As the news of the Coronavirus is continuing to spread, it’s important to be aware but not to panic. We’re being told to self-isolate in our homes a lot more, with a plan supposedly rolling in within the next few weeks to ensure that everyone over 70 stays at home for what could be a long time.
Not only this, but we’re constantly seeing people panic-buying leaving the shelves completely empty and buying way more than needed, yes it’s important to make sure you’re stocked up but make sure to leave some for the rest who are struggling and the elderly who can’t get out all the time, it’s a scary world to live in right now and with the virus rapidly spreading, it’s safe to say most people are in a state of fear and panic.
The thing is that yes self-isolation is a great way to be able to protect yourself from the outside world. You can lower the chances of you catching the virus but what isn’t spoken about enough is just how harsh it can be on your mental state. You’re not seeing people like you normally would, you’re completely stuck in the same place and you do your best to avoid going outside, it may drive some insane or some could be happy about it.
But the thing we need to make sure is that even if we can’t see our loved ones or friends is that we check up on them at all times, if you feel like you’re struggling with mental health due to self-isolation or perhaps anxiety and everything feels heightened, it’s important to get help. As the fears of being face to face with one and other looms, there is always concern on how to reach out for help if you need more than just a friend, online counseling is something you can do it from home in your safe space and it gives those that really need the help and opportunity to still get the help they need without going to the counselor.
Self-isolation and self-quarantine
Self-isolation is when you stay indoors and completely avoid contact with other people at all costs. You will be asked to do this is you have symptoms of the Coronavirus, this safety measure is used to help stop others from getting it.
Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people or perhaps social situations as much as you possibly can. You will need to do this is you have been in contact with a confirmed case but you still feel ok.
You’re not supposed to go to school, college or work, no use of public transport, no meetings, social gatherings. No group events or crowded places, do not have any visitors at your home, do not go shopping- order groceries online or have someone drop them off at your doorstep. Do not come into contact with older people if possible or people with underlying health conditions, do not travel outside of the country you’re in.
If you do self-isolate or self-quarantine make sure to stay at home with a window cracked open, keep away from others in your household as much as possible, check symptoms and make sure to call a doctor as soon as possible if they tend to get worse, do not visit your doctor or hospital unless advised too, cover your coughs and sneezes in a tissue, wash your hands, use your own towel, clean your room every day with a disinfectant.
If you live with other people that are self-isolating:
- stay in a room with a window you can open
- use a toilet and bathroom no one else uses if possible- if you do have to share make sure to clean it thoroughly
- No sharing- dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, cups, towels, bedding, etc
How do I get food to those who’re in self-isolation?
If you live with someone who is self-isolating, be sure to keep them fully stocked up with fluids and food as much as possible. Do not expose yourself to the germs, simply just leave a tray outside their door with plenty of water and things for them to eat, do not enter the room they’re in if they have symptoms of the virus. Ensure that when you take the tray to wash that you put gloves on to take it to the sink to wash it in soap and hot water.
What if I have to go in the same room as them?
There may be a time where you have to go in the room if you do make sure to wash hands and wear a face mask if you have one, if not then stay at least 1 metre away.
It’s so important to keep yourself moving even if you’re staying at home, it’s ok to go into the garden and get some fresh air but keep 1 metre away from others.
It’s safe to say that many of us panic about these things and we have every reason too, mental health can take a very large decline when outbreaks like this happen and it’s important to take care of your mental state and look out for others who are struggling.
If you suffer from anxiety you may feel a real big increase in your anxiousness, it may make you panic and stressed. Feeling stressed in general, you may find yourself constantly checking your symptoms, becoming irritable, insecure and unsettled, feeling that normal aches and pains might be the virus, having trouble sleeping, helpless or lack of control, having irrational thoughts.
The outbreak of the virus is extremely stressful for some people. Panic and anxiety take over and can often be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to these kinds of situations and it’s important to know about that. Taking care of yourself, your family, your friends and those around you will help the community grow stronger.
How can I help myself in times like this?
There are are a few things you can do to help support yourself, perhaps take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to the news. It can heighten the feelings of anxiety, panic, and stress and can make people feel really scared and anxious. Quite often some of the stories you do see are to scaremonger and make the public panic because let’s be honest when we see a news story pop up about deaths then we do get scared.
Rather than there being news about who’s recovered, it’s always the negative sides so bare that in mind, obviously some stories are true and tell us what we need to know, It’s really important to find reliable sources. World Health Organisation (WHO), BBC and ITV are the ones to look at and the most accurate. It can be really upsetting to some to hear about the pandemic and how bad it’s getting which can cause a lot of distress so rather than torturing yourself every minute just try and think about something else.
