If you had told most people 6 months ago, that they may have to stay at home for up to 4 months the majority would have said “yay, time to rest/read/watch Netflix”. Unfortunately, that is now the case for many of people, and the reality isn’t nearly as nice as the idea. We live in a vibrant, busy, noisy world and to be suddenly isolated from all that can be very worrying. It’s easy, particularly when you’re alone for a long time, to overthink things and get on the “worry train”.
So, how do you survive self-isolation and how can you help others who are self-isolating?
Self-isolating at home can leave people feeling very lonely and cut-off from the rest of the world. Set up a group call on something like Zoom for a “self-isolating” call. That way a group of people who are self-isolating can chat and learn about each other and pass on tips. Also works for book clubs, poetry groups etc. Even a knitting/craft circle can be done online.
Keep in regular contact with people who are self-isolating. Imagine being on your own, at home, day after day. Not know when you are going to have someone to talk to. If that person knows that you are going to call, say, every Wednesday at 6pm, they have something concrete to look forward to. Maybe call in between times occasionally as well, just to give them a nice surprise. If you know you are not going to be able to call them, ask someone else to do it to avoid disappointing them. Remember that your call may be the only contact that person has with other people.
If you normally meet up with friends for a regular get-together, do it over Skype or Zoom, no need to miss out on “seeing” your friends!
Lots of grandparents and grandchildren are missing seeing each other, particularly if they are used to seeing one another regularly. Why not read your grandchildren a bedtime story over the telephone or via video call? Or you could play a board game together via video call.
Don’t assume that people who are self-isolating are fine because they are with their family. It may well be that someone is feeling overwhelmed but doesn’t want to talk to their family for fear of adding to their worry or upset. Speaking to someone outside their immediate family, someone who they can be open and honest with, can be extremely helpful at this time.
Meditating is a great way of calming an anxious mind and there are plenty of free apps, such as Headspace, that you can download to guide you through.
Learn something new! Learn something new online – a language or a new skill or hobby.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to maintain regular contact with other people.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling to cope with self-isolation, or indeed any other issues, we are here to help with our new telephone counselling service. Just give us a call for details.