Six ways to take care of your wellbeing while social distancing
With the intensifying COVID-19 situation in the UK we are all now living the reality of social distancing measures and self-isolation to help stop the spread. Here are our top tips for taking care of your mental wellbeing while self-isolating or working from home.
1. Stay Active – Look after your body and mind
Our physical and mental health are undeniably linked, so it is important to stay active, even if we don’t feel like it. When you are working from home it can be easy to sit on the sofa where it is comfortable, eat unbalanced meals and snack (a lot!). However, it’s key to keep a balanced lifestyle. Good nutrition and daily exercise can also help support a healthy immune system. Meditate, do jumping jacks in your living room, practice yoga or simply go for a walk. Whatever it is that works for you, do what it takes to care for your body and mind.
2. Organise your space
You know what they say: ‘tidy home, tidy mind!’ But let’s be honest – decluttering can feel daunting and overwhelming, There’s no need to blitz your entire home, maybe just pick a small area and give it a spruce. Organising our homes helps relieve stress and boosts our mood – plus the sense of satisfaction afterwards is second to none.
3. Maintain a routine
Try to treat your working day like any other, get up in good time before you start work, shower, get dressed, take regular breaks throughout the day. As far as possible, try to maintain as much of a normal schedule as you can. Having said that, don’t fall into a cycle of sleeping, working, eating, and repeating. Try and do things that add value to your day such as getting creative, learning a new skill or ticking off tasks on your ever growing ‘to do’ list.
4. Set boundaries between work and home
It is easy to let work/life balance slip away when working from home, so it’s important to set clear boundaries between the two. Establishing fixed working hours and regular breaks is a good first step. It is also a good idea to set up a dedicated working area in a separate room or even just a space on your kitchen table. Then when you are not working move away from that area for the period you are taking a break. When the day is done, close your laptop and resist the temptation to go back to it until the next morning.
5. Be ‘tech-social’ during ‘social distancing’
Being able to communicate and engage with people is an important part of everyday life that many of us take for granted. Practicing social distancing or physically isolating doesn’t mean we need to completely detach ourselves from some of the people we would see regularly. If anything we need to increase the communication by using video chat (WhatsApp, Facetime, Google Hangouts and Zoom calls) to stay in touch with our friends, family and colleagues wherever possible. This is a great way to instil a sense of normality into our daily lives and it can be comforting to see a familiar face.
6. Engage with nature
Social distancing and self-isolation can be really hard on the majority of us. It is normal to feel anxious, frustrated or bored, so getting exposure to the outside world when possible can really help you feel calm and relaxed. In line with the latest Government Guidelines, try and take your one form of daily exercise outside. Use this time to go for a run, bike ride or a long walk and engage with the surrounding nature (ensuring you are at least 2 metres apart from anyone else). Simply opening the window to let fresh air into your room, watching the birds and tending to the garden or house plants will also assist maintaining a positive mind.