Ideal for those who are self-isolating, working from home or in quarantine right now.

COVID-19’s spread across the UK and the globe continues, and the future looks uncertain for so many. With it becoming increasingly clear that we’re going to be spending a lot of time at home, on our devices and the sofa, many are rightly concerned about the impact this trying time will have on the collective mental health and wellbeing of the country. But self isolation needn’t mean feeling isolated and alone. Here are 4 ways to stay connected and keep a sense of community during self isolation, IDEAL for those who are self-isolating, working from home or in quarantine right now.

WRITE THAT LETTER, MAKE THAT CALL

Once upon a time, a phone call from a loved one was a welcome thing. Now, it only seems to spell incoming bad news. Whatsapp or Facebook messenger is the realm of bantz and light heartedness, right? But that depersonalised approach to contact isn’t what we all need during this difficult time. 

Social isolation can intensify loneliness and that feeling of detachment, so make sure you’re keeping connected with friends and family. Now might be a good time to change that habit of the last few years and call, Facetime or Skype loved ones; the added intimacy of hearing a familiar voice or seeing a familiar face can be reassuring.

And whilst we wouldn’t want to ramp up the associations with being in prison, self isolation presents the opportunity to write that letter you’ve always wanted to, the closeness of the handwritten word offering comfort and connection. And if you’re reading this, Mum and Dad, I love you!

STICK TO THE FACTS BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO SWITCH OFF

The new normal of rolling 24 news coverage and somehow even more constant Twitter commentary can represent the antithesis of its intended effect. It can leave you feel disorientated, overloaded and actually rather ill-informed.

Make sure you get your information from trustworthy sources, and regularly, sure, but perhaps not quite as obsessively as those urges are imploring you to. Though their response thus far has been, shall we say, erratic, the Government’s daily announcements on COVID-19 and their frequently updated travel advice is still a valuable source of information.

But let’s face it; if you’re genuinely, devotedly self isolating, then you’re going to be stuck inside for some time, uninterrupted. Switching off that stream of anxiety inducing news isn’t going to do you any harm when you’re not leaving the house anyway. 

HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Just because you’re locked down doesn’t mean you’ve lost your voice. And if there’s something you’re worried isn’t being addressed by government in this fast moving time, the online activism website Change.org have recommended some great tips on doing something about it. From your computer, you can start a petition to have your voice heard on the crucial, ever changing issues of the day.

Be like NHS Doctor Jeremy who started a petition calling on more urgent supplies for our NHS, or contractor Terry who is calling for better sick pay rights for the self employed, or even Doctor Adrian’s campaign rallying the British public to show each other kindness, and make your voice heard. With enough discontented voices growing louder, the powers that be will have to start listening. 

HELP THOSE IN NEED

If you’re self isolating, then going outdoors to lend a helping hand to those in most desperate need, like the elderly, immune compromised, and homeless, isn’t really possible. But that doesn’t mean you should call a halt to your altruistic urges. Oh no. There’s still plenty you can do for your community from behind the screen.

Across the UK, The Trussell Trust charity supports 1’200 food banks, which are in dire need of donations as selfish buggers stockpile far more than they need, leaving the hungry very little to survive on. If you’re unable to donate food because you’re stuck at home, the charity receives online donations which help them do their invaluable work. Do your bit for those less fortunate.

As you’re probably aware, the over 70s are the most at risk group from the virus. They are also society’s loneliest, and the current global crisis is in danger of isolating them further, as face to face visits will be reduced or stopped entirely. There are now 1’200 (there’s that number again) mutual aid groups set up across the country to support those self isolating. If you have any elderly relatives, put them in touch with the assistance being provided within their community. What’s more, you can offer to help complete weekly online shops for those both unable to reach the shops and the digitally illiterate. 

And if you are able to get out there and lend a hand, check out our tips on volunteering ideas to help the elderly this Spring. Together, we can get through this.