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COVID-19: Living alone and social isolation

last modified Apr 27, 2020 01:22 PM
You may have lived alone for many years or it may be a new experience for you, but there can be no doubt that the new social-distancing measures that we are being asked to adhere to will create new challenges for those of us living alone. Here are some pointers for self-care at this time…

 

  • Security – It is important to shore up your sense of safety at this time. Doing this will relieve some of the emotional stress that you may be experiencing. Keep yourself reasonably and reliably informed about coronavirus. Getting the balance is key; some will need to limit information while others will find daily updates helpful. There is no right or wrong – it is just about identifying what is useful to you.

 

 

  • Care planning – Is there someone you can ask for help should you become unwell? Now is the time to set this up. Hopefully you will not need such support but knowing that it is available will be reassuring. Speak to a family member, friend or colleague. Asking for help can be difficult so remind yourself that everyone is experiencing a new level of vulnerability at the moment and asking for help is the ‘new normal’. You can offer to be their supporter too. If you believe there is no one you can ask, then you could look online to see what support is available from your local community. Covid 19 mutual aid groups are being set up across the country and local faith and other community groups will be developing ways to help people manage at this time. It is also important to acknowledge that you may need to use the NHS website or 111 service for information and reassurance particularly when there is no one at hand to ask.

 

 

  • Keep moving – Physical activity is really good for our general health but it also supports our mental health. Stress activates a biological response, so finding ways to physically process the adrenalin released is important. Walking, jogging, cycling, yoga, YouTube workouts or dancing around your kitchen to your favourite songs will all help with this.

 

 

  • Comfort – On the topic of biological responses, it is worth making time for activities that allow for stress relieving chemical exchanges. Taking a relaxing bath, listening to calming music, breathing exercises, or curling up to watch a box set or read that ‘old friend’ of a novel are some examples. If you are feeling really low it may be as simple as wrapping yourself up in your duvet and allowing your sad feelings to pass through.

 

 

  • Connect – Feeling connected is beneficial to our wellbeing. Some people are comfortable doing this by video-calling friends and family, others may have a group they belong to that has found a way to keep in touch remotely. Joining in with online activities, such as guided tours around museums or gardens or taking part in a virtual cookery class might be another way to feel connected. You could spend some time exploring the internet to see what is possible.

 

 

  • Create– Finding ways to be creative could be a great distraction while we have to stay at home. It does not need to be art focused – you can express your creativity through gaming, reading or writing, watching films, keeping a journal, developing some plans for your future, growing or making something. It is the activity itself that is of most value; take the pressure off yourself by not judging your efforts or the end results.

 

 

 

Qwell https://www.qwell.io

online BACP accredited mental health support service with access to resources, discussion forum groups and free counselling.

 

The NHS has compiled a list of tips supporting mental wellbeing while staying home

 

Mental Health UK and Anxiety UK both offer a range of support and advice particular to the Covid-19 crisis

 

Check the websites of your local churches and other faith groups to see what support is being provided in the community at this time. If they are offering support it will be for people of any or no faith – you do not need to be a church attendee to ask for help.

 

Join our Staff Counsellor Kate Ahl for 4 workshops on different aspects of wellbeing. Each session includes relaxation sessions, slide presentation and interactive exercises.

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