How to look after your mental health during an extended period of social distancing

By March 18, 2020Trending

Social distancing is so important, but it isn’t easy.

The world is in a weird place right now, due to of the outbreak of the Coronavirus

In the hopes of slowing the spread of this illness, governments all over the world have advised people to engage in social distancing.

According to The World Health Organisation, social distancing means maintaining at least 1 metre of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

However, we know how hard this can be, especially on your mental health. So here are some ways you can look after your mental health during an extended period of social distancing.

social distancing

Maintain a good sleeping pattern

We know how tempting it will be during this period to spend all your time in bed, but this will genuinely be bad for your mental health. Try ensure you set an alarm every morning, and stick to as normal a routine as possible. Changes to your sleep cycle now could go on to impact your mood in the weeks and months ahead. 

Try to limit social media 

We need to limit our usage of social media at this time. Not because it isn’t brilliant, but because there is a lot of scaremongering and the likes happening, particularly on Twitter! Social media will be great for staying connected with friends and loved ones, but try avoid spending hours a day scrolling. Choosing one or two well-informed sources like the HSE and WHO and limiting yourself to set times during the day to check for updates, can help to protect you from overwhelm and confusion. Your mind will thank you. 

social distancing

Stay connected

While this whole is certainly causing a lot of stress and anxiety for people, remember how lucky we truly are. We live in a world where Facetime, Whatsapp and Skype exist – and thank GOD for that lads. If social distancing is making you feel anxious or lonely, use these incredible technologies and call the people in your life that make you smile. Switch to video, and show them that smile! 

Look after yourself

Now, more than ever, we must make an effort to mind ourselves (as your mother would say!) Social distancing is an opportunity to really embrace the concept of self care. Do a face mask, read a book that makes you laugh, listen to music, meditate, or whatever makes you feel well in these strange and unsettling times. 

Be safe, be kind, and wash your hands. 


Author Rebecca O'Keeffe

More posts by Rebecca O'Keeffe

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