Coronavirus: Things To Do While You're Self Isolating

Monday, 16 March 2020


Whilst we're living through what feels like an episode of Black Mirror, everyone is currently in a state of uncertainty and panic. I'll admit it, when news of the Coronavirus first started circulating I turned a blind eye to it. It's just another flu, I thought, and while some will rightfully argue that it still is, it's clear that the lack of action from our Government is causing this to spiral out of control. I personally have never lived through a pandemic to cause such mass hysteria like this one, and it would be ignorant for anyone to just pretend like nothing is happening.

The uncertainty and panic it's causing the world right now is tough enough on anyone, but as someone with anxiety it can become borderline unbearable. The term 'self isolating' is scary, but it is necessary to protect the vulnerable; namely the elderly, pregnant and those who already deal with health issues. While the UK Government have now "strongly advised" to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and any non-essential contact, not putting actual bans in place effects business' and the livelihoods of their workers.

While I fortunately don't fall into the category of the vulnerable, I am also not selfish enough to continue my days and put those around me at risk. Something a lot of people don't seem to be grasping is the terrible strain this is having on our NHS - there are many, many people out there suffering from a plethora of health issues, and their care is compromised if this virus continues to spiral. If i'm lucky enough to not get the Coronavirus, the only thing it will effect for me personally is the cancellation of my upcoming gigs and holidays - which is shit enough in itself - but my main concern is my own mental health. 

Fortunately, my workplace has taken precautionary measures and has temporarily closed it's offices due to the virus, and while working from home seems like the dream to most, it's very testing on your mental health. The isolation and lack of general routine can easily put you into a pit of self doubt. Am I doing enough for my job, and more importantly, for my own sanity? 

If you struggle with your mental health, it is important to not read into rumours and false allegations. Try to keep your reading to just reliable sources, and if you are in a position where you can self-isolate or have been advised to by your workplace, there are a few things you can do to make the most of this strange, uncertain time.

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Clean, tidy, clear out, rearrange. There are many household chores we put off because of life getting in the way, but this is the perfect time to pick up those tasks you've pushed to the end of your lists. Cleaning and tidying is a great way to be productive and to occupy your mind. Sort through your wardrobe and put together some charity donations. Rearrange your furniture so you actually enjoying being in that room again. Clear out that 'random shit' drawer. Trust me, you'll feel a lot better afterwards.

Be creative. I've spoke about bullet journalling several times on my blog and this is something I do still keep up thanks to Amanda Rach Lee's Doodle Planner. Drawing, writing, doodling and colouring, are all great ways to keep your mind healthy. You don't have to be an artist to create something.

Work out. If you're used to being out of the house every day, you are automatically a somewhat active person, and even if you're not a gym-bunny, your body will start to miss that daily activity that it's used to. Whilst i'm working at home I have this added time in my days that I would've spent commuting, so i've set that time aside to do at home work outs.

Communicate. An obvious one, but something that is easily forgotten when you are out of your routine. We have no excuse to not stay connected with our loved ones thanks to social media, so make sure you're regularly checking in with your friends, family, followers, and having good conversations.

Netflix / YouTube. I'm sure you're sick of people just recommending to "just binge a show on Netflix", and while I don't agree with using all your time on this as it's not good for your mental health, it is a great way to distinguish your "chill out time" away from your "productive time". I'm sure there's plenty of films, documentaries and series you've added to your list on Netflix for 'when you need something to watch'; now is that time. There are also thousands of great content creators out there using platforms like YouTube that are very easy to get lost in (if you'd like some suggestions feel free to let me know in the comments)! Start a series at the same time as your friends and talk about it so you can keep up that communication that is very, very important.

TikTok. If you want a bit of light during a dark time, download TikTok. Give in to the temptation and realise there's thousands of 15 second videos out there for your entertainment. I won't judge you. Even if you find yourself learning the dances. Have some fun!

Drink water. This may seem like a stupid thing to suggest but I for one have noticed how my water intake decreases when i'm in the house as opposed to when i'm out. It's easy to forget everyday things when you're out of your routine, so make sure you're keeping up your H20 intake! There are many cool reusable bottles on the market that have indicators to how much you should be drinking at different times throughout the day (example here), so get yourself one of them if you need a little push.

Rest. While you need to keep yourself busy to occupy your mind and keep as active as possible, it is also a perfect time to actually get some well needed rest. Most of us aren't getting our recommended 8 hours of sleep a night, so take the time to actually get it! Set your alarm an hour later, take a 20 minute nap on your lunch break - actually enjoy sleeping and you'll start to notice the benefits it has on your mind and body.

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Here's a few articles about Coronavirus / self-isolating / working from home and mental health, that I found to be somewhat helpful:

  • 'Coronavirus and your wellbeing', Mind.
  • 'Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak', Mental Health Foundation.
  • 'Coronavirus: How to work from home the right way', BBC.
  • 'Coronavirus: How to be productive if you have to work from home', Telegraph.

And most importantly, remember to wash your hands (you detty pig). Stay safe everyone. x

© Image Source: Pexels

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