There's no denying that the effects of Covid-19 can leave us feeling stressed and anxious for our safety and the people around us. Now that social distancing and self-isolation are the norm, it's vital to keep our mental wellbeing in check so we don't feel imprisoned or cut-off from society. While we know it's important to keep safe by adhering to the government's lockdown and going out as little as possible, here are five tips to help you through for now.

Take a Step Back from the News

Self-isolation can leave us tempted to check the rising number of cases or government updates every two minutes.

While it's important to know what's going on in the world, don't let it take over your everyday life. A way to work around this is turning off notifications on your phone and setting up a time in the day to read through sources which you know are trustworthy i.e. the NHS, GOV.UK and fact-checked news sites/channels. If you do feel overwhelmed, distract yourself with something that makes you feel good. Remember, as long as you're doing what to can to avoid risking yourself and the people around you, you're doing the right thing.

Keep Contact

Remember, self-isolation isn't societal isolation. Even if we can't meet face to face, modern technology and social media thankfully have got us covered to avoid feeling lonely or cut-off.

Zoom and Houseparty have become popular for hosting virtual dinner parties, chats with friends & family and conferences for those working from home. For a change of scenery, create a WhatsApp or Facebook group for your local area to so people are updated and can rely on their community for support. WhatsApp groups are also a good way for colleagues on furlough to keep updated on when they'll be able to return to work.

If you want to meet new people in self-isolation, dating apps are a good alternative. Even if you just want to make friends instead of a romantic partner, there are an array of apps to chose from including Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Badoo. If you want to meet new people with a shared hobby, Meetup are currently recommending that their clients to do workshops online.

Self-Isolation Exercise

A lot of you might be frustrated you can't use your gym memberships with premium equipment and personal trainers, but there are lots of ways for you to maintain your workout regimen in self-isolation. Remember, you can go outside once in the day for exercise, so go during a time when you know there won't be a lot of people around. If you miss the community feel of your gym, take a leaf out of tip one and do virtual workout classes. If you prefer doing your regimen alone, don't forget the array of fitness vloggers on YouTube, including Blogilates, FitnessBlender and Joe Wicks' The Body Coach TV. The best part is most of these channels are doing quarantine workout plans to get you through the day.

Doing Something Creative

If you're on furlough, use self-isolation as an opportunity to find a new hobby to enjoy. The last thing you want is to feel bored out of your mind scrolling through Twitter & Netflix, so unleashing your creative side may be a good opportunity to step away from screens. Setting yourself a goal by working on a project can help you maintain a routine and is also a great way to pass the day. After all, time flies when you're having fun.

Here are some suggestions to help get you started:

  • Learn a new language
  • Read a book a week
  • Take up knitting
  • Write a blog
  • Baking
  • Do that one-thousand piece jigsaw puzzle gathering dust in your cupboard
  • Do a virtual spa day with your friends.
  • Recreate a concert/theme park attraction at home

Look Forward

Remember, self-isolation is temporary.

The fear may feel real in the moment as our everyday lives have been put on hold, but it won't last forever. One positive of this lockdown is it may give us a new found appreciation for the things and people we took for granted. If you need a motivator for now, write a list of the things you can't wait to do once restrictions are lifted i.e. the day you can go back to work or getting a coffee in your local cafe. I'm not saying book a holiday abroad this minute as returning to normality will be a gradual process, but starting small is better than nothing. If you want something big to forward to, look for an event that takes place during a time when you're sure it won't be cancelled/postponed (at least six months ahead) and isn't too far to travel by car/train/bus.

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