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6 Steps for Staying Well During Isolation

Here are six steps for staying well during times of prolonged isolation and disturbance:

1. Keep a Routine

  • It is critical to keep your daily life predictable to the extent you can
  • If you’re working remotely, stick to a schedule
  • If work is on pause, create a new daily schedule for yourself and stick to it
  • Consider one 2-3 hour block of focused activity in the morning and another in the afternoon
  • Start a project you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had time

2. Take Care of Your Body

  • Sleep well and stick to a regular bedtime
  • Enjoy the luxury of waking up without an alarm
  • Don’t linger in bed once you’re awake—get going
  • Eat healthy food—Eating a balanced meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will make you less tempted to stress-binge
  • Exercise daily and take advantage of having more time for it
  • Set new fitness goals for yourself
  • Walk, run, or bike while maintaining physical distancing
  • Take one of the many guided exercises available online

3. Nurture Your Social Connections

  • This is the time to connect even more than ever
  • If you live alone, consider building daily check-in routines that keep you connected
  • If you live with others, remember to lift them up emotionally
  • Consider doing things together that you all enjoy
  • Walk away from conflicts at this time
  • Connect remotely often with people you’re close to outside of the house

4. Find Purpose

  • We’re in a time of prolonged pause from activities that give our lives purpose
  • Remember this is temporary
  • What can you do during this time to create purpose for yourself?

5. Take Care of Your Emotions: Seek Out Joy

  • We have so much more control over our emotions than we think
  • Find ways to redirect your attention to what brings you happiness
  • Try this what-went-well-today exercise
  • Seek out playful activities—music, dance, and games

6. Take Care of Your Emotions: Keep Your Worry in Check 

  • Anxiety is our mind’s way of getting us to pay attention to threat so we can problem solve
  • When used for problem-solving, anxiety is our friend
  • It’s not working right when we just get wound up without solution
  • The U.S. Department of Defense decided to build soldiers’ resiliency by teaching them to “decatastrophize.” You may want to learn this powerful technique

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