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10 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While in Isolation

10 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While in Isolation

Christine Beyleveldt

We can no longer avoid talking about COVID-19, the pandemic currently sweeping the globe. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep a positive attitude about the situation, even as it creeps into our work and our lives. Unfortunately, a lot of small businesses will be especially hard hit and that means a large part of our community will see the adverse effects of this virus.

If, like us, you’ve found yourself in isolation and either can’t work from home or you need to break up your day with activities to keep yourself stimulated, we’ve got you covered!

Break up the monotony in your daily schedule

There’s nothing like doing the same thing everyday to trap yourself in a spiral of monotony. If you’re working from home, or if you’re out of work, find something new to do every day, even if it’s for a short while in the middle of your work day, to break up your routine. And if you can, get away from your screens. We’re more tempted to pick up our phones when we’re cooped up indoors for long periods of time.

Read a book

If you’re one of those people who’s always excusing herself from picking up that novel collecting dust and crying out from loneliness on your bookshelf, now is the perfect time to snuggle up indoors with a blanket, a cup of cocoa, and a good book. Stuck for ideas? Check out our top recommendations!

Practice yoga or meditation

Push aside your coffee table, unfurl a yoga mat and put on some calming music along with some incense if you have any. There are so many apps and podcasts out there, like Headspace, which guide you through simple exercises that will get your blood pumping and calm your mind.

Put on some music

There’s no doubt about it, music makes us happy. Instead of sitting in the echoing confines of your flat, put on some tunes and fill the air with positive energy. Personal recommendation: ABBA all day and every day.


Painting is an incredibly calming activity. There’s a reason adult colouring books were all the rage just a few years ago, the act of repetitive motion that requires concentration but not a lot of active thought has a soothing effect on the mind. Grab a few fresh slices of paper and a pencil, a canvas and a paintbrush or a colouring book and your favourite gel pens or markers and make something beautiful. If you need a little bit of inspiration, we recommend this tutorial on acrylic pouring.

Turn off the news

Now I wouldn’t advise this in the long run. It’s important to keep yourself informed of the situation, seeing as it changes by the hour, and as a journalist, I would love for you to stay tuned. But even I know that too much exposure to social media and grim news will cause panic and distress. So take a break from the cycle of updates. Impose limits on yourself, say, allowing yourself to check the news once a day, and then get back to living your best life.

Go for a walk or sit outside in the sunshine

Spring is in the air! And that means the sun is shining. While exercising caution to avoid coming within six feet of each other, nothing is stopping you from stepping outside for a breath of fresh air or a solo walk. If you truly are cooped up inside your building, even sitting out on your patio with the sun on your face will boost your serotonin levels and make you feel happier.

Spring clean

Feeling like your living with clutter? Bring out the mop and feather duster, it’s time to brighten up your place! Removing grime from bathroom and kitchen surfaces and sorting your belongings will not only open up more space in your home, the act of cleaning releases endorphins that lead to improved happiness and health. Get started today with a little help from Marie Kondo.

Learn something new

With schools and businesses slowly shutting their doors, you can continue your learning or work on your business from home. Find a podcast and teach yourself new social media marketing strategies or website development for instance. Is there an online course you’ve always wanted to take but never found the time to complete? Here’s your opportunity.

Skype or FaceTime a friend

As our Prime Minister here in Canada said yesterday, just because we’re self-isolating doesn’t mean we have to cut ourselves off from our friends and family. Pick up the phone and call your loved ones if you don’t live with them, set up a video call with a friend (remember, you’re not drinking alone if you’ve got a friend on the other line). This period of social distancing doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavour.

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