What are the dangers of self-isolating?

Coronavirus is a global pandemic and the UK Government and indeed in Europe and around the world, and requesting that families self-isolate even if not everyone is displaying symptoms for COVID-19. You are required to stay at home if you have a high temperature (if hot to the touch) and a new continuous cough, although some studies suggest the coronavirus symptoms for children may differ.

Self-Isolating means:

  • You do not go to work, school or public areas
  • You do not use public transport or taxi’s
  • You do not have visitors to your home.
  • You do not go out to the shops and order online.

There is a clear strategy around this, which is not the discussion. Our concern is the mental health of those stuck indoors, particularly those in toxic relationships or houses where domestic violence is rife.

Cabin fever is a known condition when a person is stuck in an isolated location for a long period of time. The term stir-crazy applies to stir meaning prison. Isolation from civilisation and the same four walls triggers a level of claustrophobia and irritability, which does not mix well with others.

How to reduce tension when self-isolating

The obvious therapy for cabin fever and stress, in general, is to get outside. Of course not everyone has a garden or outdoor space, but the requested social distancing does not mean you can’t leave the house as long as you wash your hands and be mindful what you touch and stay 2 metres away from other people. Parks are a great source of joy, and the recent news that the National Trust are giving free access where possible is fantastic news to get people interacting with nature.

Fresh air and sunshine is good for you and proven to help combat illness and improve mood. Research has shown that even brief walks can improve overall well-being. Changing scenery and escaping the confinements of the home can really help with stress by stimulating the brain, body and senses.

Report domestic abuse

Of course, domestic violence is not just solved by a quick stroll, and these time-outs just ease tension. These are stressful times but domestic abuse and violence is a crime and you should call 999 if you are in immediate danger.

there are also other organisations who can offer you help and support.

Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge
0808 200 0247
www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people)
0800 999 5428
www.galop.org.uk

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327
www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Rape Crisis (England and Wales)
0808 802 9999
www.rapecrisis.org.uk

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
0800 027 1234
sdafmh.org.uk

Scottish Women’s Aid
0131 226 6606
www.scottishwomensaid.org.uk

Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 80 10 800
www.allwaleshelpline.org.uk

Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland)
0800 917 1414
www.womensaidni.org

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