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Tips for isolation

The following is a collection of tips to help look after your emotional wellbeing during isolation

1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, have a schedule that is varied with different tasks for you to do.

2. Get washed and dressed in comfortable clothes. Don’t be tempted to stay in your pyjamas all day.

3. Try and get outside at least once a day. Pick a quiet time if you are concerned, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening. If you cannot get outside, open a window or door to get some fresh air.

4. Make time to move each day. Put on some music and dance, follow an exercise video on YouTube, or do some stretches to keep your body moving.

5. Reach out and keep a connection to others through phone calls, Text, FaceTime, Skype.

6. Drink plenty of water and eat well. It may be easy to overeat or even forget to eat when our routines change.

7. Create a self-care toolkit. This will be different for each of us but should include some things that are comforting. These could be a favourite book, some photos, a soft blanket, a note pad for drawing or writing. Keep it handy for when your mood starts to dip.

8. If you are sharing your space with others, schedule fun time for you to interact e.g. play a board game, but also ensure you spend time apart to help stop any irritation building.

9. Be prepared that you may get anxious, frustrated or worried. Being cooped up can bring out the worst in everyone. Everyone will have moments when they will not be at their best.

10. If you are having to work from home, try to stick to your regular working hours as best you can. It can be easy to just keep going and reach burnout very quickly. If you can, have a separate space for work so that you can easily get away for scheduled breaks and close the door on it at the end of the working day.

11. Don’t be tempted to spend excessive amounts of time searching for information on COVID-19. Limit your COVID social media and conversation especially around children. Remember that the information often has a negatively focus and can be alarmist. Find a trusted source (e.g. NHS) that you can check in with but consider limiting it to once or twice a day.

12. Take time to notice the good things going on. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also lots of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in compassionate ways. It is important to get the balance right.

13. Try and do something creative. Draw, cook, bake, knit, memorise a poem, rearrange a cupboard even. It can be very satisfying to have a measurable achievement at the end of a task.

14. Find some humour in each day. We can find good reason to worry, so counteract this with something light each day: funny videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie.

15. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It may seem that it will never end and it can be scary and difficult to think this will go on for an undetermined amount of time, but it will end.