• Emma Jacques

Mental Health During Isolation

Human beings are social animals, our biological, psychological, and social systems evolved to thrive around other people; making the global lock down a difficult situation, causing anxiety and fear for many people. And as this situation has never happened for a lot of us before, we don't know how to deal with it. Everyone handles stress and loneliness differently and some will be living with it better than others due to background, community, support network, personality etc. Loneliness is something people don't like to admit, but now more than ever it is important to share your feelings. Connecting with other people will (most likely) be experiencing similar emotions could be extremely helpful. Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take a break from social media and the news. Constantly being reminded of the pandemic isn't allowing your brain to think of anything else which can cause you to be in a permanent state of anxiety. Social media alone can be exhausting and consume your mind, disallowing any kind of healthy recuperation. Taking a break from these things can give us much needed time for critical reflection; we can enhance ourselves instead with learning and taking the time to reflect on our thoughts and feelings.

  • Keep a journal. Keeping a journal is a known way to help improve your mood by helping you prioritse concerns and rationalise anxieties. We can learn more about ourselves and how to help ourselves if we can track our triggers. It also provides us with an opportunity to write down positive self talk, identify negative thoughts and counterbalance them, giving us a place to offload unhelpful thoughts can free up space in your mind for healthier things.

  • Make time to unwind. During the time we have nothing but time to ourselves you would be surprised how little time we actually give to ourselves. Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate. Try to be present at this time and not worry about what is going on in the rest of the world or what could happen. Mindfulness has been to be a key element in stress reduction.

  • Connect with others. Physical contact may be off limits right now but there are other ways to stay in touch with friends. Calls, Facetime, Skype. It is important to stay in touch with people you would usually see in an attempt to get back to normality.

And remember if your mental health is declining and you aren't sure what to do, there will be many counsellors and therapists still working via phone appointments and online appointments so don't be afraid to reach out if you are struggling.

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