How to look after your mental health while self-isolating with COVID-19

With record numbers of people in Wokingham Borough testing positive for Covid-19, many of us are starting the new year in isolation. Read our tips for looking after your wellbeing when self-isolating.
A woman resting her head on a desk

Self-isolating can be difficult for anyone, from feeling bored and lonely to being frustrated and restless. So it’s important to remember this time will pass and what you’re doing is vital in protecting yourself and others.

Here are a few top tips to keep in mind while self-isolating:

1. Be practical

First, think about how you will manage practical everyday tasks that you might not be able to do while self-isolating. From letting your work know you have tested positive to ordering an online grocery shop or asking a neighbour to help deliver household supplies.

If you take repeat medication and don’t have enough, don’t panic – you might be able to order repeat prescriptions by phone or online via your pharmacy. If this isn’t possible, contact your GP and ask for their advice.

If you need extra support, then contact Citizens Advice ‘One Front Door’ on 0808 278 7958 Monday- Friday 9am-5pm or by filling out a form on their website

If you are likely to experience financial hardship as a result of self-isolation, then contact Wokingham Borough Council for information about test and trace support payments. Wokingham.gov.uk or 0118 974 6000. You can fill out an application here

2. Stay connected to others

It can be a very lonely time but staying connected to your friends and family can really help you feel more yourself. Think of all the ways to keep in touch with loved ones – by phone, messaging, video calls or social media. You might want to block out some time each day to chat with someone on the phone. This can give each day some structure and help tackle feelings of loneliness.

3. Stay on top of difficult feelings

Feeling anxious during this time is very normal. Try to focus on the things you can control, such as how you act, who you speak to and where you get information from. For example, don’t watch the news if it makes you feel worried.  

Looking at the bigger picture and thinking about your problem or situation from someone else's view can make it easier to come up with a plan to combat your anxiety. What advice would you give to a friend or family member in the same situation?

If you are finding it difficult to cope your GP can refer you to the Wokingham Wellbeing Service run by MIND in Berkshire or Talking Therapies. You can also self refer to Talking Therapies here. For more details and options call us on 0118 418 1418.

4. Carry on doing things you enjoy

It’s not easy but try and relax and do things you enjoy. Why not start a new book, get into a TV series or complete a daily crossword? Whatever works for you! But don’t try and set yourself impossible tasks and put too much pressure on yourself.

Remember, this time will pass, and many people are in the same boat. Look after yourself and keep in mind that what you’re doing is helping save lives – so cut yourself some slack.

You could book onto a course with Wokingham Recovery College which offers free mental health and wellbeing training courses, call 0118 989 0707 or view and book here.

For more information about mental health support see our linked articles.

Mental Health Support for Adults

Mental Health Support for Children and Young People

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