How to look after your mental health while self-isolating with COVID-19
Last updated on 6 January 2022
It’s just as important to look after your mind as well as your body when self-isolating with COVID-19.
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 a website or app. If this isn’t possible, contact your GP and ask for their advice.
Find out more about what self-isolating means for you – from employment benefit rights to what to do if you care for someone else.
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.
If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.
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?
For more ways to deal with anxiety, read the NHS advice to find out more.
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.
For further support and advice, read the NHS advice piece: Mental wellbeing while staying at home.
Speak to a mental health charity or organisation
There are lots of organisations that can help you.
If you need to speak to someone, you can call the Samaritans. They're always open and are there to listen.
Cruse Bereavement Care provides bereavement support to people across the UK. If you need someone to talk to you can call the Cruse helpline. You can also speak to them if you've been bereaved as a result of Coronavirus.
0808 808 1677 - Monday-Friday 9.30-5 pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they're open until 8 pm.
Mind is a mental health charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Charity promotes good mental health for everyone.
Young Minds is a mental health charity for children and young people.
Tell us about your experience of care
Has your care been disrupted by COVID-19 and its impact on health and social care services? Whether it’s good or bad, we want to hear from you.
It only takes five minutes and your feedback can help NHS and social care services understand the steps they can take to improve care for you and your loved ones.