When you’re spending lots of time at home alone either due to social isolation or because you live with chronic illness, it can become very easy to get stressed out or depressed. The pandemic alone is stressful enough, but if you have to be quarantined alone those feelings can get even worse. If you’re struggling with signs of stress like constant worry and panic, insomnia, emotional eating binges or increased use of alcohol or drugs, then the following tips for reducing stress during social isolation can be very useful for you right now.
Limit News Consumption
We all want to know what’s going on and it can be hard to walk away, but if you’re staying home because of the Co-Vid 19 pandemic, you really want to be careful about much time you’re devoting every day to updates. While you don’t want to unplug completely, try to limit how often you watch the news. Think about checking just once a day. News stations often repeat information so that’s really all you need. Pick a few selected news sources and try to leave it at that.
Set Time Limits On Social Media
Social media is a great way to keep up with friends, family and community happenings right now. But if you’re aimlessly scrolling and absorbing other people’s political posts, it can start to hurt your mental health. If you find that you feel fine before logging on, but are in a bad, irritable, sad, or upset mood after checking Facebook or Twitter, it’s time to limit your time on social media.
Try to set time blocks for using social media and staying away from it. It will vary based on your own schedule and routine, but try for blocks of 1-2 hours at a time. And consider an occasional 24 hour social media detox.
Prioritize Your Mental Health and Self Care
Learning to prioritize your mental health and self care and is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Distracting your mind from the pandemic is a great way to alleviate stress and depression.
If you feel like you’ve been stuck in the house forever, go outside for a walk. Just getting outside in the fresh air and getting some exercise is amazing for your emotional health. Some other self care ideas include reading, doing meditation, and participating in baking or making crafts.
Don’t Neglect Your Physical Health
In addition to your mental health, you can reduce stress by taking care of your body as well. This includes getting more exercise, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated. But keep in mind that eating healthy doesn’t mean being on a restrictive diet or never having treats. Don’t stress yourself further right now with extreme dieting or weight loss. Just try to balance your meals and snacks with something healthy that also includes some indulgent treats.
Social Distancing Done Right
We can be grateful for modern technology that gives us the ability to connect with friends, family, church and recovery communities. Don’t neglect this. Check in with your people a couple of times a week on Zoom, Facetime, text or phone. It will make all the difference.