Self-isolating and social-distancing are getting increasingly more common due to the current coronavirus outbreak. Avoiding unnecessary travel and big crowds help reduce the spread of the outbreak. For many people, social distancing can be a hard thing to do. It can affect their mental health and wellbeing. Can you self-isolate without feeling lonely, anxious or depressed? Below are few things that you can do to make self-isolation less boring than it may sound.
1. Stay focus
Unless you need it for work, stay away from watching TV during working hours. Set up a temporary working space at home to help you focusing on your work. Avoid any distraction, do whatever you can to keep yourself motivated and productive. Stick to the same timetable, what time to start and finish working.
2. Keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family
Keep interacting with other people during self-isolation. Use video and phone calls to talk to your colleagues, friends and family on daily basis. Having a direct communication with other people make you feel less isolated and is good for your mental health and wellbeing.
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3. Be physically active
Staying active will help lift your mood. Spend time outdoor in your own garden or exercise whenever possible. For those who live in a flat, spend time on the balcony or just look out from the window to stay in touch with the outside world without increasing the risk of being infected.
Having a contact with the outside world will certainly make you feel better. Go to your local supermarket and shops for errands only when it is necessary. Don't buy more than you need so there will be enough foods and other basic necessities for everyone. Avoid anyone with cold or flu symptoms. Avoid going out if you suspect you might have been infected with the coronavirus. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 30 seconds every time you suspect you might be exposed to the coronavirus including after receiving a delivery at home. Carry hand sanitizer gel with you, ready for use whenever you can't wash your hand particularly when you are out.
4. Eat healthily
Foods can have an impact on your health and wellbeing. Studies showed that garlic, ginger and turmeric can help boost immune system. It is important to make sure that you have a healthy immune system to protect your body from pathogens. Eating more fruits, vegetables and herbs while also cutting down on fried, high-carb and sugary foods, will help you stay healthy. Nevertheless, you should be aware that there is no vaccine or drug or food that can prevent the coronavirus infection for the time being. Prevention is still the best way against Covid-19.
5. Call for help
If you feel unwell and suspect you might have caught Covid-19, stay at home and avoid any direct contact with anyone including your family and friends for 27 days. The availability of test for coronavirus infection is quite limited in the UK and US due to the shortage of testing kits. You should immediately call NHS UK 111 or Covid-19 helpline in the US if your symptoms are getting serious.
For those age 60 or over or anyone with underlying medication conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart, lung and other chronic diseases, call NHS UK 111 or Covid-19 helpline in the US immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. The mortality rate among people age 60 and over and those with certain medical condition(s) are significantly higher.
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6. Always remember that these are only temporary measures
Keep reminding yourself that this outbreak will pass. When the situation is back to normal, you no longer need to take any of these measures unless you want it. If you feel anxious or depressed during self-isolation and have no one to talk to about your mental health and wellbeing, call one of these following helplines (UK only).
UK Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
UK Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
UK Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
UK Phone: 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)
Rethink Mental Illness:
UK Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
UK Phone: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)
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Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with USA, UK and Singapore at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips.
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