Everyone is stuck in isolation. If it is with family, roommates, pets or just by yourself it can be hard. Not having enough alone time or having too much alone time can drive you wild. If you are familiar with mental health struggles this might be a difficult time for you. So here are some tips on how to get you through the days.
PS: even if you don't struggle with mental health yourself this might still be a good read. It might help you relate or converse with those who do.
This is my favorite tip by far. If you're just a bit like me you'll be stuck in your head a lot. Nitpicking every single detail about yourself. Usually, in our busy student life, we have enough going on that there is not a lot of time left to spend hours in our heads. However, now that we're stuck sitting inside there is a whole lot of opportunities to snuggle up underneath a blanket with a cup of tea and start to fantasize about everything you hate about yourself. So I discovered, like no one ever did before, that meditation works wonderfully for clearing your head. It might be horrific at first, your thoughts might wander every second at first but practice makes perfect.
There are many places where you can find guided meditation lessons. Here are some:
- Calm (app)
- Headspace (app, the one I use)
- Youtube, I am currently partaking in the 20 days of mediation by Jay Shetty.
When you don't like yourself, your first instant might be to hide in your room to take cover under the sheets so the outer world doesn't get a glimpse of you self deprecating. Even though you might hate me for suggesting this, try and get out.
Yes, I know it sucks, but still after a good 30 min HIT workout, a run or just a stroll in the park you'll feel at least a bit less stuck. Endorphins will be flowing through your body and it'll automatically trick your mind/body into being happier. Maybe, just maybe you'll even start to like it.
Because of all the gym's closing there are many places that switched to online lessons. Just google what you're into and I'm sure you'll find no excuses not to do it.
This is the Chill part. We can count ourselves lucky that the worst thing we're going through is forces relaxation. The perfect time to finally work through your to read/watch list.
Some of my favorite writers:
- Yuval Harari (21 lessons from the 21st century, sapiens)
- Haruki Murakami (Man without women, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage)
- J.K Rowling (Needs no further explanation)
- Stephan Hawking (A brief history of time,
- Peter Frankopan (Silk roads, New silk roads)
Some of my favorite (not so popular) series/movies:
(everyone knows the famous ones, no need to mention those)
- Travelers (series very relatable in these virus times)
- On my Block (series)
- All the bright places (a movie about mental health!!)
- Unbroken (I cried my eyes out during this movie)
- The musketeers (series)
- The last kingdom (series)
- Fury (War movie)
Having a PG 13 conversation about your existential crisis with your friends or even worse, your family, might be the last thing on your mind. However, Skype calls with your psychologist is far from ideal. So you might at least try to have them bare some of the burden of being you. This isn't easy I know. I myself am a pro of just writing my feelings off as invalid or unimportant, and "I'm always fine". As this might be easier the first week, it won't be the other 8.
I personally love following mental health Instagram accounts or like listening to self-help podcasts:
- I Don't Mind (Insta, questions to ask a friend or a guide on how to talk about mental health here)
- I weigh (Insta, if you have any struggles with appearance)
- On purpose by Jay Shetty (Motivational speaker)
- Just a tip by Megan Batoon (Comedie about everyday issues)
- Curious by Josh Peck (You may know him from Drake & Josh)
- Getting Curious by Jonathan van Ness (Intellectual conversations with a hilarious gay man)
5. Think Positively
Getting into that dark spiral that takes you faster and faster down to downer station might sound like a first-class ticket. If you realistically look at the situation it's more like buying a VIP ticket and then figuring out it'll only get past the first 10 out of 100 people waiting in line to buy ice cream. Might as well not do it.
Not to make light of the situation, these are troubling times. If you know people who are infected, maybe even some who died. If you have a low immune system yourself or are anxious for loved once. You might even have a much harder time than most of us. Regardless of this, there will be an end. You won't always have to be stuck in isolation. There will be a time for getting a coffee and going out with friends. In the meantime, try some of these things, listen to music get creative. Maybe even help out someone and trust that you will know better times again in the future.
Stay healthy inside your home and mind,
This was meant to help those feeling down during isolation and hopefully put a smile on someone's face. If you feel like this is not your situation and you need more guidance or have been feeling down for a longer period of time than please seek help from a professional. Mental health comes in all forms and stages and is nothing to take lightly.