Over the past two months, Covid-19 (and all the uncertainty it brings) has left many people in a position of heightened anxiety and worry. People everywhere are being encouraged to self-isolate and stay at home in an attempt to ‘flatten the curve’. Yet with this comes increased time alone and drastic changes to our usual routines – inevitably leading, for many people, to exacerbated feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Now, more than ever, it is essential to prioritise our own bodies and minds; focusing on our wellbeing and on staying happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Happy Space UK is a mental wellbeing charity, founded by students for students. Their work focuses predominantly on providing young students with wellbeing ‘toolkits’, created with input from wellbeing professionals, to help them ask and answer the question “why don’t I feel ok?” Here are some of Happy Space’s top tips, for anyone of any age, for looking after ourselves and our minds during this period of self-isolation.
Create Routines – Maintaining or creating a set of routines will mean that, amongst all of the world’s chaos, we can still feel a sense of control over our own lives. Helpful ways to create routine include waking up and sleeping at the same time each day, switching off from emails afterwork hours and developing a schedule of activities including a home workout, cooking some great food and phoning a friend or loved one. Why not use the time usually dedicated to your morning commute to go on a walk and get some fresh air or to meditate?
Stay Connected – Social distancing may mean reducing the time you spend face-to-face with friends, family and colleagues, but it does not mean breaking those connections. Now is the time to embrace the advantages of modern technology. With platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom and Skype, it’s easier than ever to enjoy catching up with your loved ones, even if you are miles apart. Host virtual morning meetings and lunch breaks with your colleagues. Try out new digital innovations with your friends, like Netflix’s recent ‘party’ feature, allowing you to create group chats on Netflix to discuss your in-sync watching. Schedule regular catch-ups with your friends and family – you could even host a quiz night through group FaceTime or Skype!
Get Creative – We all know life can get so busy, and we often neglect the opportunity to spend some time doing something fun and creative with friends or family. With all this time spent inside there has never been a better time to dust off your paintbrushes, sharpen your pencils or whack out your old drum kit for some shared fun. Throw an indoor picnic, start your own podcast, create your own cookbook of isolation recipes, whip out the karaoke, plan a treasure hunt – the opportunities are endless.
Focus on Personal Development – Every cloud has a silver lining, and when it comes to self-isolation one benefit is that it forces us take time to sit back and self-reflect. Spend your energy usefully, working on some time-consuming tasks you’ve been holding off on like larger projects or learning a new skill or language.
Meditate – Use this time at home to practice the art of staying still and hone your meditation skills. At a time when you might be struggling with feelings of uncertainty, it’s important to learn to check in on ourselves. We love www.onlinemeditation.org for free meditation courses.
Give Back to the Community – For some, the financial and emotional effects of Covid-19 will be life-changing and long-lasting. Now is the perfect time to look out for your community and come together to support those in need. From little things like book swaps, to picking up your elderly neighbour’s prescription or helping them with errands, giving back to your community will not only have a positive impact on those individuals, but allow you to feel you are doing something purposeful and rewarding.
Create a Home Spa – Sometimes we just need to switch off the news and switch off our minds. You can do this by transforming your lounge or bathroom into a mini spa for you and your family. Light some scented candles, play some of your favourite chilled music, and even make a homemade facemask. We love the facemask recipes on www.thehealthy.com. Take some well-deserved time to find your zen.
On top of all of this, we encourage making time for exercise, maintaining a healthy diet (watch that you’re not binging on unhealthy foods – drop that third bag of Doritos!), and trying not to get TOO hooked on Netflix – put the remote control down for a while and stretch out.
It is true that all great changes in life are preceded by chaos. So, for the time being, the most we can ask for and aim for are ways to cultivate our own Happy Space until the storm passes.
Originally posted by the team at wellbeingmagazine.com