We are all facing a unique situation, something none of us planned for or ever thought would have to face. We are being told to self-isolate and this may be making us feel worried and nervous. Not knowing when these restrictions may end is causing panic and for some, despair. It feels like we have lost a sense of freedom to choose and move about freely – loss of independence. So, let’s get things in place before this starts setting in!
How to cope with the unknown: dealing with anxiety and low mood.
Having to stay at home for a prolonged period can bring its own difficulties. Regardless of being at home with or without our families (or whoever we live with) can be frustrating, lonely and might lower our mood. The lack of space or access to a garden adds another challenge. More than ever, we need to look after ourselves and get the support we need. It is important to take care of our body and mind.
- Except the way you are feeling, it’s okay to feel not okay! Anxiety can have quite an impact on our body. You may notice your heart rate increasing, your breathing is heavier, you are shaking etc. In moments like this – take a deep breath in through your nose, hold and count backwards from 10, breathe out from your mouth.
- Get focused by distracting yourself. There are several grounding and distraction techniques that can help you take your mind off your anxiety and low mood resulting in uplifting your spirit. Like this one; Looking around and listing the following in your head
If you feel well enough, you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden.
In addition to the BBC website ‘How to exercise while staying at home, checkout our Guide on mental health and physical activity on our website – there are loads of tips for getting active that don’t need you to leave your home. For example, how about tidying the garden, painting the fence, planting etc. Keep the children moving – set a race who can get up the stairs fastest or tune in to The Body coach P.E. Lessons
Connecting with Others
Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone, social media or video call. Now is the time to use the benefits of social media.
Even though we are isolating ourselves, this is a good time to connect with people you would see regularly but to catch up with people you don’t often get chance to!
What to do at Home
We might think that spending more time at home is great, but with no commute or preparation from leaving the house and returning, there can be a lot of free time that can be filled with activities that can have a brilliant impact on our mental health.
It is incredibly important to keep a routine – this helps keep a positive perspective and ‘things’ as normal as possible. Keep yourself busy with activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films. Milton Keynes College has some free distance learning courses – something you may wish to try.
There are lots out there – personal training videos, music, yoga, cooking tips etc. Also, information on DIY, art and crafts – go try something new!
Create yourself a plan.
Plan and schedule when you are working or have other commitments, the time that is not easily changeable. Then build in your wellbeing around that by considering exercise, socialising, learning something new and helping others.
A morning plan for someone that works your typical 9-5 could look like this.
Exercise – Run
|Break – Wash Up||Exercise – Run||Break – Wash Up||Exercise – Run||Hoover||
Break – Wash Up
|Break – Call with Friend||Break – Wash Up||Break – Call with Friend||Break – Wash Up||Exercise – Yoga||
|Lunch & Walk||Lunch & Walk||Lunch & Walk||Lunch & Walk||Lunch & Walk||Unpack shop & Cook||
Zoom Dinner with Family
It might seem overkill to be this detailed, but this level of discipline will really begin to make a difference to how you maintain your routine as time goes on.
Try to schedule things to make yourself accountable, if you know that you might find housework difficult and you may have the tendency to use Art to procrastinate from your hoovering, put hoovering first and use Art as your reward!
Whatever you do, please make sure you stick to Government Guidelines when it comes to social distancing. Always keep yourself and others safe.
We provide 1:1 and Group Mentoring so if we might be able to help you or any of your loved ones, please find out more about or 1:1 emotional and wellbeing support here.