5 Self-Care Tips to Cope with Isolation and Stress
The last few weeks have seen seismic shifts in how we live and work — and even for those of us comfortable with alone time, this period of self-isolation is likely to be challenging. While this is a stressful time, there are a few things we can do to tend to our physical and emotional needs. Not only can these self-care practices help us cope with isolation and stress, but also keep us feeling our best all year long.
1 / Maintain social contact
We, humans, are social animals. Research on the effects of loneliness suggests that when people lack social connections they are more likely to suffer from physical health problems. Maintaining social contact doesn’t have to be in person; this can be as simple as phoning a friend for a chat, arranging a Google hangout, or joining in with a discussion via social media. We’re always happy to receive messages, too. Reaching out to a friend and feeling part of a community has been shown to boost mental health all round
2 / Eat well, exercise… and listen to upbeat music
Exercise and getting enough vitamins have been proven to contribute to a healthy immune system… as has listening to upbeat music, according to Psychologists.
3 / Structure your day
While self-isolating we may have difficulties with sleep [insomnia], feelings of restlessness or sadness, or start to feel demotivated. To combat this, create and maintain a structure to the day. Set a schedule for mealtimes, bedtime and plan out activities and goals to help to maintain positive levels of motivation and mood.
4/ Take care with news and information
There’s nothing wrong with keeping up to date with what’s happening, but taking in too much [negative] news can trigger stress and anxiety. To help with this, limit news to certain times of day [from trusted sources], take frequent breaks from social media, and mute any unnecessary notifications.
5/ Focus on what you can control
There is so much in this time that we can’t control if we focus on those things our mental wellbeing can be taken out of our hands. If you’re feeling this way, a useful exercise is to write down a list of all the things out of your control, and all the things within your control [like what we eat, exercising, and checking in on loved ones]. Then think how you can focus more on the things you can control – what would that look like? When we focus on what we can control, we don’t worry as much about what we can’t.
Those are just a few of our suggestions, but we’d love to hear yours! What daily habits have you put in place to help mind and body during this time? Feel free to send us an email or direct message on social media.
Photography by: Cristina Gareau — Nanou Studios