Tips for Reducing Stress While Home Alone
Reducing Stress In Today’s Time
When you are spending a lot of time at home alone, whether in self-isolation or because you are ill, it can be really easy to get stressed out.
Right now, the pandemic around the world is creating enough stress on its own, but it gets worse when you have to be quarantined alone.
If you are experiencing signs of stress like constant worry and panic, problems sleeping, unusual eating habits, and increased use of alcohol or drugs, then the following tips can be very useful for you.
- Limit How Often You Watch the News
It can be hard to walk away, but if you are currently staying home because of the Coronavirus pandemic, you really need to be careful with how much time you are devoting to updates.
While you don’t want to unplug completely, try to limit how often you watch the news.
Try getting your updates just once a day – they repeat a lot of information, so that is really all you need. Choose just one way to get your news, and leave it at that.
- Have “No Social Media” Blocks
When you are spending a lot of time alone, social media can seem like a good way to keep up with your friends and family.
While it definitely helps, you might notice that absorbing too much of it is hurting your mental health.
If you find that you feel fine before logging on, then are in a bad, irritable, sad, or upset mood after checking Facebook or Twitter, it’s time to limit your time on social media.
A better strategy is to have blocks of time where you don’t use social media at all.
The length of time depend son your routine, but try for blocks of 1-2 hours at a time.
- Take Care of Your Mental Health
To reduce stress while you are spending a lot of time home alone, you want to focus on your mental health.
This is what is going to help you de-stress. Sometimes, because it actually reduces stress and anxiety.
In other ways, it is more about distracting your mind so that you can focus on other things.
For example, if you need fresh air, head outside to go for a walk.
Keep your distance from others if you are social distancing, but just getting outside in the fresh air and getting some exercise is amazing for your emotional health.
Some other ideas include reading, doing meditation, and participating in baking or making crafts.
- Take Care of Your Physical Health
In addition to your mental health, you can reduce stress by taking care of your body as well.
This includes getting more exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and drinking water.
But keep in mind that eating healthy doesn’t mean being on a restrictive diet or never having treats.
Don’t burden your mind right now with dieting or weight loss. Just try to balance your meals and snacks with something healthy that also includes some indulgent treats.
- Socialize From a Distance
Even when you need to keep your physical distance from others, you can still socialize!
Connect with friends or loved ones on Zoom or FaceTime, text or call them, or just talk online when you get the chance.
How to Ease Panic During Isolation
When you are isolating or in quarantine, it is really easy to feel stress and panic.
You might notice that it gets worse over time, the longer you spend alone or without your normal socializing.
If you are feeling like your panic is getting worse, here are some tips that can help.
Get Information From Trusted Sources Only
Stop getting your news and information from social media.
You need to look at trusted sources only.
Not only will these reduce how often you are absorbing the news, but it allows you to get only the facts, without all the opinions and commentary.
This can be reassuring as you don’t need to know people’s take on what “might” happen unless it is based on facts.
Some reputable sources included the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
Set Up a Normal Routine
Something you will hear about over and over again when it comes to isolation or quarantine, no matter why you have to isolate, is to have a normal routine.
When you find yourself spending long periods of time at home, the panic sets in when things are off.
If you feel like you have to suddenly switch to a brand new schedule, and nothing feels familiar.
To combat this, try to create a routine that becomes a new temporary normal.
If you can include some elements similar to what your routine was prior to isolation, that will help tremendously.
For example, if when you were working outside the home, you always ate lunch at 1pm, try to do the same thing now.
It will feel more familiar, and can often ease a little panic.
Focus on What You Can Control
You can’t do anything about what is happening in the world right now, except keep yourself and your family safe.
Instead of worrying about what you have no control over, just focus on what you CAN control.
This might mean setting up a schedule to do homework with your kids, getting regular exercise, cooking meals at home, reading or doing other self-care, washing your hands, and so much more.
These are things that are good for your mental and physical health, and that you have full control over.
