This feeling of confinement during isolation can result in boredom and apathy, anxiety and distress. Here are a few ways to put structure and positivity into your day and to offer a hand to help:
Be healthy with foods to nourish: Don’t reach for the biscuit tin! Biscuits, chocolate, crisps – these won’t help the immune system to fight off any infection. Make sure you are eating all the right nutrients. Take time to plan your meals, set regular times and eat slowly allowing meal times to become an occasion. Make them colourful and always add a favourite food. Think healthy, be healthy.
This situation of isolation can however have the opposite effect of under-eating due to panic and anxiety. Ensure you have a range and variety of healthy snacks on hand all the time. Make them colourful – carrots, peppers, celery sticks, nuts, dried and fresh fruit pieces and cereal bars (low sugar where possible).
Be positive: It is so easy to fall into a negative isolation attitude. Plan a list of hobbies or interests and allocate time to delve into them each day. These may be gardening, art, reading or baking. Better still, learn a new skill or even a language. Something to task your mind. When this time passes you can look back and be proud of what you have achieved.
Exercise daily: Indoor or outdoor, this is the time to get fit and into shape which in turn will make you feel better. Enjoy the fresh air and quietness, (no traffic, flights, or trains) and nature’s own sounds while running or walking at a pace. Ensure you spend at least 30 minutes. Use the time indoors to stretch those muscles, yoga exercises, pilates and finish off with meditation to find that quietness within you.
Connect and communicate: This maybe easier said than done when you’re social distancing or in isolation but human connection is key for mental health. Find ways that to communicate with people, even if that’s not in person. Maybe regular calls by phone or using video calls with friends and family. Maybe return to traditional methods and reach for your pen and paper and start sending letters to friends and others in your community. It will brighten up their day, as well as yours!
Give your time, your kindness, your heart: If you are not in a position to volunteer, there are lots of things you can do which can mean a lot to others. Search online for ideas but there are simple, effective things you can do…. A smile to someone you pass, two metres away, the offer of help to a neighbour and a regular call to someone living alone.
Time for you: Use this isolation period constructively. Give yourself time, take care of you.