In the current climate, self-isolation is incredibly important. Not just in keeping yourself healthy, but in keeping everyone else healthy too! Some can adapt easily to life shut indoors – there are those who may find they hardly need to adapt at all – however, many will find that staying inside for days on end will have a hugely negative impact on their mental health.
Fresh air, vitamin D, the presence of lush greenery, the companionship of others; these are all important things that we can easily miss out on when cooped up indoors, but there’s no reason why we should.
So, here’s our advice on the things we can do to not only make our self-isolation more bearable, but to keep our mind as healthy as our body whilst staying safe in the comfort and cleanliness of our own home.
The greatness of greenery
When overcome with stressful and intrusive thoughts, one of the first pieces of advice you will surely receive from your friends, family, GP, or even good old Google, will be to take a walk amongst greenery. To immerse yourself in nature and allow all your tension and anxieties to melt away. This is certainly good advice as the sensory stimulation that nature’s greenery offers is proven to help mental cognition. Whilst nothing can replace the true freedom of being out and about in nature itself, bringing that nature in-doors is certainly a start.
Having flowers or other house plants dotted throughout your home is widely considered to be an incredible stress reliever – this is especially pertinent if you are working from home. If you are fortunate enough to be blessed with a garden of your very own during these troubling times, then this should be your main-hub of mental-health-maintenance with its endless potential for majestic greenery and a plentiful supply of natural light. However, if you aren’t so lucky, creating garden-esque spaces throughout your home is likely to work wonders too. Even the simplicity of looking after individual, potted herbs – such as basil or mint – on your kitchen windowsill can help to alleviate the tension that comes with COVID-19.
Looking after plants will also enable you to maintain a routine – something that can be exceptionally difficult when stuck in-doors.
Plan your days
Continuing with the theme of keeping to a routine, planning your days can really help you keep the blues at bay and not fall into the slump that continually threatens us in this housebound state. Whilst nature is certainly an important factor in maintaining a good level of mental health, it is also synonymous with natural, and it’s imperative that you keep as close to your natural routine as you can. This can seem impossible, but by planning your days you will find it much easier to stick to your natural routine and make the most of this self-isolation.
Plan some healthy meals, plan your housebound exercise routine, plan out some new hobbies to sink your teeth into, such as gardening or baking. Keeping your days scheduled and your mind active will help the time pass without it feeling lonely or wasted. By keeping on top of your routine, and remembering to consider the infinite possibilities of the future – revisiting house improvements such as installing the roof lantern you always wanted – you might just come out of self-isolation feeling better than before.
Something that many people are finding most difficult about self-isolation is just that: the isolation. Whilst there are those who have no issue with this, there are so many others who’s mental health depends on a certain level of socialisation and the company of others. It is, therefore, incredibly important to maintain these connections to the furthest extent you can whilst self-isolating.
It is the loneliness of isolation that can be the most difficult burden to bear, but in this modern-age there are so many ways to keep in contact with all our loved ones. Pick up the phone, jump on a video call, or even plan to watch the same film as a friend and discuss it later. There are endless ways to stay in touch with your friends and family, and it is perhaps more important to do so now than it has ever been.
Let the natural light in
With the arrival of Spring comes the promise of longer, sunnier days, and fresh air permeated with the drifting fragrance of blossoming flowers. Do all you can to make the most of this glorious season, even whilst housebound. Throw your windows open wide and let the natural light flood your home and rejuvenate you – along with all the house plants you’ve surely acquired. Natural light promotes a feeling of wellbeing – it’s a source of Vitamin D – and, whilst it is by no means a ‘cure’ for any mental health issues, the benefits one can reap from its presence alone can be staggering. It is certainly an essential in the survival of self-isolation.
For more advice on how to deal with working from home, click here.
Author: Jonathan Hey, Founder of Aliwood Roof Lanterns.
Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.