Your Self-Isolation Toolkit
Wednesday 18th Mar 2020
With so much uncertainty and the increase in self-isolation, the hero team has put together some top tips and expert advice and support to help you with your wellbeing if you or someone you know is isolated.
Rather than binge watching Netflix, how about opting for activities to help keep your mind active and support your mental health – whether it’s reading a book, doing a crossword, knitting or crafting, making a tasty meal from scratch, home workouts or starting an online course, there are plenty of options to support your mental health. Take a look at our article on 5 New Habits to Take Up.
hero Wellbeing Therapist Ashleigh Turner says, “A favourite technique of mine is mindfulness. This doesn’t mean you have to make time for a full mindfulness body scan (but if you do, this is a great way to unwind). It could be anything from a few mindful moments connecting with your breath, to mindfully eating your favourite chocolate bar or taking a mindful bath or shower – all of these moments can contribute to lowering our stress levels.”
If you’re isolated, it can be easy to focus on the negatives. To try to maintain a positive mindset, you could start or end your day by writing down three things you’re grateful for – this could be as simple as:
1. I had a great cup of tea
2. I called a friend
3. I started a new project
Client Success Manager Alice started doing this a couple of weeks ago, “I send my three positive things to a friend every evening, and she sends hers back to me. We don’t have to talk about them (although we often do) and it’s been really useful as a way to focus on the positives of the day.”
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To support both your physical and mental health, if you feel well enough to do so (check in with NHS advice if you’re unsure) it’s important to keep active. You could do a home workout, yoga session, sit ups, press ups or simple stretches to keep your body moving. Why not try Les Mills on Demand for access to over 800 exercise classes you can do from the comfort of your own home.
A good night’s sleep is really important for your health. The National Sleep Foundation recommends dimming the lights an hour before bed – this helps to regulate your body and tell your brain it’s time to shift into sleep mode. At home, try using room darkening shades and curtains to keep it dark at night and while you sleep. Take a look at 10 tips to help you drift off.
Working from home doesn’t have to mean being confined to inside the house – get fresh air, do some gardening, sit outside with a cup of tea and if you can you could work outside, or take a walk in quiet areas. Getting out and about (when it’s safe to do so) not only benefits your physical health, but there are lots of benefits of being outdoors on your mental health too.
Maintaining a healthy gut contributes to better overall health and immune function. Reducing stress levels, and ensuring we are adopting appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes, we can positively alter our gut environment. It is important to note that our gut health can also be linked to our mood, with 90% of Serotonin (happy hormone) receptors located in the gut.
Gut health hacks include:
Wellbeing coach Vicky says, “We have the power of social media, emails and smart phones to connect with people all over the world. Although it might not be as effective as a face to face conversation, checking in with someone over technology allows the person to know you are thinking about them, and they also might feel more comfortable opening up over a message.” Find out more about Starting a Conversation about Mental Health and The Benefits of Sharing Your Story.
Spend more time with people via video calls, so that you can see each other and feel connected without the risk. There are lots of video call tools out there, including Apple’s FaceTime and Whatsapp Video Call, or business conferencing tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom.
If you’re self-isolating or working from home, chances are you’re saving time on your daily commute – make the most of this extra time to connect with friends and family, or reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Every conversation contributes towards your social wellbeing.
If self-isolation affects your financial wellbeing or income streams, take a look at what financial institutions and banks can do to support you. For example, Halifax is offering payment holidays on mortgages and loans with additional support provided when you need it. Natwest offer Financial Health Checks, and TSB customers can waive early closure fees on our Fixed Rate ISA products to gain access to their money.
There are some great tools available including the Money Advice Service Budget Planner to help you to keep track of your spending and plan for the future.
For further financial advice you can also contact Citizens Advice for support.
If you’re looking to support your teams with their wellbeing throughout self-isolation, get in touch to find out more about 1 to 1 video appointments with GPs, virtual wellbeing seminars and workshops, and telephone coaching sessions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or fill in the form below.