This Is How Self-Isolation Affects You – This Is How To Make It Work

05 April 2020
Coronavirus, Covid-19, Lockdown, Coronavirus Outbreak, Home Quarantine, Self-care, Self Isolation
Expert advice on how to keep going during your Covid-19 lockdown

As quarantine measures are maintained around the world to try and halt the spread of Covid-19, it’s clear that your homebound adventures are set to continue. And as has proven the case in countries moving into the second month of lockdown, cabin fever and frustrations are rapidly replacing singing on balconies and awkward Zoom parties (although admittedly, much of the frustration could probably be traced back the aforementioned Zoom parties).

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But as difficult as self-isolation is proving, there are ways that you can not only deal with the mental pressures, but also use it as a time to heal and thrive. Reem Shaheen, counselling psychologist at Dubai’s Be Psychology Center explains what’s happening, and how you can channel your lockdown thoughts for good.

The main problem is the loss of connection...

We are social creatures that are neurobiologically wired to seek connection with others. When this doesn’t happen, it can increase our feelings of loneliness and disconnection – with nature and the environment around as well as with people.

The unpredictability just makes it all worse...

This type of lockdown, where there is a lot of uncertainty and lack of control, just increases our feelings of anxiety. Meanwhile, the lack of structure can trigger dysfunctional habits. Ultimately, the uncertainty can create conflict, or allow unresolved conflicts to surface, increasing tension and negative feelings.

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For much of the Arab world, self-isolation can trigger other feelings...

In their recent history, most Arabs have been through wars, revolutions and curfews. So these types of life restrictions are not necessarily foreign to them. However, because of that, they can be a trigger for negative feelings, and these feelings can often lead to dysfunctional behaviour.

This is a very tough time for people already struggling with other issues...

But the key is perspective. You should really use this time to continue the healing journey and understand that some setbacks are not failures, they are just part of the path towards feeling better.

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Remember, you cannot combat feelings...

Feelings are basically our emotional experience of a situation, they just take their course and then go away. The struggle in the current situation lies more in the thoughts many of us are having. Thoughts about being out control, uncertainty, not knowing what’s going to happen next. The best way to manage those thoughts is in this four-step plan.

1.    Focus on what you can control

2.    Keep a daily structure and routine

3.    Try meditation

4.    Enjoy your hobbies (or just get some)

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Best case spin? Think of this, finally, as your time to hit reset...

How often have people spoken about a desire for the world to slow down a little? It’s too fast, too immediate, too much. Well, now it did, so take advantage of that. As unwanted as these restrictions are, we can choose to view them as in a positive way, as an opportunity to deal with our feelings and learn to manage our thoughts.