9 Tips for coping with isolation due to Coronavirus
Coping with isolation and home confinement resulting from a pandemic like the Coronavirus can be difficult. It can easily affect us in a negative way, worsening states of depression and anxiety. Below, we analyze the difficulties that can emerge from staying confined at home and give you some advice on how to cope with the confinement as best as possible.
How can staying at home affect us?
This pandemic is a completely new situation that is bound to affect us socially, emotionally, economically. However, what can these difficulties be?
Increased fears and concerns
The uncertainty and fear of being infected by the coronavirus is a major factor in this situation. Not only the disease but the fact that your job may be in jeopardy. People also fear food shortages.
Inactivity and boredom
When we stay at home it is easy for our activity level to drop. Our plans are kept to a minimum. Our physical activity level is reduced, causing our energy levels to drop, promoting a feeling of tiredness and apathy. We can also feel bored, especially if we don’t have many hobbies that can be done indoors.
Social and Relationship Problems
Not being able to socialize like we used to can make us feel isolated, alone. At the same time, if we are in isolation with our family, spending a lot of time with them in a confined space, it is easy for friction to arise. For families with children, having to entertain them indoors can be a challenge.
Not being able to go out or socialize with different people will inevitably reduce the opportunities to have fun or feel good. Inactivity leads to states of depression, lowering our energy level, making us feel more and heavier, giving rise to a vicious circle.
Sometimes we get caught up in our routines and don’t listen to ourselves. Not having a routine can bring all those fears, negative thoughts and anxieties afloat.
We may feel more irritable, frustrated, lonely, etc. It is also normal for our past traumas and emotional wounds come back to haunt us.
Tips for coping with staying at home
Here are some tips for overcoming as much as possible the difficulties caused by staying at home because of the coronavirus’.
1. Keep a routine
Sometimes, by decreasing our activity level and not having a routine we can feel chaos, which increases our anxiety and makes us even more inactive. “The less I do, the less I want to do.” That is why it is important that you follow a routine, even given the restrictions.
Being at home reduces our chances of keeping our bodies active. This, combined with the fact that boredom can lead many people to eat more, puts us at risk of developing unhealthy habits.
In addition, physical activity improves our mood, our concentration, reduces anxiety and makes us feel better about ourselves.
Take advantage of the extra time you have to exercise at home. There are many youtube videos and online classes you can watch to get your body moving.
3. Limit your news intake
Don’t get hooked on the news! Being over-informed is just going to increase our anxiety and fears. So, limit your access to information about Covid-19, spend a certain number of minutes informing yourself about what’s going on, but don’t spend all day reading or watching the news about it. For example, you can watch the morning news and then disconnect all day from it.
Also, try to at least once a day disconnect from social networks and the internet. Do activities such as reading, playing with your pets, spending time with your family. This will surely help and have a positive effect on your health.
4. Say NO to fake news
We are being riddled with hoaxes and fake news, which only increases our anxiety and some even damage our health.
Ignore WhatsApp messages with fake news and only consult official sources (example the World Health Organization, CDC, etc.). Be sure to contrast information and follow official channels such as local police, etc.
5. Maintain social relationships but at a distance
Try to keep in touch with friends and family, by phone, video conference, etc. This way you’ ll feel less lonely and isolated.
6. Respect each other’s space
When we are locked up in the house with other people and unable to go out, it is normal for conflicts to increase. It is essential to have good assertive communication and to respect each other’s s space.
Not all of us have the same need to spend time in solitude, some will want more space than others, and this is only natural.
Don’t feel obliged to spend 100% of your time with your family. If you think you need it, isolate yourself from others for a while. Negotiate with your family about the use of space in your home if necessary.
If you are not one of those, it is important that you respect that others want to spend some time alone and don’t take it personally.
7. Quality family time
If you live with other people, to improve your mood and overcome boredom, spend some time together doing fun activities such as board games, cooking as a family, video games, etc.
In addition, it can be a good time to involve the whole family in household chores.
8. Find new hobbies or activities
It is important that we do enjoyable activities at home, especially those that relax us and help us keep anxiety at bay.
Yoga and mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety.
Spend time on the hobbies you had left behind, or learn things you have always wanted to do. There are plenty of tutorials and online courses available.
9. Keep a good attitude
Although this is a difficult situation, good things can always come out of it, such as a sense of community and acts of generosity. This can help us focus on our family, sharpen our creativity, reinvent ourselves, etc. All we need to do is wait out this situation and make the best out of a bad situation.
Psicóloga General Sanitaria y sexóloga. Deseosa de mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas mediante la práctica clínica y la comunicación a través de la red.