Isolation Anxiety

Covid19 is now getting a hold and things are now moving fast. We seem to be following the same track as China and Italy. The time has come where we are moving into the stage of lockdown and no one knows how long this will last. Estimates vary from a few weeks to several months. Those who are infected will need to isolate for a minimum 14 day as will those living in the same house. This means that some people will now be developing isolation anxiety and the associated levels of depression. So this week podcast was about what can we do to survive the issues of isolation.

Over the years I have dealt with many staff members who have been on long term sick leave who have suffered from the isolation of being alone. Being away from the social support of colleagues and the workplace can create an emotional crisis. It can easily feel that when there is no stimulation that there is no point. No point in getting out of bed, no point in getting washed. Just simply no point. That is where the depression can begin. So here are some ideas to help deal with isolation anxiety.

1: Routine –

Our lives are structured by the need for routine. It might simply be going to work, taking the kids to school. We all have a routine and that is what we need to keep going. Set the alarm clock get out of bed and start doing things. Make a plan. Have a weekly diary sheet on the wall and plan each day and plan the week.

2: Negotiation –

You may be quarantined with family or friends. This may mean that you have had to segregate the house to avoid cross infection. If you are alone you may need friends to help deliver foods or other supplies. Most of all you may need to get some support maybe online or by phone. It helps our mood if we can remain connected.

It maybe that you are aware of people who are in isolation and it could help them if you ensure that you stay in contact and ensure that they are okay. 

3: Exercise –

Keep moving. Avoid becoming a couch potato. Even if you are stuck indoors and cannot use the garden you can still exercise. Go on YouTube Find some exercise regimes, yoga and workouts. Don’t stay still.

4: Mindfulness –

At live in the present we are always going on about staying mindfully in the now. We know that when our mind ruminates on the past we tend to become depressed and when we ruminate on the future we tend to become anxious. Mindful meditation is the key to staying in the moment. There are many apps, the most famous being HeadSpace that will guide you through learning to meditate and again YouTube has many meditations. If you look at podcast one of my favourites is Meditation Oasis that has a library of meditations. It is such a good resource. From the Live In The Present Site I have put some relaxations and meditations that can be used to help you stay grounded and in the moment.  The five minute breath focus meditation will help you remain grounded and the Seven Eleven recording will help you reduce levels of anxiety.

5: Have some fun –

If you are going to watch Netflix or get into those box sets that you want to catch up on ensure that they are fun. Try not to get stuck into the negative or scary series. Keep it light, keep it fun. Watching things like Only Fools and Horses can make you smile and laugh and directly affect you brain chemistry in a positive way.

6: Cooking –

This is a good time to get cooking and play in the kitchen. When you do cook for yourself be aware of portion control it can be easy at this time to increase portion size, snack and pick and increase the size of your waist band. 

7: Reading –

I’m sure many of us will have books lying around that you intended to read but have not got around to? Now is your chance. If you can’t get out to buy a book there are plenty on line as ebooks and audio books and many are free.

8: Writing –

What about writing? Perhaps you are a hidden poet or song writer? They say that inside everyone there is at least one book. This could be your time.

9: Learning –

What about taking a course or doing some training? The are many sites that offer free or very cheap courses. Have a look at theses, UdemyiTunesUGrouponCoursera.

10: Crafts –

Again there are many videos online to show you how to be creative in arts and crafts.

11: Online contact –

There are already and I am sure there will be a growing amount of support groups where you can chat with people online. It may be worth having a Google to see what is out there. It is also good to remember that using Skype, FaceTime etc you can keep in touch with family and friends.

12: Therapy –

If you do feel that you are slipping into depression or anxiety get some therapy. There are many therapist working online and I am sure that as this crisis increase there will be more. There is no need to suffer. Do something about it.

13: Me –

If all else fails email me, talk to me. As long as I am well, I am here for advice and for support.

14: The Self Help Podcast –

Health permitting – Ed and I hope to be here every week, tune in, send us ideas and get involved.

Lastly, we all need support. You may need support through this difficult time but so will others. Are there people around you who need your support? Remember…

If we all look after each other we will all be okay

This has never been more true than at this moment, especially small businesses as well they need us! Personally i would like to give thanks to Katie and her wonderful team at the real food kitchen, if you are local to Parkgate/Neston check them out. 

Take care, be happy, and wash your hands!

Sean x