How to Look After Your Mental Health at Home in Isolation
The world has changed a great deal in recent months and naturally, as humans, we want to be together and socialise. In a time of social distancing, many of us can be left feeling lonely and anxious about the uncertainty of what the future holds.
In addition to focusing on how we can help our mental health during isolation, we want to focus on the positives of Covid-19, like the positive impacts on the environment since coronavirus lockdown began. The world is slowing down, Mother Earth is taking time to breath, there is less pollution, and we as humans are coming up with new ways to connect with each other. We are learning that as individuals, we don’t need much to be happy. We can take this time to slow down, enjoy the quiet, spend time in nature if we have the privilege, and create the space for personal growth.
Here Are Some Ideas for Taking Care of Your Mental Health at Home
There are many ways of looking after your mental health, including physical and mental wellbeing, from yoga and HIIT sessions to having a cup of tea and losing yourself in a good book. Take this time to do the things you couldn’t do before when life was busier and we were out of the house more.
Giving Back is The Best Way to Find Happiness
Ghandi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. People who have a purpose to help others beyond themselves are statistically happier and more healthy than others. This is the best thing we can do to find true peace within ourselves.
If you are working from home, embrace the opportunity to work to your best ability, be passionate, keep your work ethic going. And if you are unable to work currently, still continue to have a routine, you will feel as though you have achieved major goals- even if it is to get changed out of your pyjamas.
However, if you do have freetime, volunteer your time to others who are vulnerable and in need. I know people who have volunteered to raise money for the NHS, those who walk elderly people’s dogs and buy food for those who can’t get out of their house. Most importantly spread kindness. It is so important that we have so many different methods to keep ourselves positive, be grateful for food, shelter, technology and most importantly health.
Find Ways to Get Creative
As a society, we are used to busy lives filled with consumption and commuting, no wonder we were time poor and haven’t felt we have the time to get creative.
If you are the creative type, maybe it’s time to take up painting, drawing or songwriting. Many of these activities can work as a form of therapy, and here’s how creativity actually improves your health, not to mention how rewarding it feels to create something.
Not all of us are creatively inclined. Some may be more excited by the idea of learning a new skill, for example, a new language –or sign language! Others who are more technically inclined may like the thought of learning to code, or how to build hardware or mechanics. Here is a list of fun online courses to pass time.
We have seen many people in our community take up baking. There is something so simple, yet rewarding about baking and eating your own bread. And science tells us that we are hardwired to enjoy it and be drawn to this simple pleasure during a time of crisis.
Challenging our brain is a great way to make up for the lost stimulation that we may have had in a more social day out of the house. For example, complete jigsaws, read, write down your goals, start that thing you always wanted to do (ignore the doubting voices in your mind!).
Physical Exercise Lifts Your Mood & Improves Your Health
Physical exercise is incredibly important for all human beings to stay mentally and physically healthy. It’s good for the brain, the body, and helps us to stay mentally balanced. We need physical exercise for blood flow, which creates oxygen, which keeps us alive. Without physical exercise, we are more prone to become ill from disease due to a low immune system.
For inspiration on ways to stay active during lockdown, read our Wellness and Fitness Guide, a comprehensive guide on how to stay physically and mentally strong for free at home. Look out for the free timetable at the end of our Wellness Fitness Guide: Staying Active at Home where there are online workouts and classes.
If you enjoy running, cycling or simply miss going to the gym, read the section on HIIT and cardio workouts and running. Perhaps it’s time to explore Meditation or Yoga – there is something for everyone. If you would like the ebook version, we can email you the PDF here.
If you are fortunate enough to live near green or blue space, take the time to go walking, running, or cycling in nature. Anything that gives you fresh air brings an instant mood lift. If the weather is sunny, take the opportunity to get some vitamin D (which is important for the immune system and a great mood booster) and sunbathe. This is also a great time to try breath work.
Gardening is Therapeutic and Rewarding
If you have the privilege of having a back yard or garden, this stolen time is the best opportunity to tidy up your garden, plant edible food, flowers and trees. It is a well-known fact that gardening is a therapeutic activity, but it’s also really useful for healing from trauma and dealing with a time of crisis. Moreover, gardening is not just beneficial for yourself, but is also a good hobby to do with younger adults and children, as it also has several creative benefits for children.
Virtual Connection – Stay in Touch With Loved Ones
Now more than ever we seek virtual connection. We have heard reports of people keeping in touch with loved ones more frequently than before. We are so fortunate that we have such advanced technology that we can FaceTime grandparents, watch quiz nights, have our own sing-along evenings, and connect with colleagues. Please continue to reach out to loved ones and spread love virtually. It is ok to take some time to relax in front of the Television, and watch some Netflix. We all need downtime, and an escape from Covid 19.
Everyone is living and dealing with this global pandemic differently, coming to terms with the effects on their mental state, in their own way. Not all of us may be excited about any of the above ideas, and physically pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones during this unprecedented time can sometimes feel like the last thing we want to do. But, whatever makes you feel brighter, lighter and calmer, do it.
In addition, below are some resources if you are needing some extra guidance or someone to talk to, stay safe.
- Home | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems
- World Health Organisation- Mental Health
- Mental Health Foundation
- Samaritans | Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy | Here to listen
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA: Home
And remember, be kind – to others, but also yourself.
Read our free wellness & fitness guide for inspiration on staying active and healthy at home.