Everyone can feel fearful during the COVID-19 crisis but more so if you already suffer from anxiety. Focus on the things you can control. Here are ten ways to fuel your wellbeing and help you cope during coronavirus self-isolation.
- Focus on today. Don’t look too far ahead, take each day as it comes. No one knows how long this will last so don’t create more stress and anxiety in your life by trying to plan ahead.
- Routine. Create a routine for your day and try to stick to it. Plan how you will spend your time, write it down and pin it to the wall. If it isn’t working, shake it up and try something new.
- The gift of time. Seize any extra time during the self-isolation period to do things you love but don’t normally have the time to do (play a musical instrument, write a story) or write a letter to yourself about how you are feeling or experiencing during self-isolation. Do those DIY jobs you’ve not had time to do or get your garden ready for summer. Be creative – draw, paint or sew. There are many things you can learn for free online now.
- Eat healthily. Use the time you are at home to cook meals from scratch. Perhaps a recipe you’ve been meaning to try but never got around to it. This is something you don’t normally have time to do. You may also save yourself money.
- The great outdoors. Get as much fresh air, sunlight and nature as you can to benefit your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. Enjoy the simple things we often take for granted – take time to smell the flowers, hear the birds sing and let’s not forget the “sunshine” vitamin D! Sit in your garden/doorstep or if you can’t get out sit by an open window. Alternatively, look at photos of your favourite places and get as much natural light into your rooms.
- Exercise once a day. It doesn’t need to be strenuous but take the government advice and exercise daily on your own or with members of your household. Could be in your home (walk up and down the stairs, dance to music, do the housework) or go for a walk or a run.
- Keep talking. You may not be able to see family and friends in person but there are ways to keep in touch – call them, write to them or email. Of course, there is social media but have you tried a video call? There are various apps for house parties or create your own pub quiz to play.
- Entertain yourself. Read books, listen to podcasts, do a puzzle or your favourite film.
- Focus on the facts. Limit the amount of news you listen and watch. For the most reliable and up-to-date information visit gov.uk/coronavirus or nhs.uk/coronavirus.
- Relax. This could be listening to music (and yes have a dance in your kitchen!), mindfulness, yoga or pick up those pens and get creative!
Remember that it is ‘OK not to feel OK’ all the time. Recognise when you need to get some advice. There are several national helplines ready to talk and help you. Find these and other wellbeing tips on our resources page.