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How to manage your mental health if you self-isolate

Lockdown Tips

  • Small things: Self-isolation can be dealt with ‘micro-lifts’, small, quick activities like saying hi to someone on FaceTime, joining an online group, or learning a bit of a new language.
  • A healthy diet: While it can be tempting to just sit on the sofa with zero movements, or snacking all day, it is a good idea to eat well, and eat healthily.

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How to manage your mental health if you self-isolate

How to manage your mental health if you self-isolate

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-mental-health-self-isolate-how-to-manage-quarantine-a9404431.html

independent.co.uk

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Key Ideas

Mental Health During Lockdown

All over the world, governments have implemented lockdowns, restricting all non-essential travel, closing all the places where people can gather.

Lockdown isolation can lead to mental stress, and experts suggest various ways to safeguard your emotional and mental wellbeing, during this period of being alone.

Lockdown Tips

  • Small things: Self-isolation can be dealt with ‘micro-lifts’, small, quick activities like saying hi to someone on FaceTime, joining an online group, or learning a bit of a new language.
  • A healthy diet: While it can be tempting to just sit on the sofa with zero movements, or snacking all day, it is a good idea to eat well, and eat healthily.

Engage With Nature

Whatever the limits and constraints, try to get some nature exposure and exercise, even in a garden, terrace or balcony. You can also take care of the houseplants or open the windows to let fresh air in the room.

Maintain Your Routine

Keep bathing and brushing your teeth as before, and go to bed at healthy times to get adequate sleep. Try doing something else apart from eating, sleeping and watching Netflix. Any hobby or activity helps.

Screen Exposure

Avoid sitting in front of screens all day: Long periods of screen gazing, whether it’s a TV, PC or a smartphone, can disrupt your sleep and deteriorate your overall wellbeing. This is due to the blue light that most devices emit.

Try getting into arts and crafts, listening to podcasts, knitting, meditation, cooking new stuff, writing, gardening, or reading.

Staying Positive

  • Stay Connected: Even during a lockdown, we can be social using email, social media, video conferencing and the phone.
  • Limit your news intake: Too much virus news all day can harm your mental health. Limit news intake to a few times a day.
  • The Negative Spiral: Self-isolation can sometimes thrust us into a negative spiral if we start to overthink and be self-critical. It is best to stay positive and optimistic.

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Keeping fit

Everyone is stressed at the moment and are not sleeping well. Exercise can decrease stress and anxiety. Moving will likely improve your sleep.

Who can exercise
  • If you are under 70 with no underlying conditions, you can walk the dog, go for a run or a bike ride, provided you keep your distance.
  • If you are over 70 and self-isolating, or pregnant, or having an underlying health condition but feel well, you can also go outside for exercise while keeping your distance.
  • If you have symptoms, or someone in your household has them, it is essential to use movement and activity while isolating yourself.
  • If you are unwell, use your energy to get better, but not to be active.
  • If you are feeling better after having had the virus, return to your regular routine gradually.
Chair tricep dips
  • Sit on the edge of a chair holding onto the front with your hands.
  • Place your feet out in front of you (bent legs for easier option or straight legs to make it harder)
  • Lower your elbows to a 90-degree angle before pushing back up.

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Psychological Effects of Working from Home
  • Loneliness and isolation. And loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms like random pain.
  • Anxiety and pressure. The bounda...
Symptoms of Depression
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even with unimportant matters.
  • Loss of interest or happiness in activities such as sex or hobbies.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy for even the smallest activities.
  • Increased cravings for food.
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  • Avoiding people.
Take Care of Your Mental Health

...while working from home:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your tasks (and breaks) will help you to mentally prepare for the day.
  • Have a dedicated comfortable workspace, with a door that closes, preferably.
  • Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule active time to get your heart pumping.
  • Foster social connections (on the phone or via the internet, if physical contact is not possible).
  • Learn to say no. Know your limitations, set boundaries based on your schedule and workload, and don’t extend yourself beyond them.
The Right Amount Of Work

The World Health Organization(WHO) recently recognized the symptoms of workplace burnout, with too much work wreaking havoc on our mental health, all across the world.