It may sound cliche but it is so important, taking care of your body is vital at any time, ensuring you feel good. Take deep breathes, stretch, meditate, try and eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise as much as possible, plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs, stock up on the vitamins, especially vitamin C as that’s the one that boosts your immune system, you can also find it in fruit and vegetables too.
it’s not only us the public or those that are infected but also the NHS and emergency services who work hours on end to ensure they have this crisis under control and to help those who need it most. It can affect them in such a negative way just like it can affect any of us. It’s important that those who are preparing for a response of any kind take their own mental state into consideration and reliase when they need to rest.
Something that will take its toll on many of us in the next few weeks or even months will be the feeling of loneliness especially if you live alone and it can be a really horrible time. But there are a few things you can do in order for it not to be too harsh on you and others.
- Use Skype, FaceTime and other types of video calling apps on a regular basis to speak to your elderly relatives or friends. Not only that but family that doesn’t live near you and you can’t get to them, if you can’t video call, phone them.
- A group chat? Well not all of us love them, the non-stop notifications and the occasional bickers but it may, in fact, be a great way to keep in contact and make you feel less lonely. Start a group chat with the family to make sure everyone’s ok, share with your friend’s funny videos to make them laugh or even do a work one especially if you’re working from home you can then keep in contact with colleagues and ask for help when needed.
- Keep your mind busy, start a new project, do something that inspires you, read a new book, create a new recipe. Keep your brain occupied and challenged. It can even be a spring clean, re-organizing cupboards, perhaps even decorating. Do a jigsaw, arts and crafts, mindfulness, playing a musical instrument, singing, writing, yoga just keep yourself busy.
- If you live alone and you’re bothered by the lack of noise or talking, you can always turn the chatty radio station on or perhaps a podcast that you’re interested in.
Things are very tough right now and it’s important to know you’re not alone and everyone is feeling the same, don’t be scared to reach out.
Be sure to read up on Mind a mental health charity advice on Coronavirus and how to help yourself.
Check out this blog to learn more about Loneliness and its effects.
So the thought of not wanting to go counseling due to the fears of being face to face with someone and you do not want to risk it is understandable but what many don’t reliase is like a lot of things now it can be done online.
What is it?
So for those of you who don’t know what it is or haven’t really looked into it but are interested, it’s a way of connecting to your counselor through either a text, phone call or a video. Not only is it a good reason to start online counseling because of the way in which people are being advised to stay at home due to the virus, but it’s also important because it gives those that prefer to talk about their feelings over perhaps a phone or a text the ability to do that.
It also gives those who feel like they may not have the time, it offers flexibility, anonymity, and key financial advantages.
How is online counseling different from traditional therapy?
So you visit your counselor in their office, in a chair facing them, completing a session of therapy in an allotted time, millions to benefit from this set-up. With online, you’re given the choice to speak to your therapist online via a video session. You decide when to message them and whether you would want to engage in a live video session when it suited you. As well as traditional therapy you will be listened to in a non-judgemental way, warmth, given strategies and techniques that address mental health struggles.
If this is something you’re interested then be sure to visit the website this blog is posted to. Counselor Who Cares, Becky Stone is based in Canterbury and is an accredited NCS, MBACP Counsellor and a fully qualified clinical supervisor, DBS checked and can offer short, medium or long term therapy. Working with children, teenagers, and adults. Please do not hesitate to contact Becky if you are interested in online counseling, which she does through Zoom find out more here and also if you want to know more or have any other concerns then please do get in touch. Visit the about page for more details.
“Becky is kind, comforting and approachable. I came out of my last session feeling so much better about myself, having not just looked at the problems I had gone into counseling to address, but also an even bigger issue I didn’t even notice that warped and distorted the way I approached everything, and that had made the initial problems so much harder to face. I’m not going to say I’ve come out of counseling 100% better, that would be expecting too much, however, Becky gave me the tools to create a better mental state for myself, and that will be an ongoing job but I now believe it is one worth doing, and it is achievable eventually, and I didn’t believe either of those going in.
I would recommend Becky to anyone who is struggling with self-worth, grief, depression, and anxiety in a heartbeat.” – Freo B
Read more reviews here.
Please click here to know all about the pricing and what Becky offers.
Just remember to take care of each other, look after your loved ones especially those more vulnerable, check on those you care about, and reliase no one is alone right now and most importantly take care of yourself!