Staying safe and sane during isolation

For a lot people the current isolation is a welcome forced time out, giving us time to take a break from the constant rush of our everyday routines. For some however, it has created more stress as we navigate a new routine with a lot more time on our hands.

Either way, the novelty of pyjamas all day and endless Netflix is sure to wear out eventually.

So, whether your isolating solo, with friends or with your little ones, we’ve gathered a list of ideas, tips and activities to stay safe and sane during quarantine.

  1. Keep a Routine

If you ask any mental health professional all of them will tell you that this is one of the most important things we can be doing for ourselves during isolation!

It doesn’t matter if it’s changed since we’ve shut ourselves away, but having a regular sleep schedule, daily routine and regular habits are best way to stay feeling normal during this time.

Marty Nemko, a career coach and writer, spoke to Headspace about why he thinks routines are important, especially during tough times:

A routine is “…something you know you can do well… Modern life, increasingly defined by unpredictability, can be anxiety-provoking, and routines provide an anchor of predictability.”1

  1. Keep Active

It’s no secret that regular exercise is important, and attributes to a whole range of positive side effects, but now more than ever it is crucial to be moving your body.

A lot of the incidental exercise we used to work into our day-to-day routine, like walking to the train station, getting your morning coffee or even standing on your feet all day has been put on hold so it’s unsurprising if you’re noticing a slump in your energy levels.

Woman in a loft doing yoga

Photo by Carl Barcelo on Unsplash

But not only does exercising keep you physically fit and full of energy, it is also important for your mental health as it releases endorphins and serotonin which help lift your mood.2

There are so many free videos online which take you through all sorts of workouts from high-intensity circuits to yoga and Pilates so there’s no excuse not to be keeping active.

If you’re stuck for inspiration, check out Fit4Life on our website and join in on our live workouts 6 days a week!

  1. Get Some Sun

You can kill two birds with one stone here and incorporate this into your exercise routine. A short run or a walk with your dog is the perfect way to top up your vitamin D levels.

Experts say we should be getting 10-15 minutes of sun exposure each day as vitamin D is crucial for humans as it lowers blood pressure, helps your muscles and improves your overall brain function.3

But remember the importance of sun safety and Slip, Slop and Slap every time you leave the house.

  1. Get Organised

What better time to get cracking on that list of things-you-have-to-do-but-put-off-because-you-don’t-have-time! You can use this time you now have to clean out your Tupperware drawer, do a clothing cull, go through your old DVD’s, CD’s and kids’ toys, or clean out your office.

Once you start slowly ticking these things off your list, you’ll be amazed at how good you feel and can ensure that when the world starts going back to normal you and your house will be ready for it.

  1. Communicate

Now that most people are in the same boat, working from home or locking themselves.

Woman using phone in a field on a picnic blanket

Photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash

down, it’s the perfect chance to catch up with those that you haven’t in a while and reconnect with old friends.

Now there are so many different platforms to stay connected like Zoom, FaceTime and Houseparty and so many of them have the option to plays games or do activities while you’re chatting.

Communicating makes us feel connected and together, regardless of physical proximity and if you’re isolating alone it’s important to make sure you touch base with others to remind yourself that we’re all in this together!

  1. Create an Isolation Bucket List

Because I wanted to keep this article relatively short and sweet, I have compiled a list of ideas that you can do during isolation all under one point – an Isolation Bucket List!

Similar to the list we have of things to organise, but this one is everything that we’ve wanted to try, do or learn while we’re blessed with the time to achieve them.

This could include learning a language, practicing meditation, mastering a handstand, or cooking all the recipes in a cookbook – but the list is completely your own.

Compile a list of all the things that will make you happy and keep your brain active.

  1. Listen to your Body

This is the most important item on this list – Listen to your body! Despite what is mentioned above about all the things we need to be doing during isolation, it is important to not push yourself and listen to what your mind and

Neon sign that say breathe on a background of ivy leaves

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

body is telling you.

This is a period of adjustment for a lot of people and the anxiety and stresses that come along with that often makes doing anything hard.

While it is important to keep in a routine and stay as healthy as possible, don’t be too hard on yourself and take chance to reflect and have a break if you need.

References:

  1. Robins, E. (2016, August 22). The secret benefit of routines. It won’t surprise you. Retrieved from Headspace: https://www.headspace.com/blog/2016/08/22/the-secret-benefit-of-routines-it-wont-surprise-you/
  2. Health Direct. (2019, November). Exercise and mental health. Retrieved from Health Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/exercise-and-mental-health
  3. Dossantos, N. (2016, April 27). 15 Health Benefits of Sunshine. Retrieved from The Active Times: https://www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/nutrition/15-health-benefits-sunshine

One Comment

  • […] Our previous blog post about staying sane in isolation named keeping a routine as one of the top things you can do for your mental health during isolation. Anyone who has ever struggled with depression knows just how difficult it can be to keep to a routine because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reward at the end. Caring for plants not only gives you a simple routine to follow, but it is also satisfying to watch them bloom and thrive thanks to your efforts. […]

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