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Moving out of isolation

During lockdown many of us have experienced isolation in some way. Some of us more profoundly than others. The extraordinary circumstances we’ve found ourselves in for so many months have highlighted just how much even small daily connections with people matter and make a difference to our wellbeing.

Virtual connections during this time have been crucial and we’ve learnt to be grateful for the technology that supports communications with separated loved ones, friends and colleagues although the seemingly endless video calls have created a new kind of fatigue. They’ve been a lifeline but it’s left us missing the spark of human connection that can only be truly experienced when meeting up with people face to face.

Feelings of anxiety, fatigue, depression and stress are common. People with pre-existing mental health problems are particularly vulnerable at this time, even as the lockdown restrictions ease.

Isolation on any level can be be really damaging for our mental and emotional wellbeing. So what can we do about it?

Focus on Friendships

30th July is the United Nation’s International Day of Friendship! On July 30, we give our gratitude for those relationships worldwide, as they promote and encourage peace, happiness, and unity.

It’s a great time to connect with and appreciate friends old and new.

Sharing with friends and reaching out has a big positive impact on our mental health. Even when both are feeling low, friends can lift each other up.

Take time to talk

July is Samaritans Talk to Us campaign. It’s a timely reminder that even if you don’t have family or friends close by, you are never alone. Samaritans volunteers are here for you every day of the year, round the clock.

Talking about how you’re feeling can help put things into perspective and help you to feel more positive about the future.

Get outside and connect to nature

If you’re feeling isolated take some time to go outside and connect with the world around you. It’s a hugely healing experience. If this is something new for you why not try out one of Corrine’s Fresh Air Fridays podcasts you can take outside and listen to. Or try some Forest Bathing with Adore Your Outdoors.

If you need help, ask for it

Mental Wellbeing

It’s ok to ask for help if you’re struggling. Reach out to your support network if you are having a hard time. If you feel like you need some extra help or support there is so much available to help your mental health.

Here’s our top recommendations:

There are so many different ways you can make connections and combat those feelings of isolation. You are not alone.

Newbury Wellbeing
 

Newbury Wellbeing is an online resource for the local community with a directory of practitioners offering complementary therapies and wellness classes, courses and events in the area in and around Newbury, Berkshire. Run by Jo Medhurst and Claire Bushell, we send out a bi-monthly e-newsletter, Newbury Wellbeing Matters, and regularly post articles packed with wellbeing tips on our blog and social media platforms.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
Corrine Thomas
Corrine Thomas - 23 July 2020

A very helpful blog thank you. I find sometimes my anxiety and fatigue can come from getting stuck in negative thinking traps, for example catastrophising what might happen, or blaming myself for everything that I perceive has gone wrong. Practicing mindfulness really helps me to get out of the cycle of negative thinking as it enables me to stop the incessant inner chatter. Then I can notice the triggers for my thinking and work out ways to alter it. For example with catastrophising I gain perspective by writing down the worst that might happen, the best that might happen and the realistic outcome.

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Heather Parker
Heather Parker - 23 July 2020

I couldn’t agree more. I have felt in recent weeks it’s been very important to organise outside activities with like-minds, not just my family members, although family is very important (& we’ve been enjoying online Friday evening quiz sessions). Last weekend I arranged a socially distant meet up with my Drumming group in some local woods which was great! Obviously if you are nervous about going, you can take hand sanitizer, wear a mask if you like. Being outside is far better at the moment because you have plenty of space & lots of air for ventilation. To just see the smiling faces will uplift you & you can have those meaningful conversations you have been missing.

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Sonya Dibbin
Sonya Dibbin - 23 July 2020

Hi Claire, thanks, great bloggo!

I have to build in 30-60 mins of downtime a day, time when I can just be me, not needed by anyone else. I usually go outside and just sit, focusing my attention on nature. I might take my journal and write or sketch, which is very mindful and also deepens my connection to nature.

There’s so much going on for so many of us right now, these little moments can restore our balance and help gain perspective on life’s little ups & downs.

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Caroline Quinton Smith
Caroline Quinton Smith - 24 July 2020

Thanks for the great content on here.

Practising mindfulness can be a real help for dealing with how we are feeling. Taking a pause when feeling stressed and tuning in to how you are feeling rather than how you are thinking can be helpful.

An example is when I am feeling sad about something, I may catch myself ruminating about the story that has caused me to feel sad. In the past I may have spent days going over and over the storyline, maybe blaming someone else or myself but now I will take a moment and sit with the sensations of sadness which is natural and part of life. Allowing tears to flow and allowing myself to feel the sadness without the mental commentary can help release the feeling of sadness.

“Nothing wrong with thinking, it’s indulging thoughts and getting caught up in the storlylines that causes problems”

“Taking judgement out of thoughts disempowers them”

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Jo Medhurst
Jo Medhurst - 24 July 2020

So true. I’ve really missed having those more personal connections with people during lockdown and can really feel the difference it’s making to my mental health now I’m able to connect with everyone without a screen again. I think it’s important for people to start doing that again. It’s easy to get into the habit of only connecting virtually but as humans we really need a bit more.

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