Isolation – how can we make the most of being at home?

29 April 2020

Many will be struggling with the isolation period that we are in due to the current climate, and some may even start to feel lonely. However, there are so many ways we can make the most of this time and do things we wouldn’t usually do whilst we are unable to leave our homes. Not having the ability to simply go to the shops or meet up with friends can be a challenge which is why it is so important to find things to keep you and your mind busy.

 

Loneliness and Isolation

Becoming distant and removed from society can be one of the most common reasons why you can begin to feel lonely and as our current climate is involving self-isolating, many may be beginning to feel lonely and experience mental health problems. The phrase ‘mental health problem’ can include anything from anxiety and panic attacks to experiencing a type of depression, and all of these can be strongly linked to loneliness. This can work in both ways, loneliness can be the cause of many people’s mental health concerns as it can push people into depression, however poor mental health can also make someone become much lonelier and more isolated from others.

 

A study conducted by The Co-op and the British Red Cross revealed that over 9 million adults in the UK said they are either always or often lonely and these must not be forgotten during this time. In 2016, Age UK also estimated that over a million older people are chronically lonely and there are particular issues such as bereavement, poor health and long-term health conditions that make it much harder for them to stay connected. This number will continue to grow for years to come and isolation due to the current climate will make it much harder to tackle this as it stands, which is why it is so important to keep in contact with those who may be feeling like this. We also have a blog discussing loneliness and how it can affect the elderly around you – have a read here.

 

According to Mental Health Foundation pets can be great for both loneliness and the mental health side effects that can come along with it. Pets can act as a great companion for those who live alone and this extra companionship can also be a fantastic way to combat depression. Most people living with depression can lose all motivation to do anything – including getting out of bed in the morning – which is why pets can be great to live with as they prove to be a great motivator for people. In particular, dogs can be really great and encouraging outdoor exercise which can be extremely beneficial for those suffering with depression. For more information on how pets can benefit our well-being, take a look at our blog ‘How important can a pet be?‘ For National Pet Month 2020.

 

Isolation and Mental Health

Being isolated may be somewhat lonely for those who live alone or those who rely on outside human interaction a fair bit, and this can lead to further mental health concerns regarding depression and anxiety – according to Mind UK, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year.

 

Depression can be caused by various contributing factors including isolation, loneliness and stress, which a large number of people may be experiencing at this time. There are often very wrong perceptions of mental health and how they can affect those living with them – for example, many people feel like there is nothing that they can do to support someone who has a mental health problem which is most likely incorrect. If someone you know is living with something like depression or another problem, there are various ways you can help from checking in on them to listening to them and not judging how they feel. This time in particular will be a time that people may feel anxious and checking in with loved ones daily is something that will really benefit them and their mental health – without realising it might also help you with your mental health, having someone to talk to every day!

 

With everyone self-isolating we may all be at a higher risk of developing a mental health problem like anxiety, depression or panic attacks which is why it is extremely important to check in those around you. A simple phone call, text message or even an email can go a long way if someone is feeling low or anxious. We also have a blog ‘More than just feeling low’ that explains everything about depression which may be a good read if you want to find out more about the mental health problem.

 

Activities you can do in isolation to keep busy

  • Read a book – getting immersed in a good book is always a great way to keep busy and it’s also a great way to relax.
  • Practice yoga – remaining active throughout isolation is so important and yoga is a great way to do it – its also a new skill to learn!
  • Exercise – whether you like outdoor exercise or would prefer to stay indoors, a small bit of exercise each day can really help pass time and also relieve any stress.
  • Listen to music – listening to your favourite music and finding new music to enjoy can be a great way to keep busy and increase your mood.
  • Cook new healthy recipes – a healthy diet is often associated with feelings of good well-being which will make you feel much happier – you may end up finding a new hobby and recipes you love!
  • Stay connected to those you are unable to see – a phone call daily or weekly to loved ones can really raise your mood and give the feeling of togetherness.
  • Do a puzzle – finding a puzzle that shows a picture of something you are interested in can be a wonderful way to spend your time at home.
  • Meditate – mindfulness meditation is a recommended treatment for people living with mental health problems along with other people who may want to improve their overall well-being.

If you have any concerns about COVID-19 and its symptoms take a look at the NHS advice.

 

Promedica24:

To find out more about how Promedica24 can help you and your family, please visit www.promedica24.co.uk or get in touch with our team on 0800 086 8686 or email care@promedica24.co.uk.

For further information on how Promedica24 are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak take a look here.


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