If you've been following my blog you'll have noticed I'm an advocate of mental health awareness. Today's Corona Virus (diary?!) post is on exactly that: How to stay mentally healthy during social isolation.
Being isolated from your friends and family is tough. I live in the same town as my brother and my best mate, and we normally see each other a fair amount. Dog walks, movie nights, dinners, cinema trips, shopping, BBQs... All of which have stopped due to the need to socially isolate. Staying 2m from someone is difficult if you're serving up burgers!
So how am I protecting my mental wellbeing? I recognise I'm lucky having a husband home, a baby to engage with and a dog to walk, but this will be tough for 12 weeks, potentially more.
1. I'm maintaining the normal dog walking schedule. We're not self isolating yet so taking her out to places that aren't very busy is fine. Fresh air and exercise, essential for mental health wellbeing!
2. I'm trying to help others where I can. An acquaintance of mine ran out of nappies at the weekend so I dropped some at her door. Today I'm baking a gluten free cake for someone vulnerable and gluten free.
3. Checking in with my friends is helping, those I know who live on their own, who have children at home, my grandma (staying with my uncle, happily), and the two who are about to have a baby each - good timing eh?! A 10 min chat on the phone does wonders.
4. A routine is helpful: We still do the morning dress/breakfast routine, the book, bath, snacks and bedtime routines, and again, walk the dog.
5. I'm mixing up activuties, both for me and for baby. We're moving rooms regularly, she's having toy rotations, and I'm not just spending hours on Netflix. Variety is the spice of isolation life!
I'm also trying to maintain my daily wellbeing goals I was doing before we'd even heard of Corona Virus: I aim to do something productive and something that makes me happy each day. It's a shorter prompt compared to the FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING - still worth a Google.
For example, today I made a cake and hoovered (productive), and I sang with my baby (happiness injection).
Several of my mum friends, on chatting to them, have told me they try to do something for them, not something for the family or kids. This ranges from painting their toenails to having a nap, reading for 20 mins and a long hot bath. The key thing here is it's a relaxing activity, I think.
It all helps, keep well!