Christmas In Isolation – Ways of Coping with Covid
Christmas in Isolation has become a reality for a great number of people in the last couple of days following Boris Johnson’s announcement that many parts of the UK will enter into Tier 4, meaning that households can’t mix. For many plans must be changed last minute, people must turn on a dime and now consider how they will spend Christmas Day on their own. It is also true to say that Christmas in Isolation may be a reality for people every year, or indeed it might be something that is looked forward to!
If Christmas in Isolation is going to be difficult for you then below are some ideas about how you can manage how you are feeling.
- It is ok to feel not ok. The whole world is going through some incredible events right now. Christmas felt like something we were looking forward to, a light in the dark winter months. To have this taken away at the last minute will trigger emotions that you might have been holding on to for many months. Allow yourself to feel the grief and upset of this time without judging it. Judging your feelings is an extra layer of suffering that you don’t need right now.
- Connect with other people. Christmas in Isolation means that it is hard not to be able to touch other people and be with other people face to face right now. Connecting online may not feel the same but if you can arrange regular daily contacts with people on the phone or online do so, it will help to talk with someone about how you are feeling or about things in general.
- If you can exercise, make this a part of your day. Getting outside for a walk in the fresh air can do wonders for how you feel. It is also important for your production of vitamin D. Low amounts of Vitamin D can impact on your mental health contributing to depression, in particular in the darker months.
- Develop a routine. Since birth our lives have run on routine, whether its feeding, sleeping, playing, the routine of school and lessons or work. Much of our lives hangs on the routine of 3 meals a day and around this we complete activities. Routines are important because they give us a sense of security, we know what we need to be doing and when, routines help to orient us in the world. This does not mean that every hour of your day must be accounted for or productive, rather that you have an idea of how you might use your day. This will give you things to look forward to and a sense of time and purpose. It would also be important that within your routine you have time that is unstructured or free, routines don’t have to be everyday. If you think this will work for you play with it and see what works. Treat it lightly this isn’t a heavy exercise it could be fun.
- Intentionally watch, read or listen to something funny. Whether it is a TV programme, podcast or book, having a moment of laughter can really lift your spirits, it relieves tensions and stress and releases endorphins.
- Be compassionate in particular to yourself.
“Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?
Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?” Kristen Neff
If you would like to explore Self Compassion More Kristen Neff a leading researcher in Self Compassion has a number of excellent resources you can see her website here.
If you feel that you need additional professional help delaing with Isolation becasue of COVID or for any reason, please don’t hestitate to contact me. I am currently working exclusively Online and on the telephone if you feel that you would like online support with me please call me for a free 15 minuite consultation. You can also find out more about me and therapy by taking a look at my FAQs and About Me page. I work with a wide range of issues and can offer both short and long term therapy with both couples and individuals. I am currently offering remote support on the telephone or Online Counselling via ZOOM. Please call me on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if I don’t answer I am probably in a session, please leave me a message and I will call you back as soon as I can. I look forward to hearing from you.