How To Stay Positive During Lockdown And Self-Isolation
Amy's tips for remaining positive and productive during the lockdown are a great way to stay entertained and pass the time during this difficult period. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic constantly reaching us through every possible channel, it can be very difficult to think positively and rationally. Spending all of our time in our homes can be difficult, even for the most introverted and headstrong. It can be especially testing for those with pre-existing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and those who suffer with eating disorders.
Firstly, it is important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to deal with these unprecedented measures. However, I have listed some thoughts and strategies that seem to be helping me cope with the current conditions and restrictions below. As I have said previously, there is no correct or incorrect way of dealing with this enforced isolation so if you are already doing ok then keep doing what you are doing!
So how does self-isolation affect us?
Now, I’m no doctor but I think I can safely say that self-isolation can affect both our physical health and our mental health. Some examples of how each of these aspects of our health can be affected are:
- Physical health – Being restricted to our homes means that we are much less active than we usually are. This will eventually take its toll on our fitness levels and physical health. In my case I find that I am reaching for snacks a lot more than I normally do through boredom. Eating more unhealthy foods will eventually have a negative effects on my body.
- Mental health – It won’t be the same for everyone, but I believe the biggest and most widespread impact of self-isolation will be on our our mental health. People might find they will have a lot longer to let dark or negative thoughts enter or even linger in their mind. Under normal circumstance, people can manage these thoughts or distract themselves by going out and doing something they enjoy – but this might not be the case for people right now. This can affect people with pre-existing mental health problems and also people without any pre-existing mental health problems.
How do I minimize the impact of this lockdown or self-isolation?
It is important to try and keep yourself as busy and as active as possible, even if it is just in your home. This will minimize the negative effects on our mental and physical wellbeing. Positive things you can do to keep yourself occupied include:
- Reduce news and media consumption – At times like this it is understandable that we all want to keep up to date on the global events unfolding…but sometimes, consuming too much news can have more of a negative effect than a positive one. This is because of a mixture of irresponsible reporting and the fact that we are literally living in what seems like a disaster movie! In order to distract yourself from the current pandemic and do something positive instead; switch the news out for your favorite show on Netflix, Amazon or channel on YouTube.
- Put down your devices – It can be way too easy to sit and scroll through social media to avoid being bored, but as much as social media is great for connecting with your friends and learning new stuff, it can also be very negative because for every positive post you see – it seems there are at least three negative or worrying ones to accompany it (especially right now.) Instead of constantly scrolling through social media; grab your favorite book and read away. Reading a good book gives us the opportunity to completely escape from our armchair and live the life we want to lead!
- Drawing – Depending on what you have decided to draw, you can lose hours focussing on the detail of drawing. Either choose a subject around your home, use your imagination or find a ‘Drawing Challenge’ (there’s some great challenges on social media platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest) and draw away. Once you’ve completed your drawing, colour it in. Who knows, you might create something you’re really proud of!
- Coloring – Using coloring books can be incredibly therapeutic and can keep you busy for hours at a time. Take the time to focus on what you’re coloring in, add small details and maybe shade it in. Before you know it, you’ve created a masterpiece!
- Write – Writing can be an excellent way to pass the time. Especially if the subject in which you’re writing about is one you’re particularly interested in. There are many different ways you can write, one example of this is to write a blog post, similar to what I’m writing now! If blogs aren’t your thing then you can write a story, journal entry or try your hand at poetry. You might surprise yourself!
- Create a scrapbook – As testing as this time is, you are a part of history now. This pandemic will be spoken about for a very long time – so why not document your experience? Grab a scrapbook and insert pictures you’ve taken during the pandemic, newspaper clippings, notes and journal entries. Create a book people can look back on and really understand what life was like during this time.
- Exercise – Just because gyms are closed doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at home. Exercise is great for your mental health just as it is for your physical health. What are you waiting for? Get some music on the go, do some exercise and get your sweat on!
- Upcycle old furniture – A positive way to pass the time and add life into furniture you don’t like as much anymore is by ‘upcycling’ it. You can do this by painting furniture, adding different knobs and handles to things like draws or cupboards and creating different designs and patterns on your furniture. This can keep you entertained for hours or even days depending on how intricate the design is.
- Bake or cook – Baking and cooking are great ways to do something new and try different foods that you never tried but might love! Being in full-time employment myself, under normal circumstances I don’t always get the time to bake or cook. However, now being stuck in the house, I have all day to prepare something quite impressive! If you’re unsure where to start with baking or cooking, you can find some awesome recipes online with thorough instructions to guide you and build your confidence!
- Spring clean – Now, as much as this may sound like a tedious chore you’ve been putting off, once done you will feel great for doing it. Having a clean and tidy space is great for your mental health (and allergies). Find items that you no longer need or want that you can donate once we are back in the swing of things, throw anything away that is no longer fit for purpose and put everything back where it belongs. If you can’t find a home for it, get rid of it! You might even find some items of clothes or furniture you can upcycle.
The most important thing of all
The most important thing to remember during this time is that you are not alone. It might feel as though you are going through this alone, but most people around the world are in the same position as you so just know that we are all in this together!
We each have a responsibility to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 by following the advice of our respective governments and health experts so that we can prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.
I want to finish this post by saying thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Stay strong everyone, stay safe and let’s stop this virus by working together and being there for each other.
Oh and one more thing…stop buying all the toilet paper!
We want to say a huge thank you to Amy for contributing this article! If you are affected by anything touched on within this article or any kind of negativity online, we can help you. Visit our Help Center or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to open Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant. To learn more about Cybersmile and our work, please explore the following recommendations:
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