Social Isolation: Managing Your Feelings – APCAM and Natalie Hunt Mental Health First Aider
Coronavirus has created a very challenging set of circumstances for many of us. There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety around the virus and how our lives will be impacted over the coming months. It is OK and completely normal to feel difficult and intense emotions around this time, so be kind to yourself if you’re not feeling ok.
Some strategies for managing your feelings:
- TALK: This is the most effective way to manage your feelings. Talk to someone who you can trust and be honest with them about how you feel. This allows the opportunity to articulate and clarify powerful emotions and by sharing them we can feel less overwhelmed.
- WRITE IT DOWN: Write your thoughts and emotions down, either in the form of a diary, a list or in scribbles. Young people can draw or find another way to express themselves. Again, this allows us the chance to clarify and organise our thoughts, which is particularly useful if we’re feeling anxious or stressed.
- ROUTINE: Our days have lost structure and purpose in the lockdown, so it is important to establish some sort of routine with your family. It doesn’t have to be strict, but it can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and uncertainty in young people. Children like to know what to expect.
- CONNECT: Now is the time to consider the positive influences in your life and find the time to connect with those you love, through phone calls, texts and Skype/Facetime/Zoom. Isolation can be a real trigger for many people so try to keep positive connections with others throughout each day.
- CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA: Block or remove anything or anyone who is having a negative impact on you. There are some really positive hashtags and influencers out there, so make sure your feed serves the purpose to make you smile. Set specific times in the day to look at social media and the news and avoid scrolling in autopilot. It is also a good idea to avoid your phone in the 2 hours before bedtime.
- GET OUTSIDE AND MOVE: An obvious one and something that isn’t easy in the lockdown period, but try to spend some time each day outside and find a form of exercise that works for you. There is lots of evidence to prove why exercise and the outdoors are hugely beneficial for our mental health.
Helplines for those who are struggling:
Childline: 0800 111
Samaritans: 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Young Minds Crisis Messenger: text ‘YM’ to 85258
For more information or questions about this topic or any others mentioned, please get in touch.