Taking Care of your Mental Health while in Social Isolation
Updated: Dec 7, 2022
Tips on taking care of your mental health while in social isolation Keep an eye on signs of increased mental distress –
Increased worry and fears of your health or the health of others that disrupts your day
Changes in your sleep and eating habits
Worsening of chronic health problems
Increased alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
Stay in contact with people—virtually—engage in activities that give you pleasure and a sense of meaning, and do what you can to help others, which is a wonderful antidote to depression.
Create a routine— Change out of your pajamas, shower, and make a to-do of all the things you want to achieve each day to create a sense of normality and productivity.
Help others— If you’re not under strict isolation rules yourself, and you’re in a position to do so, find ways to support those in need by offering to run errands and collect supplies for them. If you are in isolation, find a way to help others using the phone or internet; perhaps call your pastor or church and volunteer to call others in need to offer support.
Find ways to express gratitude – Let people know how important they are to you; thank them when help is extended.
Break up your day— Find tasks to break up your day and, where possible, change your environment for different activities.
Take care of your body— Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and exercise daily. That could include conducting indoor workout classes, stretching, and practicing meditation. Don’t neglect other health conditions you may have. Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco; avoid illicit drug use. Drink lots of water.
Stay connected— Make the most of technology and stay in touch with colleagues, friends, and family via phone calls, texts, social media, and video conferencing. Schedule coffee time with friends on the phone, or watch a movie “together.” Participate in online or TV religious services. Be creative and think outside the box.
Limit media intake— Stay informed about the situation via reliable sources, but limit your news and social media intake to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Prepare medical supplies— Remember to ask your doctor for extended prescription supplies to tide you over for quarantine periods.
Fight boredom— Make the most of catching up TV series, reading, and exploring projects you have been putting off to beat boredom and stay mentally active. If you have children, give them a job or a chore to do to help out; kids need to know they are valuable contributors to the family. Take online classes.
Avoid burnout— Set strict limits to your work to avoid becoming overwhelmed and make time to unwind.
Focus on the positives— Amplify good news stories and honor caregivers working tirelessly to resolve the situation.
Take one day at a time— Try not to project too far into the future. Remember that these are temporary measures and you are not alone.
Fremont Counseling Service clinicians are available on the phone and via telehealth for callers concerned about their mental health.