How To Deal With Anxiety While In Self-Isolation Amid COVID-19 Outbreak (Updated Guide)
It is always easy to think self-isolation may feel like being in confinement, especially while everybody on the Internet or TV keeps telling you to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Closed borders, locked down European countries and the developing news about the new Coronavirus cases may increase the anxiety level of many people.
Anxiety shows itself in many different forms, and mental health is the most and easily affected side of human nature in times of uncertainty.
This is why we prepared a few tips that may make your time at home easier.
Continue your pre-isolation routine
If you used to go to the office before the novel Coronavirus and have shifted to the home office, it doesn’t mean you should work in your PJs.
Wake up at the same time as you would, wash your face, wear your best clothes and instead of going out of the door, sit at your desk in your kitchen or room to start working.
Wearing your office attire might help you concentrate better and keeping your daily routine could lessen the ambiguity of these days.
Socializing is not only physical
Going to work or restaurants allows us to see and talk to other people. As a species that cannot live isolated, it gives us the comfort that we are not alone. When done effectively, small talks and chit chat are a way of distracting our brains from daily work and help us to be more productive in the long run.
During COVID-19 self-isolation days, the advance in technology might be of great help in this sense.
Turn your regular phone talk with a friend into a visual chat.
Instead of the voice call, try Facetime or WhatsApp video. Seeing other faces, even virtually, may help you cope with the loneliness.
Do not obsess over COVID-19
The whole world talks about it.
It is still the most trending topic in every country, and almost every social media user mentions it.
The information overload, hourly -unbelievably- developing situations help the false news spread as well.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by them and feel more anxious.
Go offline. Ignore the FOMO (fear of missing out) and try to indulge in the new trend of JOMO (joy of missing out). If you cannot stay away from your Twitter or Facebook timeline, install a website blocker to help you for a while.
Eat well, sleep well
Eating three slices of that chocolate cake will not make the time pass faster. Instead, stress eating during these anxious times would create more tension in the form of a sugar crash and other possible negative health consequences.
Remember the routine section above and try to keep your eating schedule as it was in your pre-isolation times.
Have your sandwich at your dedicated lunchtime and try to stay away from the snacks that you would never lay a finger on in the office environment.
We cannot stress enough the importance of sleep and how it affects your immune system and mental health. Keep your routine of going to bed at the same time every day and limit your binge-watching on Netflix to a specific time.
Develop a hobby
Instead of thinking you are incarcerated at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak, see the positive side of this situation. At least, you can focus on yourself without feeling the guilt of saying no to your friends who invite you to socialize.
But this time, try to avoid a new friend called “binge-watching” that might steal your time every night.
Watching a few movies you have always wanted to is excellent, but do not forget to get a new hobby as well.
Learning a new language or creating DIY projects is easier than ever with many free Youtube tutorials and mobile apps. Do not miss that chance.
Although most people’s lives have been turned upside down due to the Coronavirus, there is always something to be grateful for – especially living in Canada.
Write down 3 things that you are grateful when you wake up or before you go to bed to help re-focus your mind on something positive.
Check out this article from Positive Psychology describing the benefits of practicing daily gratitude.
There are so many easily accessible online and streaming exercise videos from yoga to body-weight circuits to dance exercise.
Regular exercise benefits mental health and is important for overall physical and psychological well being.
It not only decreases symptoms of anxiety and depression but it also boosts a person’s mood.
Read Feel-Good Books
When you think about it, self-isolation at home is a great time for diving into the books you have always wanted to read. There are many great books out there, and we created a list of feel-good books that may help you uplift your mood.
If you are recovering from addiction before, anxiety can be your enemy by contributing to cognitive distortions and increased fear. Uncertainty makes recovering people more prone to relapse.
Follow the official sources for updates to avoid circulating false or exaggerated news about COVID-19 (coronavirus).
If you need someone to talk to, remember that our therapists at Trafalgar are ready to help you.
We are also available for therapy online.