Coping with ‘lock down’ and self-isolation

Coping with Lock down. Maple leaves at home.

Covid-19 virus has thrown us into an uncertain and frightening situation. How can we cope?

We cannot control what is happening ‘out there’ except to follow governments advice. We control how we respond internally. We always have a choice about that. We can become swept up in the anxiety and fear around us. Or we can choose to use this time to get good at managing our body and mind! This does not mean we won’t feel anxious at all but it does mean we can find a place of peace to provide relief and as we get better at it, we can carry that peace with us, or know how to access it when we need to. We become an observer of our responses and can therefore choose to respond differently. It gives us a choice.

Because much of our usual level of activity is reduced in this lock down situation make sure you use the extra time to practise the breathing exercises and relaxations – every day! Explore all the guided relaxations and meditations available online. Many of them are now focusing on coping with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Here are some points to help you cope in with lock down if you find yourself with more time than usual. Or even if you don’t!

  • Use the time wisely. Decide to make your focus your physical and mental health. You can put aside at least 30 minutes a day – more if possible. Even if the kids are at home! 
  • Practise your breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation daily. Practise self-compassion. 
  • If your mind starts to spin with worries and fear bring, it back to what you are doing in that moment or to the breath or body. And keep doing it. This is Mindfulness. 
  • Develop a routine. Have the same get up time, get dressed and ‘ready for the day’. Eat regular meals, times for your own self-care (meditation/relaxation/exercise). Time to spend with others, such as learning and/or games with the kids. Have the same bedtime. 
  • Care for your immune system. Eat regular, nutritious meals. Prioritise sleep and rest. Exercise gently, don’t overdo it. Try yoga. Get outside in nature every day, walking or cycling. Manage feelings of stress by relaxing body and mind. 
  • Connect with others. Perhaps use the telephone for a chat instead of a hasty text.
  • Take care of your mental health. Speak to others if you are worried. Seek out support. Try not to get stuck in a spiral of thoughts. Do something active to distract yourself.
  • Carry out long lost hobbies, or take one up or learn something new online. Consider volunteering to help those who are vulnerable in your local community, if you feel you can. Don’t pressurise yourself.