These are uncertain times and the media coverage can be overwhelming. By limiting your social media (try 30 minutes twice a day), you can filter some of the barrage and panic. This isn’t about not staying informed, but more selectively choosing when you want to update yourself. Tip: only get news from trusted sources such as official government websites, not a Facebook feed where fake news and alarm can easily spread.
Odds are you’ll be doing a lot more sitting than usual while you’re at home, so keep those muscles limber and mind calm by scheduling in a good stretch session. A simple yoga flow or foam rolling in front of the tv will sort you right out. This backbend sequence is great for engaging your spine and giving your limbs a nice stretch after long periods of sitting.
SOAK UP SOME SUNSHINE
Seasonal deficiency disorder isn’t something we get a lot of in Australia thanks to our outdoor loving lifestyle, however while we’re spending a lot of time indoors it’s important to get a daily dose of Vitamin D. Sit on your balcony, in your backyard, or even just open your windows to get some morning sun. Vitamin D is best absorbed through your wrists, so give your arms a stretch and chill out for 5-10 minutes. If you want to be in the sun longer, please remember to wear sunscreen!
SPEAK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Being in self-isolation can be, well, isolating. Keep your happiness levels high by organising video calls (Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime are all free and easy to use) with your nearest and dearest. Organise to have dinner together from your respective homes, check in those living alone regularly, and you can even plan Friday night drinks from the couch!
STICK TO A WORK ROUTINE
If you’re continuing to work during this time, it’s important to maintain a normal routine at home. Set your alarm and get up at the same time each day, and if possible have a dedicated area for work. Make sure you take a lunch break, and finish work on time, then put all your papers, laptop and work gear away. This will help your brain distinguish between work time and personal time.
If you’ve never mastered meditation in the past, now is the time to try again. There are countless apps that will support you such as Calm, Insight Timer and Headspace. Have a play around with whether you like a guided meditation or prefer to sit with simple music. You’ve got the time and the benefits on your mental clarity and sleep will be tenfold.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Keep the synapses firing by challenging yourself! Always wanted to try embroidery? Curious about how to make bread from scratch? Have an old guitar that you only know how to play one song on? It’s the perfect time to pursue hobbies that will skill you up. Not only will you feel accomplished learning something new, but it will keep your brain busy during this downtime.
If you find yourself struggling with stress, anxiety or mental health issues, seek help. You are not alone. We suggest you talk to your doctor first, but there are a lot of places to seek anonymous help if you need. Below are some great mental health services.