Coronavirus (COVID-19), Isolation and Mental Health
Before even the outbreak of the COVID-19, there was already an alarming rising rate of loneliness especially among adults, and now that the virus has forced a total lockdown in the UK, more and more people are going to be affected mentally. In fact, the mental health repercussions of the pandemic were already recognized early as the virus cases were slowly snowballing. Words like fear, lies, cynicism, panic, hysteria, and denial moving to anxiety were used widely to describe reactions, attitudes, pronouncements, and behaviours from groups and individuals during this pandemic.
It is no telling that the outbreak of COVID-19 has severely challenged the human, clinical, as well as practical resources of mental health management services.
Besides the fear of contracting the virus, the agony of obtaining medications, toilet rolls, hand sanitizers, people around the country are also facing the challenging prospects of home isolation with demands of new adjustment techniques and a gloomy cloud of uncertainties as even the experts have no idea when the first vaccine will be ready.
How people react to the outbreak may depend on their background.
If you are having a hard time during the self-isolation period, below are some tips to help you through:
Control your expectations
As we all slowly begin to adapt to this new cadence of isolation and working from home, it is essential to be realistic when setting our goals. Don’t take too lightly the emotional and cognitive load that this outbreak brings. There will be difficulty concentrating, lots of distractions, and low motivation.
Know your red flags
What are the triggers that tend to contribute to your cycle of agony and feelings of being overawed? Understand these thoughts and sensations or even actions, and address them. The best way to deal with these triggers is to repeatedly reduce the physical symptoms.
Having some connections can go a long way to helping you through the self-isolation period. Create a virtual forum with your co-workers or friends you are currently not allowed to meet physically. Start virtual coffee groups, co-working spaces, and even online book clubs where you can work in the virtual company of your fellow workmates.
Routine will help you manage anxiety and allow you to quickly adapt to this new way of living. Since you are also working at home, create a clear difference between non-work and work time and adhere to it.
During non-work time, make sure you indulge in activities that are not related to the pandemic; instead, do something that brings you joy.
Stay in the present
Manage your uncertainty by living in the present and focusing only on things that you can control. This is perhaps the most stressful time most of us have ever experience and will surely test our mental health.
Reduce exposure to current news
It is very easy for news to travel to virtually any corner of the planet these days. So if you feel the constant news and coverage about the coronavirus outbreak is weighing down on you, especially on social media, freeze the apps focus only on major updates.
Talk to a therapist
If you still feel anxious about coronavirus and isolation, please feel free to discuss your fears and struggles with Riverside Counselling.