With the coronavirus outbreak situation developing every day, ‘self-isolation’ is becoming increasingly common and brings new challenges to all.
The Government has provided advice about when you may need to self-isolate and how to do it. This is available in multiple languages.
People are asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have had exposure to a confirmed case but have not shown symptoms.
However, the impact of cutting off human contact is likely to have some impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Isolation can cause tremendous stress, increased anxiety and loneliness. For the vast majority of people the need for human contact is a basic instinct.
Human contact and conversation is really important. For younger members of society, communicating digitally, via social media, Whatsapp groups or Facetime, comes naturally, but for those not so conversant in digital communications, help and guidance may be required to establish new ways of interacting and communicating. There are many guides online to help with this, including from Age UK
Some other ways of coping may include:
Developing or maintaining a positive mindset – this period of isolation may provide an opportunity to get something done that you had not time or opportunity to undertake before, such as learning a new skill or increasing your understanding of something you have an interest in. It’s important to remember that self-isolation is for a defined period.
Keeping a sense of normality – maintaining usual meal times and sleep times will help. If you are able to work for home, that can also be helpful in keeping a sense of normality and interaction with colleagues.
Self-care – if possible, performing some type of physical exercise, such as Yoga, simple exercise routine or regular stretching will be beneficial. It may also help to limit the amount of time spent on social media or watching news programmes if they tend to increase your anxiety.
For those self-isolating, levels of anxiety may increase, with concerns around the virus and it’s impact on themselves and their family.
For many this may be manageable, but if you are concerned over your levels of anxiety there are some strategies to help.
Mind have some really helpful guides and explanations of anxiety here
You may also find the NHS site helpful
Additionally, I have written previous blogs on the topic of anxiety that may be of interest