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Health and Wellbeing in isolation

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Published: 1 April 2020

University of Sunderland in London student laughing

During the outbreak, we’re all finding new ways to cope. Manager Alisa Tsykhotsy put together a list of the best advice and links to help you get through isolation.

Watching the last few weeks’ events unfolding as Covid-19 has become a global pandemic has, at times, felt distressing for us all. I, personally, have struggled with processing the fast-moving pace of the virus and the world’s reactions to it.

As the Health and Wellbeing Manager at the University of Sunderland in London, I want to assure you that you are not alone. We are, of course, all in this together. 

To help you during cope in this time of crisis, I have spent some time researching tips, tools and activities on how to manage in self-isolation. Take some time to look through and try out a few of these ideas. Remember, you can always get in touch with the Health and Wellbeing team

Feeling unwell

If you or someone you live with have a persistent cough or a fever, stay in quarantine for 14 days, and call 111 for more information. Follow the national guidelines. If you are concerned and want to know more, you can download the Covid Symptom Tracker app, log your symptoms and get support. 

Support for vulnerable or at-risk people

There are loads of voluntary community groups [link] out there supporting the at-risk, unwell or people who can’t go shopping. You might have gotten a leaflet by one of these groups. Take a look at this list of community volunteer groups who may be able to help you.

Help for pregnant women

Women who are pregnant have been in the vulnerable risk group since Monday 16th March. At the moment there is no evidence that Covid-19 will be any worse in pregnant women. But some viral infections can be and the government decided to include women in the vulnerable category as a precaution. You can find more information about this on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website.

Self-isolation as a parent

It can be daunting learning to manage a household with children when you’re self-isolating. Pyschology Today offers tips on how to occupy your children when you’re under one roof from dawn to dusk. There is also a great article from the Independent on creating a manageable environment with your children.

Self-isolation activities

Patterns

Set up similar routines to life outside of isolation. If you commute in the morning take a walk outside instead. If you eat and sleep at certain times, try keeping to the same patterns.  

Healthy habits

Try activities that help you to reflect. These could include yoga, meditation, or writing a personal daily journal.

Changing how you think

Try adopting a new perspective and accept for now that some things are outside of our control. Take some time to write down three things you are grateful for at 12am, and then again at 10pm. Do this by yourself, with the people you’re living with.

Exercise

If you exercise on a regular basis, put in place a routine and structure of activities. 

  • There are plenty of online tutorials on YouTube for home workouts. Instagram live videos from gyms and Personal Trainer’s are also giving free sessions right now so get streaming!
  • Set up a video conference (try Zoom, Whatsapp or Skype) and start creating your own workout regime with your friends and family.

Activity and creativity

Take up a new creative activity or a project you have postponed and not completed yet. Think about the things you like doing but hear yourself saying ‘I can’t find the time to do this’. You have time now! 

Setting boundaries

We have access to so much information 24 hours a day, that it can become overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to set boundaries. Listening to the new for eight hours a day can create panic, so make sure you step away. The same boundaries can be set for the people you are around. Make sure you find your own quiet space.

Further support with mental health and distress

  • You can contact me on londonhealth@sunderland.ac.uk for a confidential chat about wellbeing. I can refer you on to various different places/organisations. Alternatively, you can call me on 0797 139 8995.
  • Register for SilverCloud counselling support, available for all University of Sunderland students. 
  • Elefriends: If you or your children need somewhere to get mental health support and resources from, Elefriends is the one. Supports children up to 17 and is created by Mind.
  • Headspace: the mindfulness app which offers meditation mindfulness exercises has opened its free service ‘Weathering the Storm’.
  • NHS frontline works can access free counselling and therapy from The Relational School.

Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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