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4 ways to protect your mental health while social distancing

2020 has been a year hasn’t it? The year we never saw coming. I was with the masses at on New Years eve & day declaring I was ready for whatever this next year and decade had in store. If only I knew I was in for a year of change and social distancing.

For 6 months of this year so far we’ve been locked in this global pandemic that has been sweeping the globe. For much of that we’ve been in quarantine and staying at home. Here in the UK, things had eased off somewhat but seem to be on a worrying rise again. Todays post is a title I had in mind back in early April and never got round to writing. As the world continues to tackle this virus and we’re getting a little more adept about what our new normal looks like I thought I would share with you how I protect my mental health when social distancing.

young lady typing on keyboard of laptop in living room social distancing
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Allow yourself to feel what you feel

Don’t let anyone tell you how to cope with what is happening right now. None of us expected what is happening right now. Nobody on this planet is handling it, despite what appearances might suggest. Allow yourself to feel sad, annoyed, unhappy, suffocated and a whole other range of emotions that might come up. This situation is as unique as you are and each of us will handle it differently. 

I make sure I give myself time to feel what I feel. This can be a whole range of emotions from worry about my vulnerable relatives, frustration that I can’t spend time with family and friends and even annoyance sometimes to do with how other people are acting. I’ll reiterate what I said; nobody knows how to handle this in the right way. We have to allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not suppress them. It is also important to give people grace as they navigate the muddy waters alongside us. 

Whoever you are, whatever you’re circumstance and however you feel about the current world situation – you’re doing great. I promise.

Don’t beat yourself up about what you do or don’t achieve

The first weeks of being holed up at home social distancing were a novelty and I had so many plans on the things I could get done. Of course I didn’t get them all done in the time frame I expected. However, due to vulnerable relatives and still being very much quarantined at home and barely leaving I have managed to accomplish many home projects. If you have way to go. If you haven’t way to go.

There is literally no right way to navigate through a pandemic. Some days I feel like I’ve nailed it as I sit an admire the home decor project I’ve completed, the meal I’ve made and the banana bread I’ve baked. Other days I am annoyed with myself that I have done nothing. Such is the ups and downs of pandemic life.

crop person using laptop with empty screen in bed near cup of tea placed on notebook social distancing
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Take time to yourself where you can

With us all home much more this year we’ve all been on top of each other in our household groups much more than usual. Home has become an office, a restaurant, an entertainment venue, a school and much more. It’s important to still make time for yourself whether you read a book in another room, take a bath or stick some headphones on and pretend nobody else exists do it. Taking time for yourself is always important but in a stressful pandemic it’s even more important to take care of yourself.

This too shall pass

It doesn’t feel like it right now, and there is no current time frame, but this will pass. This will be a footnote in history, social distancing will be term that makes us all shudder and we will see our families and friends again the way we want and are used to. Stay strong, hang in there and do what’s right for you and your family.

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