So what can I say about these unprecedented times that hasn’t already been said. Probably nothing that you haven’t already heard on the news, social media and well-meaning friends and family.
The overriding message that I’m hearing from clients is that it’s the fear of the unknown that is causing the stress and anxiety; when will the ‘lockdown’ end, when will I next be able to hug my friends and family, will I be able to buy food for tonight’s meal, will my money last, and even, will I survive….. and unfortunately I don’t have any answers to these questions.
So instead, I have prepared some ‘top tips for getting through isolation’. You may have heard of some of these already, but I have included ways to distract yourself when the worries become overwhelming. I have also tried to include a little bit of humour, as my clients who know me will have heard me saying that ‘laughter is the best form of therapy’! So here goes…..
The most useful thing we can do is to try to maintain some sort of routine, because we are creatures of habit and need some sense of ‘normality’, for example:
- Get up at a similar time each day, not necessarily the time your alarm is usually set to wake you
- Get showered and dressed into day clothes, and make your bed
- Have your morning cuppa in the garden or by an open window to get some Vitamin D
- Do chores/work/studying in the morning
- Do something that you enjoy and makes you feel happy every day
- Do something relaxing each day
- Do at least 20 minutes exercise each day
- Plan 2 or 3 things to achieve each day
- Speak to friends/family each day
- Read some of those books you’ve bought but haven’t yet read
- Find new recipes to try out – they don’t all have to be healthy!
- Declutter your wardrobe/drawers/kitchen cupboards
- Learn a new language ready for your next holiday
- Watch some of the films and TV programmes that you’ve recorded but not yet watched
- Sort out the 1000s, or in my case tens of 1000s, of photos stored on your computer!
- Grow your own veg from kitchen scraps; yes, you really can do this! Here’s a website that shows you how: https://www.icreativeideas.com/13-vegetables-that-you-can-regrow-again-and-again/
- Finish ‘WIPs’ (crochet and knitting people will be familiar with this term, ‘work in progress’ – I have several!)
- Start a virtual book club – I have done this with some therapy colleagues of mine, reading ‘work’ books
- Join a virtual choir
- Play board or card games
- Start a journal – this can be so therapeutic….
- Make a vision board of the things you plan to do when ‘lockdown’ has ended
- Start or resume a hobby; the list is almost endless but here are a few ideas: make cards or jewellery, crochet, knit, juggle, jigsaws, scrapbooking, origami, paint stones, soduko, calligraphy, draw or paint
- Try ‘mindful’ colouring; this is a link to some free printable designs [https://www.google.com/search?q=free+printable+mindful+colouring+sheets&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiBg-6Iq8foAhVJ_4UKHTCtC-wQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=freemindful+colouring+sheets&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQARgBMgYIABAHEB4yBggAEAcQHjoICAAQCBAHEB5QmpUCWMycAmDTrAJoAHAAeACAAUiIAYcCkgEBNJgBAKABAaoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1n&sclient=img&ei=hpeEXoGoLMn-lwSw2q7gDg&bih=604&biw=1279]
- Volunteer to work for the NHS
- And most importantly, spend some time each day simply RELAXING: https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath or https://www.headspace.com/covid-19
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. I would love to hear any other ideas that you come up with, so please feel free to add them in the comments below.
But even more importantly, please don’t be sad, anxious, depressed or lonely by yourselves; I am still here for you, and more than happy to have a quick, free chat with anyone if it would help, via phone, email, What’s App or Zoom.