Turn this ‘Alone Time’ into ‘Me Time’ – Taking care of your mental health while in isolation
Do you miss being stuck in the Friday evening traffic honking your wits out on your way to your favourite sports bar for the Liverpool - Manchester United game? Or turning up late to work ‘coz you missed the metro? Or packing an overnight bag, turning the ignition on and setting off? Falling into a reverie, aren’t you!
With everything happening around lately, a lot of the real-life action has now shifted base to virtual, as isolation, social distancing and quarantine become the new reality. Think – the regular humdrum of traffic reduced to a mere buzz, water cooler gossip transformed into awkward virtual coffee sessions, playing scrabble online instead of a quick foosball game, dating virtually, Netflix and chilling by yourself; the list only goes on!
A year later as life halts to a standstill once again, it becomes important to keep our spirits high and care for our mental health and wellbeing. How? Read on.
Come to terms with what you’re feeling
Upset, stressed, anxious, frustrated – the myriad of emotions you might be feeling right now, especially while isolating by yourself during a pandemic, is okay. Instead of denying your feelings or quietly brushing them under the carpet, validate them because they’re only normal. Voice it out, call up family and friends, have a chat with your neighbour across the balcony – anything that might help you relate to other people who’re probably going through the same feeling.
Skipping meals is a no-no!
What and when you eat has a direct impact on your mental health. Skipping meals may make you irritable, sleepy, and cranky when all you need is a bowl of your comfort food to cheer you up. While you may not be able to head out to the nearest Subway for your favourite Sub, you can whip up a sandwich at home. Include plenty of greens, low-fat fibre-rich foods, and seasonal fruits in your diet. A balanced diet is important, not just for your mental well-being but also to build immunity. Don’t forget to indulge in the occasional tub of ice cream or a bar of dark chocolate though.
Limit your screen time
The pandemic has led to a synchronised work-from-home schedule, however, the lines between a work-life balance can be blurred, eventually taking a toll on your mental health. Don’t forget to sign off from work on time and make time for your interests or hobbies – watching Netflix reruns of your favorite show, listening to Spotify podcasts or nailing cooking tutorials on YouTube.
Make time for self-care
Amidst all the chaos, self-care often tends to take a backseat. Most people think isolating at home is equivalent to not having to get a timely haircut, a beard trim, or even caring for the skin. Unless you’re feeling too experimental, you can probably skip the Haircuts at Home Tutorial and move on to the easier stuff – trimming your beard, keeping it groomed and conditioned, washing your face twice a day, taking timely showers, moisturizing your skin, getting into a fresh pair of clothes in the morning and even spraying on some perfume that can act as a mood lifter.
Last but not the least, don’t let your optimism take a backseat
Be hopeful. Like all tough situations, this too shall pass. Till then all we have to do is stay home as much as we can, wear a mask while stepping out for essentials, and keep checking up on loved ones or anyone else who might need help, or perhaps an ear to talk.