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Tips for surviving isolation | lorainenunley.com

Get the right amount of sleep

Your body needs rest in order to heal and restore itself. That is why sleep is so important. Especially during times of stress, it is important for you to sleep so that your body can go about its job of rejuvenating itself. But you have to be careful not to spend too much time sleeping. Depression and anxiety can make you feel like you need to sleep more than you should. Figure out your optimum sleep hours and concentrate on getting those in every day.

Have a routine

At a time when you seem to have too much time on your hands, a routine can be lifesaving. If you were used to a particular routine before isolation, try to tweak it for your current situation. If you were going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 6am to go to work, keep those hours. Utilize the time you would be commuting to a job for something new. Earmark this time for cooking a good breakfast, reading a devotional, having coffee with your spouse, writing in a journal. What types of projects could you do every day that you would normally use those hours to work?

Eat healthy

Don’t let the fact that you’re in isolation keep you from properly fueling your body. Concentrate on putting the right foods into your diet. Try your hand at a new recipe. Make a meal plan. Cook from scratch. Use this time to have a good breakfast consistently.

Eat at the table

Isolation can make you a slave to the kitchen and the food which is available all day long. Don’t let it. Find ways to occupy your time outside of eating and when you need to eat take full advantage of the break. Sit down at the table and focus on enjoying the food you put into your mouth and the company you are eating it with.

Make your bed

This may sound like an odd thing, but you might be surprised at how you feel if you get into the habit of making your bed every morning before you start your day. There is something about a freshly made bed that gives your spirits a boost. Even if things are out of your control, this can help you feel like you have accomplished something. It sounds small, but it can make a big difference in your attitude. Plus, it is very satisfying to climb into a nicely made bed when you end your day.

Drink plenty of water

Like food, your body needs the fuel it gets from being properly hydrated. This means water. Many of us do not drink enough water regularly. You may drink lots of beverages during the day, but they are no substitute for the benefits that water has for your body. Water is good for your skin, heart, digestion, and yes, even your attitude.

Spend time with God

This is something that should be done every day, but it is especially important in isolation. No matter what circumstances you are in or who is with you, God is constant. He is the one who is always there and He is the one who cares the most about you. Take this time to build your relationship with the one who knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

Love on your favorite authors/bloggers

Do you have more time on your hands to read? Show your favorite authors some love by reviewing their books on your favorite sites. Tell your friends on social media about those stories that make your day. Connect with your favorite bloggers by commenting on their blogs. Send encouragement their way. Creative types are notorious for viewing their art as imperfect and no good. Positive feedback from their fans does wonders for their mindset and art.

Dream

Isolation won’t last forever. This too shall pass. Take this time to dream. What will you do when you are no longer isolated? Dream BIG. Dream small. Have fun dreaming of the life you want to live and the person you want to be.

Make plans

Now that you’ve taken the time to dream (see #9) make some plans. Make a list of the things you can do in order to achieve one (or more) of those dreams. Make short term plans and long term plans. Make specific plans with measurable goals.

Pray for someone

Pick someone specific to pray for every day. Focus on that person and ask God how you can pray for them. Perhaps you know a specific need they have. You can pray for that need. But the great thing about God is that He knows what that person needs so you don’t need to.

Hug someone or something

If you are in isolation with other people, hug someone. Physical touch is very important. What if you don’t have other people around to hug? A pet that you can touch and be affectionate with will do. No pets or people? Grab the biggest pillow or blanket you can find and hug that. Granted it is not the same as human contact, but sometimes we just need to wrap our arms around something.

Journal or write something

Sometimes our thoughts can become our worst enemies, particularly during stressful times. Get them out of your head and onto paper. Another benefit of getting your thoughts onto paper is that the creative process frees your mind from the bonds of anxiety.

Do a fun project

A FUN project. Many of us have loads of projects to do, but not necessarily fun ones. This isn’t about accomplishing a task on the ‘to-do’ list, but about finding something fun to take your mind off of stressful things. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? A craft you’ve always wanted to learn?

Think on the good

In the Bible, Paul tells us to think on the good things—the positive. Thinking on the good helps keep your mind away from the negative. It’s very hard to dwell on the bad when your thoughts are taken up by the good.

Exercise

In addition to having the right fuel for your body, you also need movement for your body to function at its best. You don’t have to get crazy. This may not be the right time to train for a marathon, but taking a few steps around your home regularly can do wonders for your health.

Smile

Yes, smile. A genuine one. Find something to laugh about. It is true that laughter is good medicine. Just like you can find many things during the day to make you frown, you can also find many things to make you smile. I challenge you to look for opportunities to laugh and smile—To  find the joy in your current circumstances.

Send some love to others

No matter how bad your circumstances, there is always someone out there who has it worse. I don’t say that to make light of your pain, rather to get you to look outside of yourself to ease it. If you are focusing on helping someone else, you will find it difficult to give much attention to those things bringing you down. Mail a card to a friend. Call a loved one. Email an acquaintance. Spread kind words on social media.

Be thankful

Have you noticed that many of these tips for surviving isolation involve your mental state? That is half the battle. Isolation messes with your mind, which then messes with your health. Look around and find things to be thankful for. When you find something, be sure to tell God you are thankful for it.

Ask for help

Sometimes we can do all the right things but still struggle. When that happens, remember that you do not have to go through anything alone. Ask for help. God has a whole body of people ready to be used by him to help others. Maybe that’s you. If you are struggling in isolation, there is no shame in reaching out for help. Please do.

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