The trouble with isolation…

We are just over a week into what could be 12 weeks if not longer of lockdown in the UK.

We can only go out to work – if that can’t be done at home, to shop – food and essentials only, to do 1 form of exercise per day such as a walk and in case of medical emergencies. Social distancing means keeping at least 2 metres away from anyone else when you do go out, making trips to do food shops etc a stressful and unpleasant experience.

On balance we have a lot more freedoms still than some countries where a hard lock down has been enforced – and enforced quite brutally.

Self isolating in theory wasn’t a scary prospect for me. I have a large family so no worry about being lonely. I have internet access so can communicate with friends and loved ones and my job is a key worker role that can’t be done at home so I still get to venture out of my house a couple of days a week.

So the question is Why has my mental health taken a nose dive?

I have felt more anxious over the last few weeks than in years. I’ve had a racing heart, dry mouth and haven’t been able to sleep properly and restfully for days. I suspect I am not alone and I’m sharing this to give you a virtual hug and a high five to say I’m right there with you.

The uncertainty of all this is the problem. The time at home self isolating gives us time to think – too much time to think and those of us with a pre-disposition to worry means we are in a constant state of anxiety.

I have stopped watching the news more than once a day. I don’t use google and I stick to my favourite apps rather than roaming the web for stuff to do. This has helped in a way to shelter my poor over active brain from going into an absolute state of panic and causing my anxiety to sky rocket further.

I am bored. I have loads to do but no motivation to do it. Part of me wants to get into bed, pull the duvet over my head and sleep my way through Coronavirus!!!

My only plan is to take it hour by hour. Day by day. I can’t think of another 11 weeks of tension, stress and uncertainty. It sends me into meltdown.

I have written a list of activities that I can do to keep me occupied – so far I have: read, watch films, gardening, colouring, crafts, baking, cleaning, exercise video, school work with the kids, learn something new, take a nap, call a friend.

So far I have managed to do some gardening, watch films and chat to friends. Oh and take a nap – well lots of naps if I’m honest!!

I don’t know what the answer is. I can’t tell you how to motivate yourself as I’m struggling to do much of anything!! All I can say is I’m here – if you need a chat or want to have a moan. Don’t sit there and worry on your own. We are all in this together – all in the same situation. Some of us will deal with it differently to others. There is no right or wrong way, we just need to get through it. Be brave, be strong and be kind to yourself.

Love ya, Helen x

2 Replies to “The trouble with isolation…”

  1. I understand your worry and anxiety. It is a normal response to the uncertainty we are facing. Congratulations on identifying and making a list of the things you can do to help you cope. You are wise to look for the positive side. Still, this is an emotional shock and it will take some time to adjust.

    One thing you may want to try is to confront your worries. First, write down everything that is fueling your anxiety, all of your worries and concerns. Next, read through them and consider the worst that might happen, and what you would do if that came to pass. The last step is to destroy your list. Burn it, shred it, crumple it up and throw it away. (I like to burn mine). Let them all go,

    They have done studies that suggest that 80-90% of the things we worry about never happen, and the remaining things that do happen are never as bad as we imagined.

    Sorry, this is so long, but I hope it helps you find some relief. And taking a nap is always a good option. Stay well, my friend. 💕😊💕

    Like

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