Caring for yourself in isolation
Here are 18 ways you can support your mental health while at home.
Accept feelings as they come. Anxiety, worry, fear, boredom, loneliness, and grief are normal responses to this stressful situation.
Shift expectations. This isn’t business as usual. We all have different needs—you, your children, your family members. And our needs will keep changing.
Remember, this is temporary. Take one day, or even one hour, at a time.
See beauty. Outside your window, in your family, in whatever surrounds you.
Practice mindful breathing. Try deep breathing to a five-count.
Ground yourself. Be still and notice 5 things you see, 4 things you feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste.
Care for your body. Sleep and rest, stay hydrated, eat well, move and exercise as you can.
Keep a daily routine. Have a regular time for sleep, meals, exercise, and self-care. If you’re working at home, take breaks as needed.
Keep a gratitude list. Writing down what you’re grateful for supports a positive outlook.
Meditate in small ways. Try one minute thinking about what you’re grateful for.
Limit your COVID-19 intake. Ask yourself, “What’s helpful now?” Choose from trustworthy sources of information.
Do things you enjoy. Read, write, listen to or make music, exercise, call loved ones, paint, cook, plan your garden.
Connect. Reach out to family, friends, and neighbors by phone, video chat, text, or email. Check in on elderly loved ones.
Communicate thoughtfully. Speak carefully, listen attentively, and respond accurately.
Join online activities. Experience online faith community services, exercise classes, social activity groups.
See this opportunity for solitude. Being alone can allow you to reflect and re-charge.
Laugh! Share stories, photos, and videos with friends. It really is good medicine.
Take the long view. Ask yourself “Who do I want to be on the other side of this crisis? How does that guide my behavior now?”
With your self-care, you can be a role model for others.
Adapted from a list provided by Cari Michaels, Extension educator, Children, Youth and Family Consortium.