Social isolation is a global growing concern, according to the World Health Organisation.
However, with COVID-19 at our doorsteps, most people are starting to feel extremely cut off from society.
We are already in a world where most people feel disconnected due to our lifestyle, Jobs, age, social status and health issues.
Now, COVID-19 is altering everything about the way we do things.
What is Social isolation?
This is simply not having social contacts or any form of engagement with friends, family, coworker and the world at large. Many people have been socially isolated at one point in their life due to their age or life situation.
The government( NHS England social isolation) message is to stay at home to reduce this deadly virus. Fair enough, it is for our own good and to support our dedicated health care workers who are risking their lives to fight this virus.
I can’t tell you how hard it has been in that last few days for us in the frontline(NHS). We have many questions from our patients, but we have no answers because this is unprecedented.
I’m glad some of our patients share our concerns and lack of clarity. They understand we are figuring it out as we go.
The pandemic has made social isolation worse due to social distancing rules and restriction. My main concerns are for vulnerable people who struggle with social isolation due to mental health illness, old age etc.
They struggle with loneliness/social withdrawal and telling them they have to social isolate put them at risk of relapse and go against everything we encourage them to do it.
It is very little we can do at the moment with the situation at hand. So, until COVID-19 becomes a thing of the past. Let’s use the time in our hand productively. Some people are wondering how they will survive days on end at home without losing their mind.
Well, this is the reason I am writing this post to share tips on surviving social isolation, whether it’s because of the COVID-19 or due to residual symptoms of mental health challenges or other health reasons.
How To Survive Social Isolation In A Pandemic?
1. Connect with others
Leave your comfort zone and make an extra effort to call people via any means available to you.
We are fortunate to have various means of communication these days. You can use Skype, Facetime, whats app, to name a few. If you can make a video call, that’s even better. It warms the heart when you see the other person live on a video. You find yourself smiling away.
Be proactive, don’t wait for people to do it. Just place that calls today. Sometimes, it is straightforward to put off connecting with people entirely. The best way to break the cycle is to push yourself to engage with others.
2. Plan your day.
I found scheduling my time helps me stay focused, organised and productive. I use To-do-list a lot to plan my day. It gives me a sense of achievement when I tick off completed tasks from my To-do-list.
To learn how to use a To-do-list to set tasks and the benefit of writing down your goals. Click on the link to check out my blog post on motivation, and it will guide you.
Also, starting your day by taking a shower and dressing up helps prepare you for the day. It is very tempting to stay in bed with nightclothes. So, try to avoid it.
wherever you are today, plan your day and you will be grateful you did.
Lend a helping hand if you are fit and healthy to do so. It is a great way of connecting with others that you share similar values with.
With the current global crisis, the government need volunteers to help out with the shortage of staff in various sectors.
Remember you don’t have to be an expert in any area. Just go for it and Don’t put it off.
4. Get some fresh air
Walkabout, go for a run. Walk the dog. Take the kids for a walk and enjoy the fresh air.
I have been indoors for the last couple of days due to the lockdown, and it’s driving crazy. I decided to leave the house with the kids for a walk today, and I can tell you it makes a great difference in the way I feel.
Any form of exercise is good for your physical and mental health. Just get the body moving !!!. If you are not able to leave the house. There are lots of exercise videos available online for you and the kids.
My kids and I have benefitted from a live exercise programme with the body coach tv every morning at 9am. Click the link and check it out if you are interested. .https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ
This is also a good time to do gardening. Gardening is therapeutic and can help your physical health. It can be relaxing and also good for your emotional wellbeing. I challenge you to get your spade and shovel out and start digging.
5. social media detox
Social media have its positive side but it can actually take over your life if you don’t limit how much you expose yourself to it.
I can identify the urge to get updates regularly, but you need to create boundaries. Avoid strolling through feeds.
I would recommend leaving your gadgets in other rooms for some time or switched off if you can to give you time to reflect on other things.
Give this a try and let me know how it went.
6. Cook, Bake, Read a book, watch a movie.
These are practical things you can do by yourself or with your family. Try out new recipes. Though I haven’t perfected my baking skill. I shall be practising with the kids over the weekend.
Now you have a lot of time to spare, grab a book and enjoy it. Also, if you are good at crocheting or knitting. Go for it.
Aha!, play your favourite music and dance away. We have been doing this with the kids and it’s so refreshing.
Bring out the board games. We spend our afternoon together putting the puzzle together and playing twister, falling on top of each other.
if you enjoy journaling like me, then this is the time to do it.
Finally, enjoy a movie by yourself or with your family if they are around. I initiated a movie night before the COVID pandemic with my family as a way to spend time with the kids and hubby. The kids love it, especially when they see popcorns and drinks.
7. Take time to reflect and meditate
Obviously, with the rapid changes happening around us, we are bound to feel anxious and out of control. Undoubtedly spending time on your own to reflect is very therapeutic and relaxing.
As for me, I begin my day by reading my bible and praying with my family. I honestly feel less anxious and more relaxed throughout the day. So, find what works for you praying or meditating.
When we are face uncertainty, it can leave us feeling anxious and stressed. The best thing to do is to avoid dwelling on things you can’t control. On the other hand, focus on the positive happening around you. Above all, practice self-care. Click on this link for tips.
Though we don’t like taking unawares by life events, we can do nothing about it than to accept it and remind ourselves this will surely pass. Also, share your worries with those around you and if you need practical help with shopping or access to food. Do contact your local council for information.
In conclusion, For those who are self-isolating due to the pandemic, I understand it’s difficult. Still, I Remember you are by making a difference and protecting the most vulnerable among us.
Disclaimer: The post’s content is my views and opinions solely and may not be associated with professional capacity. Speak to your doctor and care provider for advice and support.
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