What the current Pandemic has taught many of us is, isolation is not easy for everyone. To ensure the public remains safe from Covid-19, and the spread of the virus is slowed down, we as a global community were asked to stay in self-isolation. Of course, for many who work in essential business that was not an option, but for many of us who had the choice or were asked to work from home, lack of socialization was a harsh reality.
Many individuals seek out companionship and socialization as a way to cope with their mental health. We don’t realize how much friendship and social activities contribute to the state of our mental health. Even for us who joke that we are “hermits”, we do more socializing than expected. So how do we cope with this unexpected self-isolation? In this blog, we discuss how to recognize our state of emotional well-being, creating a personalized self-care plan, and how to access support to cope with the current situation.
RECOGNIZING EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
As humans, we feel an almost endless stream of emotions. We can go from happy to sad with a drop of a pin. It is how we cope with these quick emotional turns that provides us with an opportunity to grow and learn from them. A great example is the recent turn of events on a global scale. This pandemic has taught many of us the value of connection. While we are unable to come together physically to celebrate milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, and even date nights, we have learned to connect in different ways such as online, with snail mail, and gifts dropped off at doorsteps.
Many individuals started to panic when news broke, then transitioned to sad at news of the virus spreading, moving to anxiety as we were almost forced to stay home. Out of all the negative feelings that were exposed by this pandemic, we also saw courage from front line workers, support for essential staff, hope for the future, and happiness from being able to connect through alternative ways. We are so fortunate to have the technology we have today that in past generations was not available.
It is okay to feel these ranges of emotion on a normal day, and especially when our regular routines are interrupted. There is no shame in feeling angry or sad at your own situation despite what is happening to those around you. Some of us may even feel physically sick from anxiety or sadness. Recognizing our own emotional journey can help us personalize our coping strategies during this pandemic and prepare for future events that may see us needing to self-isolate again. So how do we create our own self-care plan?
SELF CARE PLAN
A self-care plan is a tool that is used to cope with our wide range of emotions. Instead of allowing ourselves to dig deeper into negative emotions that are not healthy for our mental or physical well-being, we can create personalized steps that help us transition into a healthier state of mind. For example, an individual working in an office setting may take a break from work and go for a walk around the office or take some time outside in the sun to refocus, regroup, and relax so they may continue to complete their workday. Small moments that we take for ourselves are more important that we may realize. For that same individual who would take time outside for a break during their workday, who is now working from home and self-isolating, their new method of coping could be to take 15 minutes off their new routine to make a cup of tea or spend some time gazing out their home window.
To personalize your own self-care plan, take some time to note what your favorite activities may be at home. Reading, meditating, exercising, or baking could be coping strategies for you. If you are in need of contact, you could create a schedule with your friends and family so you may call, video conference, or even play an online game with them at a designated time. If you are in need of an emotional outlet, give yourself permission to feel. It is okay to take a moment to cry or feel angry at the situation. By suppressing our feelings, we are endangering our mental health. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the news and information that is constantly broadcasted across multiple media outlets, you could give yourself limits to the amount of time on radio, television, and social media channels. The ultimate goal of the self-care plan is to make yourself feel okay, lift your spirits, and help you forget about the troubles of the world for a short amount of time.
During self-isolation and the creation of our self-care plans, it is important to remember that if you are needing time for yourself, you can take it. Just like exercising and eating healthy to ensure your body stays healthy, completing these self-care steps ensures your mental well-being is also taken care of. Despite being in self-isolation, we are all in this together. As a community we may not be able to hug, or shake hands, but we can still connect and help each other through these tough times. If you would like to discuss self-isolation, self-care plans, or to discuss mental health, please contact us HERE.