Work with a Mental Health Professional
If you have severe anxiety that is leading to panic, then you might need to talk with a mental health professional.
There are many therapists who work remotely that you can talk to on the phone or online, if you are not able to leave your home and visit their office.
Non-Digital Ways to Be Entertained at Home
During these difficult times, you don’t just want to sit on your phone all day or veg out in front of Netflix for 16 hours a day.
It can be tempting, but unplugging every once in a while is really good for your mental health.
Here are some fun activities to do at home that don’t require internet access, a TV, your computer, or your phone.
Adult Coloring Books and Other Art Projects
The first way to be entertained and fill up time at home without using any electronics is to look at more creative activities.
Adult coloring books have gotten really popular recently, since the themes are more for adults (i.e. no cartoons), as well as them being a little more advanced with intricate details.
You can get a coloring book and colored pencils for very inexpensive.
Also think about other creative projects you enjoy, such as drawing, painting, ceramics, or even something like doing a puzzle.
These activities are fun to do at home and can even involve the rest of the family.
Read More – It’s Good for You!
There is nothing quite like a real, printed book.
Yes, audio and digital books are convenient, but it will never compare to the smell of a book.
If you have extra time at home with nothing to do, turn off your tablet and instead start reading from actual books.
You can order them online, visit a local bookstore if they’re still open, or get them secondhand.
But chances are, you already have some books at home that haven’t been read.
Journal or Try Creative Writing
If you have a pen and paper, you can write.
You might be more of a journaling person, where you want to find clarity, share your thoughts, and set goals for yourself.
Other people might want to explore some creative writing, which can be an interesting process when you are writing it down on paper as opposed to using a computer.
It takes longer to write than to type for most people, so you will soon learn that moving with the flow of your thoughts is more challenging.
But what you get is a really interesting end result.
Have Deep Conversations with Your Family
If you are stuck inside with your family for a while, have some great conversations with them!
Turn off the Netflix and video games, sit at the table or in the living room, and just start talking.
Share what you’re going through, your hopes and dreams, and your plans for your next vacation. You won’t run out of things to talk about.
How to Focus on Your Mental and Physical Health (When You’re Home)
Whether you are quarantined and on self-isolation or just spending more time at home, you need to focus on both your mental and physical health.
They are both vital to keeping your sanity and focusing on general wellness.
Take it Easy and Give Yourself a Break
During this time, try not to stress about being perfect and doing everything right. Nobody can “win” at being home and being productive.
Whether you are spending more time at home because of an illness, virus, or other reason for your isolation, putting too many expectations on yourself is going to make your stress and panic worse.
This will severely affect your mental health.
Give yourself a break and remember you are trying your best. Set small goals that can be achieved easily, but be open and flexible for things to change.
Know What You Need Right Now
What are your biggest needs right now?
Take a few minutes to consider what you need the most, both for your mental and physical health.
Using a journal is a great way to do this.
Write down anything you think would improve your life while at home, or would make it easier.
This might mean having a schedule or routine, talking to friends online or on the phone, finding a therapist who you can work with remotely, getting in a little exercise or getting more fresh air.
The sooner you understand what you need the most, the faster you can switch up your schedule to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Get Your Body Moving
While at home, try to find ways to get exercise and move your body.
This can be both exercise inside and outside your home. If you are on strict quarantine and can’t go outside, then find online workouts you can do.
There is a lot that can be done even without equipment, like stretching, yoga, Pilates, and bodyweight workouts.
If you can go outside, go for a walk, walk the dogs, do some gardening or home improvements, or take a family stroll every evening.
Combine Treats with Nutrition
While nutrition is very important for your physical health, restricting yourself and trying to be on a “diet” while in isolation is not going to do your mental health any favors.
An easy method is to have a tread for every nutritional thing you eat.
If you are going to have a piece of fruit as a snack, maybe add a few pieces of dark chocolate.
Have a healthy dessert after your healthy dinner, or enjoy popcorn while watching a movie after dinner.