How to cope when in self isolation?
We are living in trying times because of the corona virus. This has necessitated self isolation as a means of trying to curb the spread of the virus. What is important is how we can cope when in self isolation. However, self isolation comes with its own challenges.
How can self isolation affect us?
Living in isolation for such long periods like 14 days can wreak havoc on one’s mental health. It can play with one’s head. The fact that there is no known cure for the virus alone can lead a person to develop anxiety and thinking about the likely scenarios which could happen due to the virus developing into full-blown infection.
What the experts say about coping in self isolation?
According to Dhruv Khullar, a physician and researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, even short periods of isolation can cause increase in anxiety or depression “within days”. When you are in isolation it can trigger fear, anxiety and anger. You can feel frustrated because you feel helpless and have no control over what is happening to them.
Coping strategies to alleviate isolation anxiety
There are things which you can do when in isolation to alleviate anxiety
Keep contact with your social circle and family:
Call people and talk to human beings. Hearing someone’s voice is reassuring. If you need things like food and life necessities, they can help by bringing those for you. If you belong to a church, or social group keep in contact. My church created a website where all members can leave comments about how they are or if they are in need of something.
- Social media platforms like Facebook and Whats App groups can be a source of comfort and provide you with others to talk to. My family is in South Africa, we have created zoom meetings which we have every day for face time. This is really helping us as we are reassured of each other’s well-being.
Eat a healthy diet:
Being in a confined space in the house is not a license to binge on everything. When in self isolating, especially if you can not go out of the house, it is important that you keep eating a healthy diet with vegetables and fruits. We all know why vegetables are good for us. I find that since isolation I have put a bit of weight on. I have not been eating properly because I am finding it hard to cope with self isolation.
There are variety of exercise on can do at home. Keep up the exercise routines which you can do without need of equipment. If you are able, take a walk in nature. Walking in nature is therapeutic.
Limit your intake of news:
There is a constant coverage of the corona virus at the moment. Sometimes listening to too much news information can leave you depressed if you hear the statistics of how bad the situation is. It can make you worse than you already are.
Keep your mind constructively busy:
- You may want to use this as a time to learn a new hobby or to finish some of those DYI jobs which you have left hanging for too long. The other day on Face book I saw a feed about a lady who started cross stitch as a way of coping with self isolation. She is making a circular frame divided into 14 days. with each day having a theme which she cross stitching on its designated piece. It looked wonderful. Can’t wait to see the finished piece. It is a good idea to keep occupied in order to avoid negative thoughts crawling in.
- There is a lot of misinformation on social media outlets and these should be avoided for your own sanity. Seek reputable sources of information like WHO or your national health articles/information sources.
Laugh out loud:
- Laughing releases tension and produces feel good feelings. It is a good idea to watch something funny which can make you laugh and momentarily forget the challenges you are facing. I normally listen to preaching on You Tube, Christian websites or listen to Christian music videos as these sources have content that gives me comfort.
Practical ways to prevent spread
- Wash your hands regularly with lathering soap or alcohol gel for at least 20 seconds
- Close your mouth when coughing with a tissue or cough onto a tissue which you should discard immediately
- Catch your sneeze with tissue and discard in a bin
- Clean door handles and surfaces regularly used with a sanitizer
I would very much like to hear about how you are coping, leave a comment below. God bless.