In these uncertain times, when panic and fear is spiking, is it really healthy to isolate ourselves? In one respect, of course it is the safest way to safeguard ourselves from the virus but what about our mental and emotional well being? It is widely reported that loneliness and isolation is one of the biggest contributing factors towards extreme anxiety and depression. Sometimes sitting in our own company can be very uncomfortable and can leave us feeling trapped. Anxious thoughts may escalate and consume us to the point of panic. Focus may become difficult with the worry and fear building as your social connection dissipate. In a world where internet is already an everyday form of connection is this going to be enough to meet the need of distraction or will it simply feed the anxiety? So how do we find a healthy way to fill our isolating time and calm our emotions without just turning to our tech??
Maybe this is our chance to change our lives and go back to basics. A time for us to tap into our creative flare and try some new hobbies that may never of appealed to us before. Sewing, drawing, baking, writing. All of these things are accessible if you are isolating using things you may find in your home and will help focus your mind. Imagine being able to create something for yourself that you may never of had time to do before. If you are not confident at creating something from scratch there are plenty of kits and crafting activities that you can order online and have delivered to fill your time. You may find a talent you never knew you had! If crafting isn't your thing then why not get out a jigsaw puzzle, Sudoku puzzle, crossword or a book that you've been meaning to read for months. All of these things require focus and will help calm your body and give your brain a work out.
My personal recommendation of a great use of this time would be to learn to meditate. I appreciate this may not appeal to everyone but if you can master it the mental health benefits are life changing. There are plenty of free apps available so give it a go now you have some time on your hands. I use Headspace which has a selection of free packs for beginners to teach you the basics. Try setting yourself a target of trialling it for 7 days so you give it a chance. It does take time to find your flow and feel comfortable, so don't give up after a couple of days. You can just do 10 minutes at a time and see what you think. If it is something you connect with it will be an activity you can carry back into everyday life.
Whatever you decide to try during your time isolating remember not to be hard on yourself. Show yourself some compassion if it doesn't work the way you hoped the first time. We aren't used to sitting still and not being interactive so it will take time to appreciate that this down time could be a good thing and give you the space you need to work on your mental health and well being. Find the positive in every situation :)