How to look after your mental health if you’re isolating this winter

This is usually the time we get to spend with friends and family, but with the Omicron Covid variant making waves through the country, many of us may find ourselves having to self-isolate during the festive holidays.


If you test positive for Covid, you must immediately self-isolate, according to current NHS guidelines. The self-isolation rules have slightly changed, with vaccinated people now only needing to isolate for 7 days (provided they have negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven). Non-vaccinated people must continue to isolate for the full 10 days from the day symptoms begin (or the day you took the test if you’re asymptomatic).

If you’re vulnerable or worried about the rising Covid numbers, you may even choose to self-isolate for personal reasons. However, whether you’re self-isolating by choice or need, you should be aware of the possible negative effects on your mental health.

According to research released by the Office for National Statistics in May of this year, one in every five persons (21%) suffered from some form of depression during the winter lockdown months of January to March 2021.

This number jumped from 19% in November 2020 and has more than doubled when the Covid-19 pandemic began, when 10% of adults reported dealing with a form of depression.

family isolating

How to cope

We again, find ourselves in uncertain times and such circumstances are bound to provoke inescapable feelings of fear and anxiety in many of us. This is to be expected and none of us should feel insufficient for feeling any certain way.

Luckily, there are ways we can take care of our mental health as well as assist others who may require additional support and care. Here are some suggestions that we hope you find helpful.

Connect with others

Good relationships and connection to others is a crucial factor of emotional and mental wellbeing. It can aid in helping you build a sense of belonging and self-worth, providing you with emotional support. Remember, it is ok to share your concerns with those you trust. It may be difficult for you to open up about your feelings, but many people find that sharing their experiences and talking about their feelings can contribute to them feeling better. In doing so you may also help them too. If you feel like you cannot speak to someone close to you there are many helplines available.

Self Care

Everything from eating regularly and staying hydrated, trying to keep active and getting some fresh air, are all simple ways to help both your mental and physical wellbeing. Uncertain times like these make it easy to fall into unhealthy behaviour and lifestyle patterns. If you are limited to staying indoors there are many online entertainment sources to enjoy. You could even try doing online courses and learning something new.

Ask For Help & Get Support

There are many organisations dedicated to helping you, remember there is no shame in asking for help.

Click here for support from a mental health charity

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