Surprisingly, not work...

Eight Hours A Week

An extensive study shows that just eight hours a week is enough for the average worker to generate significant mental health and well-being benefits.


Working between one to eight hours per week resulted in decreased risk of mental health issues, especially among people recently unemployed.


Working has some intangible benefits, called psychological vitamins, like social contact, structured routine, shared goals, enforced activity, variety and a sense of identity. Spending more time at work does not lead to an increase in the benefits.

The new normal

Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

Working from home will become t...

Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job
  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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Keep the Same Schedule

To give your day structure, keep the same routine as when you went into an office. Get up at the same time and make a to-do list. Check in with the same person every morning.

Your s...

Set Boundaries

Pick a place for your office away from distraction.
Boundaries also apply to other people who may be sharing the same space. Children can work alongside you as if they were coming to the office.

Schedule Breaks

You won't have the same cues as you do from your workplace to remind you to get up or get lunch. When you lose the pace of your day, everything can start to blend together.

Treat your exercise, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting. Put it on your calendar, at least to start.

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Remote Working

Remote working is not all glamorous as portrayed in social media, and many remote workers, while being free to roam around, are lonely.

Human beings cannot belong anywhere instantly, and a s...

Nomads
  • We assume living alone provides us with freedom and independence, but the ground reality is quite different. Nomads, while staying and working alone, meet new people, but don’t make any real friends. 
  • Many nomads have false assumptions about an office activity or event, and not being able to see your coworkers in person every day, leads to being ‘out of touch’.
  • Constant working in isolation leads to irregular sleep patterns, mood swings and eating disorders due to a lack of routine and structure in a day.
A Healthy Balance

Remote working may have tremendous advantages but research suggests that human beings aren’t meant to work in isolation. Working socially with co-workers who are good friends leads to higher engagement and satisfaction in one’s job.

For remote working to be successful, it needs to be tailored to suit one’s particular needs and personality, finding a good fit, while taking care of one’s mental well-being.

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Simple tips to improve your health
  1. Focus on improving your mind, by building self-awareness.
  2. Adopt a dog: If you make sure to walk it twice a day, you boost your enery while also getting the emotional bene...
Digital Nomad
The idea of working from home, on your laptop, flexibly, without having to do the daily commute, is appealing to many office workers.
In the UK there are 4.8 million freelance wo...
The Other Side

Studies on long term work-from-home workers found that lack of interaction with colleagues and the lack of an office vibe can result in a disconnection from the outer world, leading to isolation.

Working at Home

Pitfalls of working from home: 

  • Mental health disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Feeling isolated
  • Less self-discipline
  • Lack of exercise
  • Unable to keep the boundaries between work and life.

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Anticipatory emotions
Anticipatory emotions

These feelings are triggered by the anticipation of a future event that cause you to either prompt you to take comfort in an inevitable success or, conversely, to feel alarmed about an immi...

The pressure to stay game-ready

When you’re the best in the world, the amount of stress it takes to gain that 1% (or less than that) improvement to maintain your top form is extraordinary.

Being the best in the world only amplifies the pressure to stay game-ready.

Tackling loss
  • In order to move forward and tackle a loss, first lean into your disappointment and anger. It may also be helpful to keep a journal as a way to come to terms with your predicament and ensure your future actions are in line with your emotional well-being.
  • The next step is to create and maintaining a new routine, a critical piece in keeping yourself game-ready.

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Keeping close relationships

Forced separation, while new to most, is a fact of life for the world’s migrants. Many continue close ties with relatives, despite years or decades of physical distance.

Phone calls

Video communication can be too draining and may make feelings of separation more intense. Written communication can feel too impersonal and may not be accessible to people with visual impairments.

Migrant families rely on phone calls for almost all of their communication as calls are intimate and convey emotions without the constant visual reminders of separation.

Communicate to connect

Migrants greet something like this: "I send greetings to you to my grandchildren, to my daughter-in-law, and to all those who surround you."

Such elaborated greetings articulate family relationships that stretch across space. They continually create and re-create connections despite the distance.

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