Learning to cope with isolation and the abnormal time we are in is the key to having good mental health. The pandemic has driven changes in all our lives. Perhaps you are working at home or spending more time in the garden. Maybe trying your hand at a craft, veg’ing out on the sofa with a box set is what has happened for you. Perhaps the temptation to try DIY hairdressing has overtaken you.

As the weeks go past and lock down becomes the new normal, our experience is very different. Yet, how we cope with isolation is different. For some the walls are closing in like an Indiana Jones film. For others it represents the first break as the walls hold the usual stresses and anxieties at bay.

IsolationHow do you cope, how do you navigate the new and take care of yourself and by extension those around you? Above all it is in noticing what we control and what we don’t that we can cope with isolation the best. By working in our sphere of influence we can make the biggest impact on how we feel.

To cope with isolation have a daily plan

Normal routines went some time ago. Having a schedule even a loose one gives us a framework coping with isolation that we can work with and feel more certain in the uncertain time. In other words it helps to make sure that we are balancing activities and not neglecting important needs.

Purposeful Activity

There is a wide range of things that we can do. For instance, we can garden or craft, spend time with children, play games or read. The limit is your imagination. It helps to feed our emotional and creative needs. It gives us a sense of achievement and well being.

Catching up with friends

Technology makes it even easier to reach out to friends and family to cope with isolation. It offers the opportunity both to offer and receive support by sharing experience and anecdotes. How are you coping? What do you hope for the future? We know that making connections is good for our mental health and counters isolation and the risk of depression that can follow. In addition it offers the opportunity to re-connect with old friends.

Exercise to cope with isolation

Exercise is helpful for both our physical and mental health.  Yet it’s worth noting that exercise comes in many forms a short walk, do what you can manage. However, let yourself off the hook it isn’t about what you didn’t do but rather what you managed to do. For Instance even 20 minutes a day makes a big difference as you cope with isolation.  There are lots of on-line resources.

Be mindful about your mood

Learning to take space and monitor your feelings. Notice that 24 hour news or social media with tend to make us anxious or even cause panic. Take breaks from it. Similarly, be present in the moment; focus on the world around you. Notice the interaction of your feelings and what is happening in the environment around you. Taking regular time out can really make a big difference to your mood.