I would like to apologise for my silence on here, this year has not been the best for me in the sense of my mental health. I have been feeling overwhelmed, with low mood as a result this has caused a lot of anxiety attacks.
So for me the COVID-19 never mind self-isolation, has been triggering. COVID-19 has made me really worry about my loved ones and their health, they are classed as high risk and for me the thought of losing a loved one can trigger forms of rejection. This is not something that is easy for me to deal with and worrying about losing those loved ones means, very little sleep and being in a dark place.
As a result this has meant that I am staying at home and avoiding people. I currently still live with my dad so I do have to be very careful to ensure that he isn’t put at risk. I am not someone who stays in the house much as I do like to keep busy and pop to friends and other family members. This is a good coping mechanism as there are a lot of triggers in the house which can lead me into a dark place.
Due to my job I am still working and have been working at home for a few months. Not seeing your colleagues/friends on a day-to-day basis at work can be difficult, as until you are pulled away from that environment you don’t realise how much of an impact they have on your mood and motivation. Let me tell you they have a huge impact on mine, as they keep me sane and get me through the day as I can struggle with keeping my focus. So there are a few things I would like to share with you that may help self isolating a bit easier and more manageable whether you are working from home or not.
This one I am sure you are very aware of but it more important than we think. Ensure that you are having plenty of fluids and eating healthy. Drinking plenty of water is important for your mental and physical health. A change in your routine might affect when you drink or what fluids you drink and at the moment we are all having a change in our routine. There are apps out there which you can use to help you track fluids and remind you to drink more.
Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar as normal as possible can help your mood and energy levels. Make sure you are eating plenty of nutritional food, unfortunately chocolate doesn’t fall in that category which I am sure most of us would. Not going to lie I have put some weight on since lockdown.
If you currently take any medication make sure you keep on top of taking this as you normally would. It is easy to forget from time to time but with so much changing this is not the time to go ‘cold turkey’. Speaking from experience it is not a nice feeling and doesn’t make anything better, ensure that you are picking up your medication from the doctors or have someone pick it up for you.
A way in which I like to think about it is, that this is something I can control, so once a week I get my tablet box out and sort out my medication for the week and this has now become part of my night time routine to take my medication with my glass of water before I get into bed. This is something which hasn’t changed due to COVID-19 and it gives me a sense of control.
If you are use to seeing your therapist/CPN on a regular basis and have now been cancelled due to the pandemic, it can feel overwhelming and hard to reach out. But if you need support don’t forget to reach out to someone this could be your auntie, friend or a professional. They are still there for support but are just not open for face to face meetings.
If you do not feel like speaking to them, reach out to a friend or a relative let them know how you are feeling. Explain you need some support. I have always gone to my best friends for a cuppa when I am feeling low and since this pandemic this is not something I have been able to do. However, we have made sure that once a week we get together on face time and have a cuppa together. This may sound odd but it has helped me massively as it’s something that hasn’t stopped it still happens just slightly different than before.
‘Declutter’ Your Space
As for many of us you may be spending a lot of time at home, it can be helpful to keep things tidy, however everyone is different. I know for me it helped by having a good sort out, I spent a lot of time in my room so I decluttered and made it a more peaceful place to be in.
As I am currently in the process of looking for a house I am buying bits for when I move out so it has been a bit of a nightmare from time-to-time but due to the isolation it allowed me to spend some time sorting out the best way this can be stored and unseen. This has helped hugely as now I am able to get ready for bed and unwind as I now have a peaceful place to truly relax… whatever that is.
Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself can also help you feel a sense of control over the pandemic due to this being an important way to help stop germs spreading. So you can have a sense of control over this maybe not as much as we want to be in control over this but there are ways. We have to make the best out of a bad situation and self-isolation is here for that reason to help protect as many people as possible.
We all have an hour a day to ensure that we are getting exercise we need whether this is going for a walk, run or maybe even cycling. Ensure that you get out for a bit of the day even if it is for a 10 minute walk round the block. This is something which helps me, I have to escape as I know then this is all over I won’t be able to leave the house due to so much anxiety. As a result I am ensuring I am getting out and getting some fresh air in my lungs.
Not just that but I have often seen neighbours and it means I have some interaction outside of my home… ensure you are keeping your 2 meter distance. It is amazing how seeing a friendly face can give you bring normality back into your life.
Hopefully a few of these things will help with the self isolation and the pandemic as I am not sure this is something which will be going away anytime soon. But remember to stay strong and focus on the positive, we will get through this and there is light at the end of the tunnel.