In the upcoming months, as Coronavirus (Covid-19) hits its peak in the UK up to 1 in 5 (6 million) people are predicted to have to self-isolate. For many, their mental health during self-isolation is likely to be affected.
As we all face a time of uncertainty and fear of the unknown, we may feel low, worried or have trouble sleeping.
Here at Hungry Caterpillars some of our parents, children and staff members are currently in self-isolation and following Wednesday’s announcement that all UK schools will shut indefinitely, we want to help.
Today is International Day of Happiness, so to those who are struggling with self-isolation and social distancing during this difficult time, please see our top tips on how to try to stay positive and improve your mood.
Our top tips on looking after your mental health during self-isolation:
- It is known that stress and anxiety can lower your immune system, so in order to combat this try practicing meditation and mindfulness exercises to calm and sooth your mind. There are so many incredible YouTube videos and Apps to guide you through exercises, whether this is alone or as a family. If this sounds like something you would like to try – Calm is an app, you should definitely check out!
Stick to a daily routine
- Keeping a daily routine can help to make an uncertain situation more manageable. Make a plan for each day and stick to it. Getting up and eating meals at the same time every day, as well as getting dressed can boost productivity and make you feel positive about a situation.
Learn a new skill
- Set aside a few hours every day to stimulate your brain by learning a new skill – learning a language or to knit, the possibilities are endless!
- For the ultimate house clear out why not watch Marie Kondo on Netflix and get everything super organised! As Beverley, one of our administrators at Head Office says – ‘a tidy room is a tidy mind!’
- If you are feeling up to it, make exercising a part of your daily routine! Whether it is a HIIT routine or just some simple stretching, get those endorphins flowing to improve your mood. YouTube is full of thousands of exercise videos for every fitness level, which you can do from your living room, or many exercise and dance instructors are live streaming classes – so keep a look out on social media.
Avoid excessive media exposure
- It is important to keep up to date with current events, but if you feel that the media is making you feel anxious or worried, set an amount of time that you will check what is going on in the outside world for and then avoid it the rest of the day.
Spend quality time together
- Make the most of being at home by planning some family activities – for example organising a games night or watching a TV series together and set aside time for this every day. However, make sure to give everyone space, to avoid anyone feeling overwhelmed.
Stay in contact
- In a world where it is easier, to keep in touch than ever before we need to make the most of it. Check up on all of your friends and family members – especially those who may be self-isolating alone. With all schools in the UK shutting down, it is more important than to encourage your children to reach out to their friends and be patient with them – as they may be feeling lonely and worried about what is to come.
Try not to sleep too much
- Make the most of being able to get 8 hours (or more) a night and enjoy a lie in, but avoid excessive naps – as too much sleep can negatively affect your mood!
We hope that these tips will help make the time you may face self-isolating over the next few months more manageable.
It is important to remember that this is only temporary and by choosing to self-isolate you are helping to protect everyone who is most vulnerable in our society.
Try to embrace your feelings and accept that this an odd situation where you are not always going to feel your best.
For guidance and advice on when to stay home: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
If you are feeling anxious about the uncertainty of the situation please confide in someone you trust.
Or visit https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/ – for advice on how to look after yourself and your loved ones at this stressful time.