Lockdown restrictions loosening does not necessarily reduce feelings of isolation. For some, social contact may still be limited, for others the idea of leaving home may be just as concerning or scary as staying home.
If you feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety, we have created some resources to help you. You can access these here:
- Khulisa’s 10 Step Plan to Managing Isolation in Lockdown – These steps are a guide to being alone in isolation for those of us not with family at home – This resource
- Self-care & Wellbeing: Practical Online Resources – The following links provide practical and experiential ideas for new things you can try to help you practice self-care and feel more connected with others during this period.
As a reminder, government assistance is available through the gov.uk/coronavirus website.
Managing Isolation in Lockdown - A 10-Step Plan
Being in lockdown alone can be tough.. Once we’ve exhausted Netflix and driven ourselves a little crazy with social media and news coverage, it becomes important to focus on how we manage day to day, particularly if we’re not working or working from home is new to us.
We may struggle with emotions that are new to us or we’ve not felt in a long time – loneliness, anxiety, depression, fear, sadness. We may feel overwhelmed or trapped in our confined space and our coping strategies will be pushed to the max during this period.
If you feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety, we have created a guide to help you to manage anxiety . You can access this and more resources at our website.
If you need some ideas for how to self-support – this document is for you. The following steps are a guide to being alone in isolation for those of us not with family at home:
- Create a structure for your day: Even if it’s just getting up, getting breakfast – create structure around meal-times
- Replicate rituals so you have some routine: Having rituals and routines helps us retain a sense of ‘normal’. This helps calm, body and mind, decrease stress and increase energy needed to manage change.
- Incorporate exercise into your day: Experts say 20 mins daily exercise can decrease depression and lighten mood.
- Have a nutritious diet: Now’s the time to be well hydrated, eat regular meals, a mixed and balanced diet – putting sand in your fuel tank won’t make the engine run well – make good choices.
- Stay emotionally connected (despite physically distant): Experts tell us humans need contact for survival – connect with colleagues, friends, family every 40 minutes – by text, call, a wave, a smile, Zoom, WhatsApp etc – stay in relationship to help smooth your transition back to society.
- Keep your brain active: Art, colouring, word games, brainteasers, jigsaws, journaling, reading, studying – keep your brain occupied. Help distract it from negative messaging in news etc.
- Include self-care in your plan: What makes you feel nourished, nurtured? Make a list of the things that nurture you (hot baths, nature walks, a good book etc) – make time for something every day.
- Try new things (or those things you always planned to do…) Learning something new stimulates the brain and tunes out anxious thoughts. Being curious about new learning helps increase dopamine and improves mood..
- Start an appreciation/gratitude practice Recognition is critical for self-worth and self-love. It builds confidence and motivation. Appreciate what you have in your life. Become more attuned to positive rather than negative data – it’s great for good mental health.
- Be kind to yourself Do you have a critical inner voice? Would you speak like that to someone you love? Negative messaging adversely impacts our mental health. Be kind to you!