Covid-19 Isolation Advice

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I have taught the subject of managing imprisonment for many years. My students were mostly people who might find themselves the victims of kidnap situations, where they might be incarcerated on their own or in small groups for months and possibly years.

Isolation for the corona virus is clearly not the same as being imprisoned but the principles of how to manage the psychological challenges are the same. 

The following is a list of advisories on how to manage isolation. Many of them are taken from the experiences of people who have been in forced isolation for long periods such as prisoners (notably prisoners of war) and kidnap victims held in confinement.

How to maintain sanity during isolation

Many of these advisories are common sense.

Mental attitude

Be aware of your state of mind.  Make a self-assessment.  Examine your strengths and weaknesses. Apply the same to those around you and help each other understand strengths and weaknesses.

Control emotions

Be aware of changes in emotions. These include physical, hormonal, chemical and psychological impacts.

Privileges

Consider the rationing of treats you give yourself and those around you such as alcohol, sweets, smoking, drugs, etc. Don't overdo them - that's why they're called treats.

Routines

Routines are historically calming and conditioning.

What are the beats of your day?

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day if possible. Don’t oversleep. Lie-ins are a treat. When you wake up, take a moment to go through your daily routine.

Get up!

Conduct morning ablutions. Wash. Teeth. Whatever! Cup of tea or coffee or equivalent wake-up, morning refresh. Catch up on news – find out what’s going on in the world (but be aware of fake news, media hypothesis, theories and excessive media drama and exaggerations).

Workout:

Jog, walk, stretch, yoga, isometrics, gym – do something for 40 minutes or so to get the blood circulating and your metabolism going.

Breakfast?

Keep it light. Or consider fasting! Could be a good opportunity to get trim if you think you need to.

Household chores

Divide the chores into daily routines. Day 1 dusting and vacuuming. Day 2 laundry. Day 3 ironing, etc. Window cleaning. Vehicle clean. Garden, yard or balcony maintenance, sort out those books, magazines, cupboards, etc.  Have a 7 day chores routine so that by the end of the week every aspect of your accommodation has been cleaned and organised.

Lunch or snack?

Make an effort. No short cuts. Lay the table. Clean up afterwards.

Do your project

see below

Check on your neighbours

If any of your neighbours are physically challenged consider making their needs a part of your routine

Do something physically relaxing

Take a walk. Stretch. Have a bath. 

Prepare dinner

Make it as sociable as possible. Communicate. Interact. Share stories, problems, theories, discussions, news.

Evening entertainment

Movie. Book. Puzzle. Board game etc.

#staysafe #staywell #staysane

Have a project

DIY, write a book/movie/radio play, start a podcast, design something, draw/art, etc. Learn something, language, computer skills, etc. Spend a couple of hours on your daily project. Have 2 projects going perhaps.

Attitude to authorities

Understand the situation with those in authority and be a part of the solution not a part of the problem. Reduce stress by being a team player not a radical.

Food

Eat meals at the same time. Avoid wistful snacks. Especially at night before bed. Consider fasting periods - it's good for you.  Eat healthily. Avoid fatty, sugary, over processed foods - except for the rare treat moments which must be sparing.

Health & Hygiene

Look after your body and reduce the need for medical help. Maintain cleanliness at all times. Create routines for disease control. Disinfect in a routine manner.  Denture care.  Observe food and water cleanliness. Don't overdo things you ingest (alcohol?) and be aware of dangers around the accommodation (electricity, etc).

Maintenance

Have the tools to fix things.  Have spares (lightbulbs?)  Go online to find out how to fix things. Observe all safety precautions and don't touch things that could be unsafe to do so.

Security

Ensure your space is secure.  Ensure those with you are safe and secure. Lock up before bed.  Have communications to hand - emergencies! Know where the fire extinguishers are, how they work.  Electricity, water, gas controls. Have a torch nearby. Candles?!

Awareness

Know what's going on around you. Your accommodation Your neighbourhood Your town Your country Your continent Your world.

Aftermath

Find out who was responsible for your isolation and put in conditions that ensure it doesn't happen again to you or others.

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2 thoughts on “Covid-19 Isolation Advice”

  1. Some very good advice particularly for people who are suffering with mental health issues. A lot of your advice is very much along the lines of cbt and well being which I think lots of us can benefit from.
    I also like the fact you have stated about having routines and following a plan. This is very valuable for someone like myself who is in lockdown and is working from home for the first time.
    As well I would like to say thank you for putting this on your website and twitter and trying to help people out in this most unusual of times.
    Stay safe your self and your family.

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