Five Ways to Wellbeing when self-isolating
For people that are in self-isolation or are in quarantine, this may seem like a daunting prospect. It will help to try and see it as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you didn’t choose it.
Plan how you’ll spend your time. It might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. Try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Get up at the same time as normal, follow your usual morning routines, and go to bed at your usual time.
Create a daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. Staying healthy is as much about your mind as it is about your body.
- Stay Connected
Self-isolation does not mean you cannot stay connected. While there will be physical distancing’ it is still important to maintain human connection. In fact, at times of stress we work better if we can have contact with others. The more you can plan for this the better
- Make plans to video chat with people or groups you’d normally see in person.
- If you’re part of a group of people who are also self-isolating this group could also act as an informal support network i.e. work colleagues
- Join a peer support group community, for example Elefriends at Mind
- You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts.
- Think of other ways to keep in contact with people if meeting in person is not possible. For example, you could check your phone numbers are up to date, or that you have current email addresses for friends you’ve not seen for a while.
- Putting extra pictures up of the people you care about might be a nice reminder of the people in your life.
- Listen to a chatty radio station or podcast if your home feels too quiet.
- Keep Learning
Find ways to spend your time that bring you some enjoyment and satisfaction
- Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles.
- Some libraries have apps you can use to borrow ebooks, audiobooks or magazines from home for free, if you’re a library member.
- FutureLearn and OpenLearn have free online courses you could try.
- There are lots of apps that can help you learn things, such as a foreign language or other new skills
- Opportunity to start to learn an instrument, craft or technical skills
- Stay Active
It’s important to try and build physical activity into your daily routine. Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as
- cleaning your home
- dancing to music
- going up and down stairs
- seated exercises
- online exercise workouts that you can follow
- Take Notice
Of Nature – Bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed. You could try the following:
- Spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air.
- Have flowers or potted plants in your home. Plant up seedlings bought online.
- Use natural materials to decorate your living space or use them in art projects. This could include leaves, flowers, feathers, tree bark or seeds.
- Look at photos of your favourite places in nature. Use them as the background on your mobile phone or computer screen or print and put them up on your walls.
- Listen to natural sounds, like recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall. Get as much natural light as you can.
- Spend time in your garden if you have one, or open your front or back door
Of Yourself – There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:
- arts and crafts; such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
- playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community, can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you. Think what activities you can do at home that might benefit others. Ideas might include:
- ringing or writing to a friend, family member or neighbour who may be feeling particularly lonely and isolated
- make bunting for your local fete or community group
- build bird boxes or animal shelters
- spring clean cupboards and drawers and donate unwanted items to your chosen charity
- sew blankets and clothes for the local special baby unit
Further National Guidance
Public health England Coronavirus – protect yourself and others
Every Mind Matters is a new national practical resource to help you discover simple steps to look after your mental health
University College London – How to tackle mental health in the workplace as a manager and colleague
Looking after your own health, wellbeing and safety
Residents are coming together in our communities to find ways to plan and support each other as the number of cases of Coronavirus increase. We thank you. We urge you to continue to look out for your friends, family, neighbours and community, but most of all yourself. It’s important you stay safe, so you can continue to help others.
What you can do to help yourself
Follow the NHS advice on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus. We can all play our part to reduce its spread through basic hygiene measures such as washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, using a tissue when coughing then binning it, wiping down objects and surfaces regularly and avoiding touching your face, particularly your eyes, mouth and nose.
Think about keeping yourself emotionally healthy and happy – especially how you might do this if you have to stay indoors.
- You can find practical advice and resources to help you with your mental health here
- Read the ‘Five ways to wellbeing when self-isolating’ section of this page for ideas on how you can occupy your time in a positive way and so look after your own wellbeing.
Stay up-to-date using trusted sources of information – sharing misinformation can cause further concern in communities
Plan ahead and ask friends and neighbours for help to make sure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
If you need help then ask friends, family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines but leave them outside
Follow some very simple advice to keep you safe
- Do not put a sign on your door openly stating you are vulnerable
- Do not share more personal information than absolutely necessary
- Do not share bank or card details or give people your cards to make purchases
- Contact the organisers of the group if someone asks you to pay more for something than you normally would
If you have a safeguarding concern or require adult social care support about a vulnerable adult, then see professionalchoices.org.uk/adults/ or phone us on 0300 123 2224
Helping children cope with stress during the corona virus
Children may respond to stress in different ways, such as being more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, sad, angry or agitated, or bedwetting. It is normal to have such emotions and behaviours during a crisis.
Here are some useful tips to help children cope with their emotions during the coronavirus
- Children need adults’ love and attention during difficult times. Respond to your child’s reactions in a supportive way. Listen to their concerns and give them extra love and attention. Speak kindly and reassure them
- If possible, make opportunities for the child to play and relax
- Keep to regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or help create new ones in a new environment, including school/learning as well as time for safely playing and relaxing
- Involving our family and children in our plans for good health is essential. We need be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm
We need to minimise the negative impact it has on our children and explain the facts to them. Discuss the news with them but try and avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus. Be as truthful as possible. Don’t avoid the ‘scary topic’ but engage in a way that is appropriate for them
The Mental Health Foundation has some useful information about talking to children about scary news
If you haven’t found what you need, or need more support please phone us on 0300 123 2224