"Isolation is a way to know ourselves" - Franz Kafka
Covid-19 a common enemy for us all. With it comes strict yet important measures to keep us all safe. I hope we are all taking the necessary precautions and isolating ourselves as best as we can.
I just want to give a little insight into how we can make better use of our time.
My life has been anything but linear since exiting high school. The school route was never for me and after bouncing from job to job, I finally decided to focus on myself. Listen to what my body was telling me. I started a long journey of focusing on my mental health and creating my own path. What works best for me.
Along this journey, I can confidently say I have become sort of a self-isolation expert.
Firstly, let me say I understand how hard it can be for us all, especially those of us who struggle with mental health issues to be isolating. I know for me personally not playing hockey on Wednesday nights or going to yoga on Thursdays is not easy. Those are great outlets for me to be able to 'escape' my thoughts. Not being able to watch soccer on Saturday and Sunday mornings along with knowing there's a strong possibility my soccer league won't be happening this season. It is not easy, especially as someone who is extremely depressed taking the few things I found joy in can seem terrifying. Allowing these fears to take control is where thoughts can turn into problematic situations.
My first piece of advice would be to understand why it is we are self-isolating. It isn't safe out there. It isn't about being scared but just rather understanding the risks that going out can cause. Educate yourself on the risk and you may be able to better cope with being quarantined. If you know it is for the greater good.
Think of who you are doing it for. So now you know why it is we all need to self-quarantine. Ask yourself if I'm not quarantining for myself, remind yourself of those you love whether that be grand-parents, parents, siblings or even friends. We are all in this together so keeping each and every one of us safe should be our priority.
Now that we have a basic understanding of why it is we are self-isolating. (To protect one another and reduced the spread of this disease)
How can we focus on ourselves, what can we do to better pass the time and keeping our mental health in check?
Exercise!! Work out at home, find a yoga video online or a workout you can do with no equipment. Stay active. Now this one isn't available for everyone but go for a long walk with the dog, self-isolating does not mean we are prisoners to our home. We are allowed to go outside, walk the dog, go for a run, a jog. Get fresh air. I can't stress enough how important fresh air is for my mental health. Nature is a wonderful natural remedy for stress. This doesn't mean stop and talk to everyone you see face to face, you still have to respect isolating boundaries. I'm sure we are all consuming more calories with all this extra time at home so staying fit/active is a great way to counter-balance that.
Despite what I just said about consuming food, bake or cook something you love. I may be a bit biased here as I love to cook but crafting up a beautiful home-cooked meal can be fun and also very rewarding. It also can certainly help the time pass. I know groceries aren't the easiest to come by right now but I guarantee there are ingredients in your fridge/pantry you would never have thought of using. A nice Pinterest recipe always does the trick
A fan favorite in my house. Watch a movie or binge-watch a show. I'm sure with the crazy lives most of you live, it can be hard to stay up to date with shows and especially difficult to have the time to start a new one. No better time to open up Netflix and start binging than now
Find a hobby. I'm lucky enough to have video games as my hobby. In fact they have always been my outlet since I was a kid. Probably kept me from falling addicted to drugs and alcohol. Maybe you love to read or draw. Maybe there's a coloring book you always wanted to start but never found the time. Despite all the chaos going around our world, there can be mini blessings in disguise. Our home has been trying to play a board game every night and we have even completed a few puzzles.
My last tip may not seem like something you want to do. Trust me I would know. Clean up!! As much as we put off cleaning from our day to day life there aren't many more satisfying feelings than have a spotless bedroom. It also feels very rewarding.
These tips by no means will solve your mental health problems during these hard times. I'm sure with so many unknowns anxiety is at all-time highs for most of us. Rather just a few little things you can do to occupy your time and keep you busy. It's hard for the mind to take control if we are constantly keeping busy. Just make sure you enjoy what you are doing. Don't keep busy for the sake of keeping busy. I know how toxic my headspace can become when I'm not enjoying what I'm doing.
I also totally understand there are many complications that come with mental health and being self-isolated.
A lot of you use friendships and outings as a way to distract from our emotions.
I know I've been dealing even more so than usual with loneliness. One of my biggest mental health struggles is feeling alone. There can be tons of people around me and I'll still feel alone. The best way I can describe it is feeling as if you are everyone's friend but no one's best friend. This self-isolation period even for me has made these feelings intensify.
Life is full of peaks and valleys. As a world, we are all going through a valley together. None of these tips will magically make your anxiety go away or make you feel one hundred percent better. What's important to remember is every little bit counts. Learn something about yourself. Maybe you have a hidden talent you will discover. You can do this. We can do this.
With all that being said, check up on the ones we care about, especially the ones we know who struggle with mental health. It will mean a lot to them. We must unite during these hard times. Most of all stay safe and remember that this too shall pass.
Let me know what you have been up to. Have you been keeping busy? Maybe even catching up on much-needed sleep. Let me know down below in the comments I would love to hear it.
- Thinking Mans Thoughts