Mental Health After Self-Isolation

Managing Your Mental Health After Self-Isolation Ends

It’s natural to experience conflicting feelings after self-isolation is over – here’s how to deal with them.

After contracting COVID-19 or being a close contact, you’ve finally reached the end of your self-isolation period. You might be feeling relieved, ecstatic, and hopeful. However, we recognise that not everyone will feel the same way, and often there are mixed feelings. After testing positive for COVID-19, some people may be concerned about being judged or stigmatised. Others may be worried, distressed, or concerned about the future. First of all, remember that its completely normal to feel anxious or uncertain when you are dealing with a change or transition in your life.

How to Deal with the End of Self-Isolation

If you’re experiencing worry, despair, anger, guilt, or overload, consider the following:

1) Remind yourself that these are normal feelings

They serve as reminders of what matters to us and what we value in life, such as our health, safety, and relationships.

2) Examine your ideas

At times, worries can be useful and practical in helping us solve problems or meet our needs. However, worries that are excessive, continuous, uncontrollable, or distressing are less beneficial. Take a time to think about which category each of your issues belongs to.

3) Reconnect with self-care if your concerns are reasonable

Sometimes the issues we encounter are not easily or immediately resolved. It’s beneficial to concentrate on refuelling so that you have the energy to deal with the problems you’re encountering. Think about some self-care activities that you can do safely from home such as connecting with others or a gentle exercise or stretching class.

4) If your concerns appear unlikely or unrealistic, consider a different perspective

Shifting viewpoints can be beneficial at times. What kinds of things could you say to yourself that would be useful, reassuring, and encouraging at this trying time? How would you respond to a friend who shared these concerns with you? What other options or consequences do you think there might be?

5) Take it one step at a time

If you’re struggling to manage your mental health after self-isolation and feeling nervous, why not try to venture outside in small increments. Start by standing at your front door, then stroll around the block before meeting with a friend socially. If a step-by-step strategy isn’t practical, focus on factors that you can control, such as wearing a mask, handwashing, social distancing, and deciding what kind of interactions you’re comfortable with.

6) When creating plans, use assertive communication

Try to have open conversations with others about what you are (and are not) willing to do once you are no longer isolated. It’s fine if, compared with others, you have different feelings about the hobbies you feel more comfortable doing.

7) Seek help

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help to manage your mental health after self-isolation, particularly if you’re feeling judged or stigmatised because of the infection. You don’t have to face these difficulties on your own. Seek help from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. If you feel that talking things over would help, why not speak with one of our psychologists? To make an appointment click here or call 1800 327 477 (AU) or 0800 327 477 (NZ).