Coronavirus chaos: Mental health tips for those struggling with coronavirus isolation

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strict measures against the spread of coronavirus now call for Britons to remain home at all times and only leave for essential shopping, key jobs or to care for dependents. These measures could be hard for some, with the sudden change in everyday schedule.

So far lockdown measures are in place for three weeks, with a review at the end of this period.

The review will determine whether an extension to the lockdown is required, or whether some measures can be lifted.

Not seeing family and friends, losing your regular routine and being stuck in the same place for a long time can take its toll on our mental health.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Professor of Psychiatry from Australia’s Monash University gave some tips on how to remain positive while being confined to the same space for an extended period of time.

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Get into a routine

Set yourself up a schedule to prepare in the morning, eat nutritious, food at set times and be consistent with bedtime.

Treat your time as if the lockdown was not in place, with a routine for separate tasks.

Writing down what to do when can be a tactic to make sure you stick to this and give structure to your day.

Exercise is a must

Whether home exercise videos or meditation, every little helps.

Lots of gyms, personal trainers and more have been offering online classes and sessions for those wanting to exercise after gyms were told to close.

The Prime Minister has also said one trip outside for exercise is permitted, so going for a run or walk – while still maintaining social distancing – could be good to prevent feeling stir-crazy.

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Fight the boredom

As tempting as it is to binge on the latest TV shows, try to try something different.

Why not try writing, painting, cleaning out cupboards or even learning a new language to protect your mental health.

Cross stitch kits, painting by numbers or even online coding classes are available for those looking to indulge in a new hobby.

Change up your surroundings (if possible)

If you can, move around your living space and mix up where you sit, exercise and work to make sure you’re not staring at the same walls all the time.

Try and separate work and home if you can, so you are not working in the same space which you sleep in.

If you are working from home, when you finish work, make sure you act as though you would if you were in the office – don’t check emails or continue to work past your usual finish time.

Keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues

You may be physically confined but this does not mean you should isolate yourself mentally.

Whether by video or voice, keep in touch with those who usually surround you.

Whether a lunch date or a quick catch-up, harness the incredible ability we have at our fingertips.

Netflix houseparty is a Google Chrome add on which can enable people to watch a film together with a chatroom, meaning you can share the experience with friends and family despite being separated.

Limit screen time

Don’t get consumed by the COVID-19 coverage plastering the news, limiting the amount of time you spend browsing will have boundless benefits to your mental attitude.

Lastly, take one day at a time

Try to focus on the immediate future rather than looking too far into the future to help maintain a positive attitude.

The measures in place are only for the time being, not forever, so while it may be hard there are better times on the horizon.

Do you have any questions about the coronavirus, self-isolating or the Government lockdown?

Get in touch with us and will ask an expert to find the answers for you. Email your question to [email protected]

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