We are all aware and affected in some way by the current situation that is Coronavirus. It is a difficult time for many, especially everyone in the veterinary profession. You may feel stressed and have heightened anxiety levels. You may feel challenged, whether that is mentally, physically or financially. Our routines change and we delve into the wondering of the unknown. Although I cannot make this go away for you, I thought I would share some self-care ideas for those in quarantine and feeling isolated.
- Make a routine: I can’t stress enough how important it is to still maintain a routine, even if it isn’t the one you had before. This will help to lower your anxiety and to make you feel more in control of your life during this situation. Your routine could include what time you get up every day, mealtimes, workouts and time for yourself.
- Workouts and exercise from home: For me, not going to the gym is one of the hardest aspects of being in isolation as I used to attend the gym 4-5 times per week. This change has left me unsettled, none the less, I have come up with work out plans inspired by my favourite fitness gurus and also started running. This has helped to alleviate some stress and gives me a sense of achievement.
- Listen to a motivational speech or an inspirational person: There are plenty of YouTube videos and people on social media who you can listen to every day to help give you a boost and feel good. Podcasts are also really good to listen to too.
- Spend time with your pets: If you are lucky enough to have a pet, spend time with them. You may want to spend some time to improve their environment or come up with new enrichment ideas especially if they are a small animal like a rabbit or hamster. Now is the perfect time for positive change.
- Eat well: Make time for nutritious, healthy foods and try to avoid snacking. Maybe even try a new recipe once or twice per week?
- Do some planning and set goals: Something that has been very important to me is having a diary where I can write to-do lists, see what events are coming up and what I have planned. Even though, we are isolation I think it is a good idea to write plans for each day or goals you want to meet. This can decrease anxiety levels and make your day feel it has a purpose.
- Clean up and get organised: Isolation at home means you get do those jobs that have been on your lists for ages but have never got around to doing. Give your house a clean, this will make you feel proactive and give you something to do.
- Engage in a new hobby: Find a hobby that perhaps you haven’t tried before? For me, I have been learning to bake and I have been also reading more which has kept me busy and feeling less anxious. Other hobbies could include crafts, designing your own social media page, cooking and gardening.
- Learn something new every day: This is the perfect time to engage your mind. CPD for us is a way to learn more even though we are not practically working. I see it as learning to help your future patients. If I can learn at least one thing every day, I feel that I have been proactive, ultimately learning makes me feel better about myself and makes me feel positive.
- Call or video call your friends and family: It is important to not only keep in the loop with work but also with your friends and family. Arrange a phone call so that you can talk about your feelings, this will become part of your emotional self-care.
I know it is a difficult ride right now, but everything will be okay. Make sure you are engaging in self-care and allowing yourself time to figure things out. I hope you find some use of this blog post and look after yourself during isolation.