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Top Tips for Self-Isolation – Advice from a Clean Sheet Member

One of our Members has been sharing this advice with people recently and told us it has been helping people, so we want to share it too.

Big picture: Life is full of changes, some good some bad. Don’t wallow in self-pity; this is temporary. Focus on making the here and now as good as it can be. Find enjoyment in the simple mundane. Remember that life will change again. You may not be in control of what is happening but you can control how you react.

Share emotions: We all feel different emotions throughout the day: fear, happiness, frustration, acceptance. Acknowledge and respect these emotions in yourself and others. Try to keep a balance: don’t constantly dwell in one. There is joy in a sunrise, a cup of tea, a silly joke. Relish that joy, no matter how small. Meditation can help.

Do your own time: Balance your own needs with others. Don’t neglect yourself while worrying what others are thinking or feeling. Treat yourself as you would others.

Support others: Help lift others out their dark places. Try to keep up the sense of humour. Participate if others want to interact.

Rumination: Constantly going over and over fears and negative thinking is very destructive. Break out of the cycle with physical activity and mental exercise. Go for a virtual walk: try recreating, step by step, a walk that you’ve done in the past. Walk through your childhood home room by room. Plan in detail the first meal you’ll have when you’re finally out of quarantine.

Routine: Keep to a schedule. Get up at the same time, keep dressed and groomed. Your self-esteem is boosted by your self-image. Do certain things at certain times: exercise, cooking, watching TV, game playing, etc. Break up your day with several activities spread around. Don’t spend all day just reading or just playing games. Eat meals at the same time each day. Go to bed at the same time each day. This routine gives a sense of normalcy that helps keep you grounded into a ‘new normal’.

Creative arts: Make something. Draw, write poetry or a story, glue matchsticks into models, sing a song. Do something every day to be proud of. Get a little better at it each day. This sense of accomplishment builds your sense of self-worth.

Combat stress: Stress creeps up and increases if not checked. Physical activity is a great way to combat stress. Do push ups, sit ups. Fill a pillowcase with plastic bottles filled with water and use as weights. Yoga is another easy thing to do in a confined space. Just 20 minutes a day to get your heart pumping will really go a long way in reducing stress and helping your sleep.

If things get really, really dark: A prisoner once held in extreme conditions said he survived literally minute-by-minute by repeating to himself: ‘I’ve survived the last 15 minutes, I can survive the next 15 minutes’. Time passing is a victory. Celebrate your victories.

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