Tips for a healthy confinement

From the Department of Health

of the Basque Government, they give us some advice to take care of and protect our well-being and emotional health during this situation.

Create your daily routine with different types of activities and try to follow regular schedules

Creating a routine to get through the day and following regular hours are two aspects of great help to stay emotionally healthy and have more calm nerves.

Try to find a balance between different types of activities, including for example:

  • Self-care (personal hygiene, food, rest),
  • Responsibilities (teleworking, taking care of the house or others),
  • Physical exercise
  • Leisure

You can make a list of activities and plan a little for the next few days. It is advisable to find a balance between routine and that each day is a little different. Not spending too much time on activities that you think are of little use or “a waste of time” will help you feel better at the end of the day. You can take advantage of it to recover tasks that you have pending to do at home.

It is essential to be physically active. Physical exercise has a positive effect on emotional well-being, helps reduce anxiety, and improves sleep quality. Try to do some physical activity every day, depending on your level of mobility and personal situation—Eg. Walking around the house, dancing, doing exercise boards, climbing stairs, etc.

Remember to leave enough space for those leisure activities that you like the most or make you feel good. Keep in mind that many proposals are in the usual media, the web, and social networks. Remember that humor is a handy antidote to reduce anxiety. If you live with other people, try to combine time in company with some moments and spaces for intimacy. When spending more time together, it is essential to agree on some basic rules of coexistence (schedules, freedoms, responsibilities, etc.) and thus be able to avoid some discussions.

Stay informed or informed but limit your exposure to the information and select the sources well

It is essential to stay informed about the situation of the pandemic and the recommendations of the authorities, but excessive exposure to the information can cause anguish and discomfort. Also, keep in mind that many rumors and false information can circulate, especially on social networks, and that these tend to generate more anxiety and insecurity. Remember also that children are susceptible to what they hear or see on TV or radio. Therefore it is recommended:

Limit the amount of time you spend reviewing information about the coronavirus, especially if it makes you feel bad. Try to choose specific times to access that information (for example, twice a day) and avoid informing yourself outside of those times. Spend time searching for and listening to positive and recovery stories around the coronavirus. Always choose reliable sources of information, such as the websites of public institutions or solvent media. Verify and contrast what you receive from unofficial sources.

Limit the use of social networks. Review the accounts, feeds, or groups that you follow or in which you participate (for example, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.) and consider silencing or unfollowing them if the information is not very reliable or if it seems too overwhelming.

Avoid spreading dubious information or from non-solvent sources. This way, you will help avoid the “contagion” of anxiety or panic in other people.

Stay connected or connected with others

Social support is a crucial help to cope with this situation since prolonged isolation is often a great enemy to emotional health. Especially if you live alone, try to maintain regular contact with other people through the phone, messages, or video calls. Talking to the people you trust, and being able to share your feelings and concerns with them is especially important.

It can also help you stay “connected” with other regular, less-trusted contacts through, e.g., messages, WhatsApp groups, etc. Feeling that you are still part of your community and not alone in this is very important.

Try to stay positive and take time each day to relax

Set aside a few moments in the day for positive thinking and trying to relax. Fatigue and accumulated tension increase emotional distress and make it difficult to think clearly about what is best for you. Try to remember often that this situation will pass. Many professionals are working to solve it as soon as possible, and that the period of isolation has a sense for the common good. Remind yourself that you can be a much stronger person than you think. If you know any relaxation techniques (breathing, muscle relaxation, etc.), try to practice them regularly. If not, you can try other healthy ways to relax that has helped you in different moments (e.g., listening to music, dancing, doing some exercise). You can also try these audios:

Eat healthily, try to avoid alcohol or drugs, follow some sleep hygiene guidelines.

To take care of your emotional health, it is essential that you also take care of your body. Try to eat a healthy and balanced diet both from the perspective of food and the quantity. Remember to hydrate yourself well, drinking enough water throughout the day.

Try to get enough rest and sleep. If you notice that you have trouble sleeping, try to follow some sleep hygiene habits.

It is advisable to avoid or reduce as much as possible the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs, mainly if you use them, trying to feel better when faced with difficult emotions. Remember that, although they may seem helpful at any given time, alcohol and drugs often end up the worsening mood, the ability to think clearly, or to maintain control over the behavior

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