By Rachel Lapworth who was in isolation for three years.
Be grateful – this is a rare opportunity to just be. It might not be what you would choose but there’s lots to be grateful for. Write a gratitude journal with three things to be grateful for every day. Enjoy the time in your home, with your family or on your own. It’s temporary.
2. Get outside every day – it boosts your mood. You only need ten minutes’ natural light on your skin to give your body enough vitamin D. Daylight wakes your body up and lifts your mood – even if it’s raining!
3. Get some structure to your day – it keeps you sane. Find a new rhythm so you don’t feel as though you are letting time slip through your fingers.
4. Do something for other people – it gives you a purpose. Could you do online shopping for your elderly neighbour? Can you write some letters or e-mails catching up with old friends? Could you be a telephone companion for someone on their own?
5. Enjoy the natural world – it brings meaning to your life. Look with fresh eyes on the beauty of nature and wonder in the miracle of new life.
6. Get creative – it’s rewarding and reduces anxiety and stress. Whether it’s painting, sewing, gardening, singing, restoring or even decorating, to create something of your own brings a sense of accomplishment and can completely absorb you, helping to reduce anxiety.
7. Rest – it’s restorative. Factor in a complete rest for half an hour a day. Ideally, take the chance to do a guided meditation, there are some excellent ones online. We don’t rest enough and your body and mind work soooo much better when they are rested.
8. Do something educational – it keeps our brain working. You could do an online course or maybe just listen to an interesting podcast. It doesn’t matter what it is, but take the opportunity to do that thing you’ve always wanted to or have never had the time for.
9. Make your home the best it can be – a tidy home is a tidy mind. If you’re going to be at home for a long time it’s important to make your surroundings as good as they can be and try to bring the outside in with plants or flowers. Make sure you have some good lighting or can sit by a window to give your body plenty of light.
10. Be positive – resolve to make this enforced isolation a worthwhile experience. It’s not unrealistic to be positive and it makes everyone feel better. There’s loads to be positive about and the world needs positivity. Surround yourself with positive people and pages and share your positivity online. Positivity doesn’t mean ignoring the bad news, it’s just about redressing the balance.