It’s like watching the world’s fabric laddering in real-time. Nothing gradual going on here. Creeping, circumspect change be damned. Our lives look like they’re going to be very different from here on in.
And with huge, seismic shifts comes increased uncertainty and anxiety about how this fearful new world might look. Self care has never been more important, with time on our hands and burden on our shoulders. Fortunately, there are ways to take extra care of yourself during this time; our 5 tips on dealing with anxiety during self isolation.
MAINTAIN A ROUTINE
Sure, routines tended to define our everyday, even when life was lived more ‘normally’. But when you’re working from home, working out from home, working out how to approach a new world from home….well, routine has never been more important in grounding you and granting some much needed perspective.
Embrace the moments and markers that help us define the different phases of the day. We realise that everyone responds differently, but it’s sensible to get out of bed soon after you wake up rather than spending the morning flicking through your phone still in your pyjamas.
Again, it’s something of a cliche now in the #wfh advice columns, but getting dressed (at least, changing from night to day wear) is essential, to establish some normality over the day at least. What’s more, you should try to have a designated space for work, free from clutter and the distractions of domestic duty.
And finally, do endeavour to mark mealtimes properly, by putting screens away and eating mindfully. It makes one hell of a difference to the ebb and flow of the day.
Though self-isolation for so many means shutting up shop, it shouldn’t mean shutting down communications. And despite the fact that quarantine measures are temporary, it’s common right now to feel a sense of disconnect.
Communication and community have never been more important, however tough it might feel right now keep connected. But making the effort is essential; keep talking to others as much as possible, either pick up the phone, connect over social media or send an email. If you’re living alone there are groups that offer companionship phone calls, which can provide a vital line of communication for people feeling alone and isolated.
With the above in mind, check out our tips on 4 ways to stay connected and keep a sense of community during self isolation.
…BUT TAKE TIME TO DISCONNECT
Hmm, we realise this runs somewhat counterintuitive to what we just said, but it’s so vital to have some digital downtime each and every day, to allow for some realigning of priorities and perspective.
You know that seeing unstoppable rolling news coverage – round the city and round the clock- of news so seismic it’s hard to comprehend can take its toll on your mental health. And with screens always on, always updating and demanding your attention, it can be really tough to take a moment to comprehend what’s going on.
It’s vital you do take a moment and check in with yourself. If constant screen time is distracting you from your true feelings, issues might be bubbling under below the surface. Anxiety can often be latent, but if not acknowledged, it can also often worsen.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
When we suffer from stress and anxiety, our sleep can often suffer, as we lay awake tossing and turning, or stay up late with insomnia looking to the ceiling for answers.
Though it can be hard to avoid when you’re stressed, not getting enough sleep is so counterintuitive to a nurturing a more peaceful mind. Sleep can actually be a powerful antidote to these issues so it is important we get enough; at least seven hours of solid, quality sleep per night is recommended.
If you struggle to get to sleep, a good bedtime routine can help. Set aside one to two hours before bedtime to wind down, maybe have a bath and some valerian tea, and steer clear of electronic devices during this time. Incorporating mindful activities such as relaxation or yoga at the end of the day can also be very effective.
Use the time to meditate regularly and take stock of the situation. Just ten minutes a day can do wonders in realigning your perspective. If you’re new to the wonderful world of ‘taking a moment’, there are plenty of apps offering guided meditations and mindfulness exercises for a monthly fee.
If meditation doesn’t work for you, do still make the time just to sit still for a few minutes each day, enabling space for reflection on what is, for everyone, a really confusing time.
Usage of naturally-based calming products, such as CBD oil or even the gentle smell of burning incense, might also be beneficial in relieving those feelings of stress. Stay strong, stay grounded, and we have the best chance of coming out the other side of this in one piece!