Dealing with Self-Isolation and Mental Health
Capsized travel plans, indefinite isolation, panic over scarce resources and information overload could be a recipe for unchecked anxiety and feelings of isolation. Here are a few pointers that could help you survive spiraling negative thoughts about this uncertain time.
If you need immediate help call Lifeline on 13 11 14
1. Reframe "I am stuck inside" to "I finally have time to focus on my home, myself and my family"
As dismal as the world may feel right now, think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganise, or create something you’ve always wanted to. This is your chance to slow down and focus on yourself.
2. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible
Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-self-isolation days.
If you have kids, sticking to a routine might be easier; however, as you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which could lead to negative thinking.
Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Do laundry on Sundays as usual. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.
3.) Avoid obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage
Freeing up your day from work or social obligations gives you plenty of time to obsess, and if you have a tendency to consult Google for every itch and sneeze, you may be over-researching the pandemic as well.
Choosing only certain credible websites for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 15 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time. We’ve collated some of these resources for you.
4. A chaotic home can lead to a chaotic mind
With all the uncertainly happening outside your home, keep the inside organised, predictable and clean.
Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organise your day. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa- just as before, eat at the kitchen table and work at your desk. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long.
Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic of your environment- so keep it tidy.
5. Ask for practical help!
Don’t be afraid to rely on others to deliver medication, food or essential supplies to you to comply with your self-isolation requirements. Remember that you are helping others and potentially saving lives.
A number of local pharmacies are also offering delivery - call your pharmacy to see what services they're offering.
Need more assistance? Albany Regional Volunteer Service can help!
6. Get in touch with a mental health and medical professional
Seeking help is not something to be ashamed of, and you don't need to risk your physical health to do so. Many Albany GP's and mental health professionals are now offering telehealth as an option to talk through any health issues that you have.
Remember to reach out for help if your anxiety is reaching proportions that is unmanageable without professional help. You can call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 for free counselling or Lifeline in a mental health crisis on 13 11 14.
Letting go of illusions of control and finding peace in the fact that you are doing your part to “flatten the curve” will certainly build mental strength to combat the stressful situation the whole globe is experiencing.
More information about Mental Health and Coronavirus can be found at: