Taking Care Of Your Mental Health While Self Isolating

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If you’re struggling psychologically during this challenging time, you’re not alone.

Watch this video and I’ll tell you how to improve your mental health during self isolation.

Hi, it’s Ivana.

I’m an Online Coach helping you get fit, healthy and strong at any age.

A lot of what I do for my clients is provide lifestyle support during specific challenges and this is a big one for all of us.

So much is uncertain right now. It’s hard to make plans for even the short term future. No one knows for sure how this is going to turn out or how long it’s going to take. I’m going to help you get through this uncertain time the best way that I can.

In this video, I’m going to share seven tips for safeguarding your mental health during a challenging time.

Just a caution though. These are general lifestyle tips, although many of them are recommended by mental health professionals.

I’ve actually added a link below for an article by a psychologist that’s called mental health wellness during quarantine. This has got some information along the same lines, but a little bit more detail.

I only have that under graduate degree in psychology.

If you do have a diagnosed mental illness or believe that you might have one, please contact a medical professional for assistance.

Let’s get into it.

I want you to stick around until they end. I’m also going to share three specific things that I’ve done when I’ve been in a bit of a funk during self isolation.

Stay Connected To Your Friends And Family

So my first tip today is stay connected to your friends and family.

We can’t be physically close to a lot of people right now. I started checking in with my friends and family around the world when this all started.

For me this was a perfect opportunity to reach out and make sure that everyone was okay. And that their families were okay.

Now is a great time to connect with people. A lot of people would be needing help.

Be Mindful

My second tip is be mindful.

The practice of mindfulness has become more popular in the last decade or so and it simply means being aware and staying in the moment. Mindfulness meditation can be really helpful.

I’ve actually got a mindful eating meditation video that will show you a little bit about what it’s about. What I like about mindfulness as compared to other forms of meditation is that you don’t have to block out the noise or try to clear your mind.

You just want to be aware of what you’re thinking and feeling. That’s a great start for better managing a situation.

So try practicing mindfulness throughout the day.

Limit The Time You Discuss Covid19

My next tip is to limit the time you spend discussing COVID19 issues.

If you’re checking for coronavirus news in the morning throughout the day and last thing at night, it can get overwhelming. The news is always changing. There’s always going to be updates. There’s often something upsetting or something that gets you angry.

Set yourself a schedule and a timeline for these COVID19 updates and make sure they don’t take over your life.

Do Something For Yourself Every Day

My next tip is do something for your mental health every day. If you’re a parent or you’re taking care of an older family member right now, it’s easy to forget that you deserve a bit of care for yourself too.

This can be something really basic. Maybe read a magazine or a book for a little while, watch a silly video, anything that gives you a little bit of joy in your day.

We all need that.

Have A Daily Routine

And my next tip is have a daily routine.

Try to wake up and go to sleep at around the same time every day. Now this is always good practice. It means that you’re having better sleep, but having a plan for your day really makes sense right now. It doesn’t have to be every minute or every hour, but it’s helpful to have some structure. Now I often go with the flow, which has got an important cause.

I have a five year old who’s home with me now all the time. We try to have a general schedule. For breakfast he does math where we have breakfast together. We do reading after that and then he practices piano. Then we do our exercise session, which is either going to be a dance party or a body weight workout or even some karate sparring, which we’ve been doing lately.

And then we’ll have a late lunch and then I try to get some work done in the afternoon while he watches his Wild Kratts cartoon. And after that we have some other plans. So it’s a little different on the weekends and it’s a little different from day to day.

But I think the schedule will also probably change a little bit as the weeks and months drag on. But it’s important to have some sort of structure.

Let me know in the comments what your routine looks like right now.

Put Effort Into Your Appearance

And now my next tip is put effort into your appearance. Now, this may sound really silly and maybe you’re isolating on your own and you don’t think that Gretta getting dressed or doing your hair makes a difference. But for those of us, especially those who are used to working primarily from home anyway, even before this Corona virus thing happened, we know that how you look will affect how you feel.

Psychologists say this as well, so most people are more productive when they get dressed. Fix her hair a little bit, just a little bit tinier than usual. I know there’s something really cozy about hanging around in your pajamas or bathrobe, but he doesn’t really encourage you to be energetic or productive.

Stick to your most comfy stuff on the weekend if you don’t have to do anything. Um, and I, I’m not saying anything fancy, you don’t have to dress up or anything like that. It’s just I’m mostly in yoga pants and a plain taught, but it still makes me feel a bit better than just hanging around in my bathrobe all day.

Let Go Of The Pressure

And my last tip, the most important one, let go of the pressure. For those of you who are high achievers and are used to setting goals and succeeding, achieving lots of things, this can be a really tough time.

A lot of stuff is out of your control and you have to accept that. It doesn’t mean just give up every time you face an obstacle, but be a little more flexible. Let yourself off the hook occasionally if you just don’t have it in you that day.

As soon as this situation reached dangerous level, I saw a ton of people producing homework outs and videos to help others.

I really had to push myself to get going and doing the same kind of thing while establishing a new structure.

It’s okay to lower your expectations of it and take it easy and now I’m going to share the three specific value and things that I’ve done when I’ve been feeling low during the last few weeks.

My Personal Tips For Mental Health

  1. One night I just said screw it to doing more work and I watched about half an hour of Trevor Noah’s social distancing show, which I highly recommend. It’s a lot of fun and it keeps you updated.
  2. I let myself really be in the moment. So that was the mindfulness when I was having a dance party with my son. I just enjoyed lifting him up in the air. I just enjoyed this beautiful moment with my son and not thinking about anything else.
  3. Making dinner for my family. I don’t do this a lot. Ordinarily my husband does more of the cooking, but I’ve done this several times during self isolation because we’re not going to activities for my son and making dinner gets me up out of my chair. Moving around. It puts me kind of in a nurturing mode and I feel productive. Taking care of others can help you feel more useful and then afterwards we have a great dinner together as a family.

Maybe you can use some variations of these ideas for yourself.

I really hope you enjoy this video.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you again next week.

Stay strong.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 6-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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