How to cope with social distancing

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It’s an understatement to say we’re living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus situation has meant that many of us have had to completely adapt and change our daily routines.

So, what exactly is social distancing? It’s a measure put in place intended to slow down the spread of a contagious disease, which in this case, is COVID-19. If you do see anyone, always make sure to maintain a 2-metre distance from them.

Government advice is to avoid all unnecessary travel, work from home whenever possible, stay away from crowded places and avoid social gatherings.

The baseline is that staying at home can help stop coronavirus spreading.

Being alone but not lonely

If you can stay at home, that’s great! You’re helping flatten the curve.

There’s no denying that sitting at home and avoiding all social contact will make you feel lonely and left out, but there are ways in which you can prevent the loneliness taking over.

Keep socialising! Okay, so you can’t be with your friends and family physically, but there are other ways of keeping in contact.

Text, call or video chat with the people you love. Haven’t spoken to someone in a while? Now’s your chance to reach out.

Missing game nights? Worry no more, as there’s loads of games you can play virtually with your friends. Check out some of the best ones here.

Staying mentally healthy

There’s a lot of overwhelming information circulating at the moment, and it can feel there’s no escape from it. It’s good to stay informed, but you don’t want to become inundated.

Try to avoid speculation and scaremongering. Only read reputable and trusted news sources, and don’t believe absolutely everything that you see on social media. The best, and most up-to-date information can be found on the NHS site.

Remember to limit your consumption of news and social media. While it’s true that the situation is constantly changing, you don’t need to be constantly connected. Have a break. Find something to distract you and bring some happiness.

If you’re sharing content on social media, make sure it is from trusted sources before you post. It’s also good to bear in mind that your friends may be worried too, so try not to freak anyone out with any scary stats.

Remember to put your phone down. It’s important to stay connected with your loved ones, but it’s not healthy to be constantly glued to your screen. Take breaks from your devices and try to spend some time everyday when you’re not plugged in.

Try to view this as a different period of life instead of a bad one. It’s going to take a lot of adjusting to get used to, but we’re all in this together. We can, and will, get through it.

Look after yourself

Keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy will help more than you think. It’s a stressful time, but you shouldn’t neglect basic self-care. Make sure you have good hygiene, and that you’re washing your hands after being outside or before handling or eating food.

Drink plenty of water and eat proper meals. Want some easy recipes to try out? Take a look here.

Remember to get enough sleep and keep active where possible. Here are 10 online home workouts that you can try out, and here’s some useful information on other exercises you can try.

If you go for a walk or run that’s fine, as long as you maintain social distancing. Avoid groups of people, and if you see anyone you know make sure you keep 2 metres away from them, no exceptions.

Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. You can find an example of a healthy quarantine routine here.

Need some suggestions of how to pass time in a healthy way? Here is a brilliant bucket list full of things to do for your brain, for your home, for your body and with friends.

Working from home

Being able to work remotely is a blessing in this current situation. If you do have the option to do so, we strongly advise you take it.

Try to get organised if you’re working from home. Use to-do lists, filing systems and schedules if that will help you.

If possible, try to have a set workspace, whether that’s your desk, kitchen table or coffee table, try to use one space and stick to it.

Avoid your home distractions. Your bed, TV, phone, fridge, family and housemates are all great, but they’re also very distracting. Turn your phone off if you don’t need it for work, and if you live with people tell them to leave you alone until the end of your working day. Sort your snacks before you start working.

Plan your day and make sure your breaks aren’t any longer or shorter than they would be if you were at your normal place of work. Make sure to have breaks, if you’re working at a computer stand up and have a few minutes where you’re not staring at the screen so you can rest your eyes. Set office hours and stick to them.

All in all, it is an uncertain and unprecedented time, but we can get through it. If we can adjust and take these steps, we should be able to protect ourselves and others, now and in the future.

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