How Your Family Can Stay Positive During Self-Isolation
After one week of self-isolation, your spirits may have been fine, but waning a little. By the fifth week of self-isolation caused by stay-at-home orders or the illness of a family member, your mental health might be suffering. You could be feeling down, frustrated, stressed, or anxious. Here are some tips on how your family can say positive during an extended period of self-isolation.
Stay Connected With Your Friends and Loved Ones
Even though you cannot meet up with a friend at the coffee shop or drive to your extended family member’s home for dinner together, you can stay connected in other ways. Maintaining your existing social relationships helps you feel more positive about yourself, your loved ones, and your future. Video calls and meetings are an easy way to see and hear each other. Zoom is an online meeting forum that allows you to video conference with up to 100 people. This could work well for a virtual family reunion, and it only requires a smartphone, tablet, or computer. You could also use other video calling services, which are available with free apps for Android and iOS phones. If your loved one does not use those technologies, old-fashioned phone calls allow you to regularly connect!
Schedule Leisure Time
Doing some relaxing things, such as writing in a journal, painting, or reading your daily horoscope, can also help you stay positive. If you find it difficult to fit leisure into your daily routine, try scheduling it into your day like you would schedule an appointment. Think of leisure time as an appointment with yourself and your family. Split your leisure time into alone time and family time. Some people need more alone time than others, so set your appointments accordingly. Some activities you could do from home with your family include watching streaming shows or movies, folding origami, playing board games, or baking cookies. You could also do leisure time next to your family. Sitting next to each other while reading books allows you to enjoy quiet time.
Reduce Exposure to the News
Too much exposure to the newscasts a negative tone to your day. Seeing grisly images and hearing about the increasing number of people falling ill or losing their jobs can make a person feel upset. Only refer to quality information sources for news about the pandemic. Check that source just once or twice per day, for no more than 15 minutes.
Limit Social Media to Active Use
According to the University of Pennsylvania, doing less scrolling on social media and more active commenting and posting could help you and your family stay positive. When you see the posts of family members who do not live in your household, comment on them. Consider posting something positive and family-oriented every day. Maybe that is a picture of last year’s family vacation or a cool piece of art your child made. You could create posts that are interactive, such as asking people about the best book they read this month or if they have a meal suggestion once you are tired of making your usual repertoire of meals. These interactions will boost your sense of connection, which has many positive effects on your mental health.
Look for the Helpers
Fred Rodgers, of Mr.Rogers’ Neighborhood fame, suggested that when times are tough, look for the helpers. When you check out the news, look at one positive story for each COVID-19 story you read. You might discover how volunteers are making sure that seniors are getting pet food for their pets or how teenagers are using their time to sew masks for people who live in homeless shelters. This positivity will help tamper the anxiousness and restlessness you feel when you are exposed to too much bad news. You could also consider becoming a helper. You might be able to do online tutoring while self-isolated or teach your child how to knit or mow your elderly neighbor’s lawn.
Each of these five tips will bring some positivity to the lives of you and your family members. Keep in mind that self-isolation will not last forever. While life after COVID-19 will not be the same as it was before the pandemic, it provides an opportunity to make living even better.