I Feel Alone and Isolated

Social connection while physical distancing

  • Make sure you have the phone numbers and emails of close friends and family
  • Stay connected via phone, email, social media and video calls
  • Offer to help others if you can 
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Share how you’re feeling with people you trust
  • Regularly call, text or email with family and friends who may have more limited social contact—elderly people, those with disabilities, those who live alone, those who are quarantined or at high risk because of chronic health conditions
  • If talking about COVID-19 is affecting your mental health, set boundaries with people about how much and when to talk to you about COVID-19. Balance this with other topics you’d usually discuss.
  • If you are living with other people, communicate expectations about how to live well together while staying home
  • Do virtual activities together
  • Plan virtual dinners and coffee breaks
  • Do at-home crafts and activities over a video call
  • Watch a virtual concert together 
  • Read the same book or watch the same movie/TV show and talk about it
  • Play online multi-player video games
  • Join an online exercise class

Manage Mental Wellness While Working from Home

  1. Establish a Dedicated Workspace
    • Create an established workspace that is organized and adequately stocked with the supplies and technology needed to complete your job duties.
  2. Keep a Work Schedule
    • Setting bookends (start and stop times) to the day is imperative, as burnout is one of the primary challenges of working from home.  Try having your teams send a group email when they “sign on” to start the workday and “sign off” to end the day to keep you accountable to workday boundaries.  
  3. Maintain Routines
    • If you typically start your morning with movement, meditation, and/or journaling, keep doing it.  Also, take a shower.  Maintaining some semblance of “normalcy” is helpful to the psyche. 
    • If you don’t already have a daily practice of meditation or quiet reflective time, take advantage of this time and flexible schedule to establish one.  Insight Timer and Headspace are a couple of free resources to start a home meditation practice.
  4. Stay Connected
    • Isolation is another leading problem when working from home.  Social distancing does not mean social isolation.  Think "physical distancing, social connecting."  Try group chats and video calls with friends and coworkers to maintain healthy social connections and get ideas for what others are finding helpful in surviving the changes.
  5. Limit Media Intake
    • Stay informed, but do not overdose on news and media.  To help manage anxiety, place time limits on consuming media, and be judicious about sources of information.
  6. Define Who Does What, Where and When
    • For those who have roommates, a spouse, and/or children at home, it is important to set a schedule and define who does what, where, and when.  You may need to establish shifts for workspace use, childcare duties, homeschooling activities, etc.
  7. Loosen Up About Screen Time
    • We are in unprecedented times, so giving kids more screen time than usual (mixed with some physical play of course) can be helpful in managing everyone’s mental wellness in the household.
  8. Maintain or Implement a Gratitude Practice
    • How about that work-from-home commute?!  At a minimum, one benefit of working from home is eliminating a (sometimes grueling) daily commute.  Be intentional about focusing on the proverbial silver lining of the current circumstances.  Try a daily gratitude journal identifying 3 things you’re grateful for in the past 24 hours.
  9. Get Creative
    • Tap into arts, crafts, reading, or writing.  Listen to music.  Play music.  Sing.  These activities are soul-filling and vagus-nerve stimulating (which decreases depression and anxiety). 
  10. Physical Activity
    • Move your body.  It doesn’t have to be complicated or long.  Take a walk around the block.  Turn on your favorite tunes for a 5-minute dance party.  Do a few yoga poses.  There are plenty of free videos on YouTube, and Bexar County Wellness has started sending out free fitness videos.

Use the Time for Self-Care

  • Create a spa experience: Relax in a bubble bath.  Try out aromatherapy.
  • Read a book…for fun!
  • Calm your mind with meditation: explore many free apps and YouTube options.
  • Listen to an inspiring podcast.
  • Try yoga or deepen your forgotten yoga practice.
  • Get outdoors and move your body.
  • Cuddle with your fur baby…or even baby, get outside with your fur baby.
  • Start a gratitude journal.
  • Have a dance party.
  • Discover a new hobby.

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