Ah, we’ve hit some hard times in 2020 haven’t we? Our latest is the COVID-19 outbreak which is swimming through our countries. While many are surviving the virus, it has left concern – and even panic – in our societies as we try to navigate through this tragic time.
COVID-19 is a virus which symptoms include a fever and a persisting cough. If you have one or both of these symptoms, or have in contact with someone who has, you should be isolating yourself for seven days.
Self isolation, or quarantine, can become a lonely time. Suddenly you’ll want to start going to the gym, or to the class you’ve been avoiding. You may start to feel low and uninspired by life, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
As someone who relies on a routine and human contact, I understand how these times will play on your mental health. This is why we should create a plan best suited to ourselves and stick to it while we are in quarantine. Especially if it’s for longer than a week.
Start by setting an alarm in the morning. There needs to be routine and sleeping in all day will only make yourself feel worse. Monday to Friday, try have an alarm set for 8am in order to stop you missing out on a whole morning.
Allowing yourself time to get ready in the morning will also better set you up for the day. Have a shower, brush your teeth, and change – even if it’s into new pjs – this will keep you feeling fresh which will help your mood.
Keeping up with your three meals a day is also important, eating well in turn helps your body to feel less sluggish. Try to avoid skipping meals and unhealthy snacks (however a nice little treat is more than welcome!)
if you can’t work or study, then this is a perfect time to try new hobbies.
I’ve noted a list of things you can do to pass the time, which isn’t lying in bed allowing your mood to become lower.
This is a great time to get creative, when you have less distractions and don’t have to worry about being late for work.
Pull out your old acrylics or oils (or maybe it’s time to order new ones!) and find some scenes to paint. There’s plenty of beginner tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube. Even if they don’t turn out fantastic, its therapeutic and you’ll only get better with practice.
Start a journal, a blog, a series of short stories, poetry, a script, a novel. Write fact or fiction, write an opinion, write a letter, send emails. Find a way to release the emotions and it’ll leave you feeling much lighter.
You don’t need a fancy camera, since phones tend to have a very decent camera nowadays. Try flat lays, the flowers in your vase, the scenes in your garden, interior design photography, self portraits (yes these are more than selfies!) and edit them on free apps. You might find a hidden talent.
If you’ve got the wool and the needles, knit a scarf or a mini blanket. Teaching yourself a new skill is always rewarding – and it’s another way to relax. FYI incase you didn’t know, I like pink, blue and sea green. Cough.
Something that is known to calm anxiety and stress. It can be sitting listening to calming music,
a lying on your back and focusing on your breathing,
it can be walking – and focusing on different parts of your body – the way your feet land on the ground for example,
it can be focusing on something in front of you – like a flower and taking in each aspect of it (the stem, the colour, the thorns, the leaves, the petals).
There is many different ideas online – google meditation for beginners and there will be tips on how to start off. This isn’t a lengthy task, it can be for a minute, or 3 or 30. It’s up to you and what works for your body and mind.
I know, we’re sick of hearing that going for a jog will save your mental health. However, it does help the way your body and mind feel. Try to go for a walk (but remember to keep your distance!), tai chi and yoga are excellent for the mind and body as well, do dance or fitness videos from YouTube, if you have home weights then do your reps at home – or get creative and use home items as your weights.
One thing that never fails to help me retract from my feelings is a good book. You can get entirely lost in a book, you become entwined in someone else’s life and forget about your own emotions and struggles.
Or find something to read that will teach you new things. A book doesn’t have to be fiction to be engulfing.
Just because we’re inside doesn’t mean we can’t feel nice about ourselves, try new make up techniques, new hairstyles, new skin care routines. It’s a perfect time to work on beauty aspects that you love. Watch me perfect the blue eyeshadow.
Speak to people!
This is a huge one so pay attention!
Isolating for health reasons doesn’t mean you need to feel isolated.
Group FaceTimes to catch up friends, call your grandparents, text your work colleagues, keep the family group chat alive.
You can get involved on Twitter and Facebook, start a TikTok account, just remember to also take time off social media to focus on you.
Please take this time to focus on you and to protect others who could be vulnerable to the virus. This isn’t a time to panic so please take each day as it comes and focus on your mind, your body and your health.
Once this is over, we can be thankful and look back while we focus on getting our lives as they were. Until then, be safe and be healthy!
Much love x