Many of us have been encouraged to social distance ourselves and self-isolate if needed over the past few weeks. For some, this may cause panic, confusion, anxiety and fear. With so much uncertainty in the air, it’s worth knowing that you are not alone and that these emotions are okay – and they are valid. Below, we have listed 11 things you can do to boost your wellbeing and practice self-care whilst you’re on “stay-cation”.
Disconnect yourself from social media
For some, constant news articles and media coverage can be overwhelming and panic inducing. Put your devices away, limit your news feed and allow structured times to read the news. It’s important to stay informed – but it’s okay to take a step back to focus on your wellbeing.
Focus on your inner creativity and express yourself through something creative. Paint, draw, write a poem or learn to cook a new recipe. Having more time indoors means having more time to learn new skills. Try looking for online courses and indulging in new activities – this could be learning calligraphy or how to crochet.
Stay connected during social distancing
Social distancing can lead to feelings of loneliness and not having a community around us can lead to us feeling socially isolated. It’s important that despite socially distancing ourselves, we don’t cut ourselves off from others. Plan a digital catch up – whether it’s Facetiming your friends, creating family WhatsApp groups to keep in touch, or having Skype meetings with your colleagues. Remind yourself and others that you are not alone.
Indulge in nature
Getting outdoors and breathing in some fresh air is amazing for our emotional wellbeing and mental health. Open a window, sit in the garden or pot some herbs. Do something than connects you with nature and our outside world.
Spend quality time with yourself
Life can often feel hectic and fast paced. Use this time to take a step back and spend some much needed quality time with yourself. Allow yourself to be pampered, binge watch Netflix, read a new book or treat yourself to your favourite chocolate.
Maintain your productivity
For those who usually lead a very busy lifestyle and are used to a routine, being self-isolated can lead to them feeling unproductive, bored or unsatisfied. Despite being at home – you can still create a structure for your days. Set daily goals, write to do lists or complete chores you haven’t yet got round to. For anybody working from home – create a workspace that makes you feel motivated, which is separate from your living area.
During a time where many of us may feel anxious or worried – try finding ways to stay calm and prevent panic. Find a relaxing and comfortable spot to engage in breathing techniques and practice mindfulness. Try using apps such as Headspace where you can engage in guided meditation.
Do something physical
As we are being encouraged to avoid public spaces like gyms or sporting events, many of us may feel the mental impact of reducing our physical activity. However, you can still remain physical from within your home. Jog on the spot, exercise using online work out videos or play your favourite songs and dance vigorously around your front room. Anything that may keep you active and prevent you from becoming a couch potato.
Hang out with your pets
Many of us usually spend our time at work, running errands or socialising outside of our home environment. This makes little time for us to spend time with our much-loved pets. Whilst you’re at home, spend quality time with your pets whether that’s playing throw and catch or cuddling up on the sofa.
Do something kind
Being self-isolated can be a lonely and difficult time for many of us. Although it’s important to take care of ourselves – it’s also important to take care of those around us. Perhaps you could ask your neighbours if they need any essentials grabbing from the shops or pharmacy. Write positive notes or postcards to your local care home to help brighten up the resident’s day. Create care packages for your local homeless shelter filled with essentials they may not have. After all, we are all in this together and we are not alone.
Keeping safe from suicide
Here at HOPELINEUK, we understand how the recent increase in anxiety and fear may impact your thoughts of suicide. If you are at home and looking for ways to manage your thoughts of suicide, you could create a ‘HopeBox’ which is a box filled with sensory items, which can help you cope with your thoughts of suicide in that moment. These items can be photographs of the people you love, your favourite perfume or song lyrics that resonate with you. You can learn how to create a ‘HopeBox’ by accessing our resources on the PAPYRUS website under ‘Help & Advice Resources’.
If you want to work on keeping safe from suicide, you can also access our resource ‘Safety Plan’ which you can work through on your own or with somebody you can trust. Alternatively, you can download the app ‘Stay Alive’ where you can work on keeping safe from suicide.