For many of us, social isolation is a break from work, school and responsibilities. Life has been paused and we’re all getting a break from our daily routines to relax, improve ourselves and get the things done we’ve been procrastinating about.
However, for people with mental illness it can be extremely difficult, a lot of people with anxiety and depression rely on a daily routine to distract themselves and not get too caught up in their heads, some use coping mechanisms such as committing fully to a work project or their school subjects and without these distractions it can be easy to let thoughts and feelings build up, when there is nothing to do, your mind runs wild.
Aside from a lack of distractions, for people with anxiety a world pandemic is a very anxiety provoking subject, and with a lot of false news on social media it can be made worse. Due to the fact there has been a lot of death and sickness, people will feel sadder than normal and without the support network of their friends and family this can be made a lot worse. With the coronavirus comes a lot of health, safety and hygiene regulations for people with OCD this can be very triggering as worries about germs have increased recently.
During this time, it’s extremely important to check in with your friends and family, and ask how they are getting on and if they are coping well with social isolation, just by letting someone know there’s someone there for them even if it’s just a conversation will help people a lot. Social Media is awful for spreading bad news and negative statistics. It can be important to distance yourself from these platforms when all of the bad news starts to feel like too much.
Although being in lockdown is hard, there are many different things to do to improve your mood. For example, a variety of free online courses for many topics that will distract your mind and improve yourself. We can still go for walks during the day as fresh air is important to feel good. Keeping close contact with our friends and families through video chat will also prevent feelings of loneliness.
Although, school and work and clubs have been cancelled and days and nights seem to morph into one another, it’s crucial to keep some sort of normal routine, and although it’s hard simple things like keeping a consistent bedtime and waking up time will prevent getting back into a routine when life as normal resumes from being difficult.
Overall, it’s extremely beneficial to keep busy during these unprecedented times and to always remember that if you are struggling with mental health there are always people and places to contact whether it’s family or phoning a mental health hotline for someone to talk to.
Remember, we are here to support you. Contact the school if you or members of your family need support with their mental health and wellbeing at this time.
Childline – childline.org.uk
Support for young people.
Phone: 0800 1111
Rethink Mental illness – www.rethink.org
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
If you need someone urgently:
t: 0800 83 85 87
Offers a free, confidential phone and web-based service for people in Scotland experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety.
t: 116 123 (Freephone)
24-hour emotional support for anyone struggling to cope.
Shout is volunteer-run and is the UK’s first 24/7 crises text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere.
By Milly Henry, Team Reporter