Things to do Whilst Self-Isolating

Well it has been a while hasn’t it! I feel so strange writing again – a good strange, and to be honest there is no reason that I stopped for so long. I guess life just got in the way… A lot has gone on in my life since I last wrote on here. I feel like that is a blog post in itself, anyway back to the point. Of course you all will have heard about this tiny little thing that’s going on in the world called coronavirus, and if you haven’t, you definitely absolutely live under a rock. I am currently working from home and my dad has gone into serious lockdown in our house at the moment (none of us have symptoms he is just worried), so for someone who is very social and proactive, to be stuck inside for so long is really mentally challenging for me, and it is only day 4.

All I have been thinking is ‘how the fuck am I going to get through this’ if I am being entirely honest. I know it is necessary that we do this to stop the spread of the virus and am under no illusion that this is a minor thing however as someone with a history with mental health issues, it is quite daunting to be so isolated. Especially for someone like me, who’s support system is largely those who do not live with me, meaning I am currently isolated from them. The same as a lot of mental health coping strategies, i.e. going to the gym, going shopping, going out with friends are all off the cards right now. So all day I have been making a list on my phone on things I plan to do during this time to keep myself occupied and be as active as possible.

Dog Walks

My first thing to do is walk the dog, I have tried to do this daily so far, as I am working from home I am not getting half the amount of basic exercise I usually do on a day to day basis i.e. walking to/from the station, walking to properties etc. So not only is walking the dog a form of mindfulness and a way to escape the craziness of the world for a little while but also it keeps me active. Fresh air isn’t going to do any harm either!

Bake Cakes

I promise I am not an old lady haha! It just came in to my mind a few days ago when I was thinking of things I can do to actually cope. I am not a good baker at all but my thought process is that if it distracts your mind for even 15 minutes (only 15 mins because I’m a cheater and use cake mixture) then it is totally worth doing. Also you get a cake at the end of it, so it is a win win really!

Experiment with make up

If you are into make-up, then now is a good time to try out different looks and just experiment with your colours – go WILD. Another side note to this one is, clean your brushes. As I do make up on the side now I regularly clean my brushes but I know before I did this my brushes used to be super, super gross and definitely were not washed as much as they were meant to be.

Home Workouts

I am yet to actually do this one… as always. I mean I didn’t really go to the gym before the government closed them however I think a lot of people’s mental health will take a huge hit over the coming weeks whilst in isolation. As most people know, exercising releases endorphins which will boost your mood. There are lots of Instagram accounts that are posting easy homework outs, with none or near to none equipment required.

Keep in a routine

I am not sure about anyone else but I have been keeping myself in a strict routine starting by still setting an alarm every morning, having a shower getting dressed, making a tea, putting heart on the radio, opening the window to keep the room fresh before starting to work. Then at one oclock, as I would at work I take my lunch hour. Then at 5 o’clock this is when I take my dog out each day. I think when you are spending so much time at home it is easy to become lazy and stay in your pyjamas all day in bed working but even the thought of doing that makes me feel so sluggish and rubbish which is why I got ahead of the game and made sure I don’t do this.

Keep informed but do not engage in bullshit

This is a HUGE point for people, especially those who suffer with anxiety, to make note of. I personally wasn’t too concerned about the virus until around four days ago. I am now feeling so uneasy and concerned about the whole thing it is starting to trigger my anxiety. This covers all aspects of things, I am waking up in the night in panic, I am working myself up so much about I genuinely feel like every sniffle or cough I have got it, my skin has broken out so badly. These may not seem significant to someone else but for so many people like me it is really draining to have these feelings each day. I cannot imagine how the families of those already affect are coping and my thoughts go out to them. The hysteria around this virus is genuinely concerning. I have played to it aswell, I am not innocent, everyone forwarding on messages on Whatsapp etc. The most frustrating ones for me are ‘my mums friends husbands sisters dog works for the army and they said’ because it is like one big game of Chinese whispers. Not factual and causing hysteria over false information. I guess the point of this being on the list is for me to say it is really important to be informed on what is going on from reliable sources i.e. direct from the Prime Minster or the World Health Organisation, rather than turning a blind eye to it and remaining ignorant. However, in the same breath, do not play to the tune of the hysteria, be informed enough to overlook the bullshit, as focussing on that will cause unnecessary anxiety in an already highly anxiety inducing situation.

Remain social, virtually

Do not withdraw socially because all social outlets are closed currently. Check up on your family and friends, play stupid games together, I have heard there is a new feature on Netflix that you can all watch the same thing at the same time. I know how easy it is to go into a little bubble and withdraw socially prior to this whole ‘lockdown’ thing, please, please, please make the conscious effort to stay in touch with people. If you do not it will be so detrimental to your mental health, you might not even see it at first, and by then it is too late as you will have already took a massive hit. It is a really shit situation but it is making the best out of a bad one

Surround yourself with positivity

This is quite a broad statement to make, however I will go into what I mean in a little more detail. There is so much negativity broadcasted on social media at the moment it is absolutely crazy.  I have made sure I have unfollowed/removed as much as I can. I have also been checking certain Instagram accounts which make me smile, they are:

–          @thehappynewspaper

–          @sunnybloominspiration

–          @missmalinsara

I have also dug out my self-help books which always put me in a positive mindset:

–          Good Vibes, Good Life – Vex King

–          The Power is Within You – Louise Hay

–          Get your Sh*t Together – Sarah Knight

Like I said, right now it is about making the best out of a truly awful situation. I would also like to thank all the doctors, nurses, keyworkers that are having to put their own health on the line each and every day to serve us and care for those who are ill. It is such a selfless and truly amazing thing to do, they deserve all the thanks in the world, more than what we can even express.

I hope, when this is all over, we can see the world in a different perspective, be grateful for the little things in life, love harder, laugh deeper and have a new lease of life.

This is a really daunting time for everyone, not just those with mental health issues and I want you to know, if you need a chat or a rant my dms are always open.

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Sending lots of love and virtual hugs,

Soph x

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