3 Ways to flourish while in isolation
Be Happy has broken these down to 3 ways to flourish.
- Connect, Me Whakawhanaunga
- Keep Learning, Me ako tonu
- Be Active, Me kori tonu
You can introduce any of these actions into your life, any time, and you will begin to feel the benefits.
Stay connected – We know positive social support can improve our capacity to cope with stress. But right now we’re being asked to keep our distance from others to minimise the spread of the virus. While we know social isolation has a negative impact on health, we don’t really know much about what the effects of compulsory (and possibly prolonged) social isolation could be. But we expect it could increase the risk of loneliness in the community. Loneliness is the feeling of being socially isolated.
In times like this, it’s essential we support one another and show compassion to those who need it. This is a shared experience that’s stressful for everyone – and we don’t know how long it’s going to go on for. Fortunately, positive social support can improve our resilience for coping with stress. So use the phone and if you can, and gather a group of people to stay in touch with. We must have contact with someone everyday somehow. FaceTime your family and friends, but most importantly spend the time connecting with the people you are living with. If you are in a lockdown situation, use this time to improve your existing relationships.
You may have suddenly found yourself working remotely from home for the first time, and now more than ever you need to stay connected with your friends and family. Luckily in the age of everything digital, there are some free and easy tools to help you do just that. Stay connected with these free tools.
Rally the gang together and start your next video chat quickly. Messenger video allows you to skip exchanging phone numbers, just send a message.
A popular tool that offers simplified video conferencing and messaging across any device. Zoom meetings sync with your calendar system and delivers a streamlined video conferencing experience.
This tool enables internal and external communications, all-hands meeting, and trainings through one platform. Zoom is easy to start, join, and will make collaborating with your team simple.
A digital connection is our lifeline to each other right now. Use these free and easy tools to stay in touch with your people. 👋
Keep Learning – Use your brain, start a project. Do those thing you never “get round to”. De clutter & Kondo your home. We must use up our energy so we can sleep well at night. Our homes have suddenly become a place where we spend all of our time. Home improvements, tidying and cleaning have suddenly come to our attention. Commencing a decluttering project is one way of putting your time in lockdown to good use, making your home a better environment to live and work in – while boosting your mental health in the process.
Working from home? Make sure you set up an area that is not your bed (guilty 🙋🏼♀️). Scheduling what you want your day to look like will keep you motivated. Can’t work from home or own a business that is closed? Is there a way to make it online? Or better yet start an online business or blog. Or better yet create your own course.
Learn a language, read a book, take course on something that interests you. Here are some online courses you could do. What do you want to learn? Professional development is so good for our mental health. Reflect and make use of a gratitude journal.
Be Active- Move your body. Get out your yoga mat or exercycle. Get creative! I have seen many free online workouts on offer. Dani Johnson, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, encourages people who are staying home to get creative. “Every little bit of movement counts,” she said. “So when we’re confined to our home, move, move, move.” Next time you watch a TV show, get up and do some squats during the commercials, Ms. Johnson said. Do heel raises when you’re washing dishes. Do side lunges when you’re throwing clothes in the dryer. Knock out some push-ups when you’re waiting for a pot of water to boil. Dancing is also a great way to move your body. Turn on some music and boogie with your husband or children.
Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win!
Boost Happy Chemicals
Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed.
Check out our other Coping with Covid – Mental Health Toolkit resources .
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. Get help finding a mental health care provider here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.