03 Apr Useful Tips for Self Isolation during COVID-19
Here are some useful tips for Self Isolation for COVID 19 if you have been advised to do so by the HSE. These tips will help you cope with the stress of isolation over the period of symptoms monitoring for COVID 19.
It’s so important to look after our mental health over the coming weeks. There are a lot of apps developed to reduce stress and anxiety and teach mindfulness strategies: HeadSpace, MindShift and Calm. If you feel you need to speak to a counsellor this can be available over the phone or online.
Practical Tips to Maintain Mental Health:
- Keep mentally active: Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus. You can develop mind games to stimulate thinking, for example, remember the plots of movies or passages from books.
- Humour: Even smiling and laughing inwardly can provide relief from anxiety and frustration.
- Relaxation techniques: Reduce stress levels and are useful methods to manage pain and emotional turmoil. Controlled breathing exercises for 5 mins done a few times a day will restore you to yourself.
- Set goals: Setting goals and achieving them can give you a sense of control. The goals must be realistic in the given circumstances and could include writing a diary or learning new skills.
- Practice Gratitude: focus on the positive in your life and look for reasons to be grateful.
- Escape – read a book, listen to music, watch a movie
When you feel bored or stressed the temptation is to go for food and comfort eat. The advice is to practice eating and curb the urge to reach for the snacks. We should be aiming to eat a balanced diet including the following:
- High-quality proteins (fish, lean chicken, eggs, almonds)
- Low starch vegetables e.g. (broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus)
- Natural fats (olives, avocado, raw nuts)
- Drink lots of water
Eat sufficiently and exercise as much as possible: This will help keep the body strong and counteracts the physical effects of stress.
Let’s Get Physical
Short exercises done regularly is the key here – all you need is a minimum of 5 to 15 minutes. There are so many ways to incorporate physical exercise into your day without going out – here are just a few ideas:
- Music & Dance: Two well-known stress busters, combine them together for a mind & body workout – see how well it’s working in our video
- Chair exercises: click here if you are confined to sitting down
- Yoga or Pilates: improves flexibility, muscle tone, and posture there are loads of free tutorials to suit all abilities on YouTube
- Mr Motivator the 90’s icon has weighed in to help with self-isolation and has a daily live-streamed workout, called the Daily Dozen (12pm), on Twitter and YouTube and HealthCheck UK Live, airing on weekdays at 10 am on BBC One.
There are loads more ideas for quick and easy 15min exercise routines here provided by RTE.
Try Something Creative
- Paint a picture: lots of online tutorials such as Art Hub or you can join online classes with PaintClub who will provide step by step instruction during 2-hour live sessions.
- Colouring books: They’re not just for kids.
- Write: Start that short story or novel you’ve felt was always in you!
- Learn an Instrument: order it online and loads of free tutorials there too.
- Learn a new language: Download Duolingo it’s a fun way to learn a new language.
Accept your Feelings
Being in a stressful situation can cause a lot of different emotional reactions like anger, frustration, anxiety, regrets, second-guessing yourself, self-blame etc. These feelings are normal reactions to an abnormal situation such as self-isolation for COVID 19 – go easy on yourself!
For hygiene tips in the home we use this excellent Infection Control Leaflet for good hygiene practice which also applies to COVID 19.