It can be exceptionally taxing on your mental wellbeing to be isolated, even if you know it’s for the best! Here are 10 things you can do that will help you cope with the loneliness, and ensure that your mental health isn’t too heavily impacted while we wait for everything to blow over.
There are lots of guided meditations and apps to assist you out there, but even just taking deep breaths and slowing your breathing can help with your mental health. Just taking time out of the day to slow your thoughts and clear your mind can make a huge difference.
2. Writing a list
You could write a list of all the things you can do now at home. It could consist of things you normally don’t get time to do, or maybe things that you really enjoy and could fall back on if you get stuck for ideas. You could also list things you will do in the future when all this is over, just to remind you that this won’t last forever!
3. Connecting virtually online
Keeping in touch with people virtually is extremely important. Send instant messages or communicate via social media. Use video chat or start group conversations. Make phone calls or use Netflix parties. Communicate however best works for you but don’t isolate yourself digitally.
4. Be Creative
Do something creative that feels productive, with a clear finishing point so you can ‘achieve it’. This could be reading a book, drawing a picture, or writing a poem. Choose whatever interests you, and what you think you’d most enjoy. You could even tell us about it by posting on Voice!
5. Organise and Tidy
Make sure to declutter and keep your space tidy and welcoming. It’s important that whilst you are stuck at home, you make it somewhere you can be comfortable and feel relaxed in. Also, the act of organising and tidying will help your mental health more generally.
6. Build in things you enjoy
Focus on trying to build in one thing you enjoy each and every day. Even if you are studying or working from home, or perhaps rushed off your feet with childcare and home-schooling, try to do one-little-something that you like every day, however small it may be.
7. Celebrate little steps
If you’ve managed to do some of the above every day, then celebrate it! Each day you should try to at least do and achieve one little thing no matter how small. Sometimes that one thing might just be getting out of bed and getting dressed (tick!), other days it might be reorganising your entire living room (tick!) and other days it could be writing the equivalent to a Beethoven concerto. Take the wins each day, however big or small.
8. Avoid constantly checking the news
Try to stay away from the news as much as possible as it can increase anxiety and worry. If you want to read something, read about culture, arts and film (hint), but avoid constantly watching the doom and gloom of Downing street, or the panicked social media fear-mongering.
9. Self Care
Bath, paint your nails, look after your hair, make sure you eat, drink, exercise, sing, dance, you name it! Be active and prioritise your mental wellbeing. Make sure you look after yourself, and are kind to yourself.
10. Don’t give up
Remind yourself to not give up, it won’t always be like this, and life could be completely different in one week, two months, three years time. There’s always someone to talk to so make sure you phone the numbers below if you are experiencing difficulties, nearing your own crisis or most importantly just need someone to talk to.
Now I just need to learn how to follow my own advice because I know how hard it can be to actually do the things listed above sometimes…whilst the list seems easy and simple it can be harder to actually practise so wish me luck! Also let me know how you get on or if you have any advice of your own to add to help others with their Mental Health let us know below in the comments!
Samaritans: Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone)
MIND: Infoline: 0300 123 3393
If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm),