10 Things you can do when you've been furloughed

There is such a thing as too much time on your hands... until you know what to do with it

Being by yourself for a long period of time not only makes you feel physically isolated but also mentally, and if you haven’t got work to keep you busy then this could lead to long term wellbeing issues. However, there are a few things you can do to try and curb any feelings of boredom, loneliness or anxiety. Here, GP Diana Gall of Doctors 4 U reveals the things you can do to stay sane whist self-isolating alone.  

 

1. Pick up the phone 

If you are isolating on your own the key thing you should be doing regularly to try and curb any feelings of loneliness or mental isolation is to pick up the phone as much as you can and keep in touch with friends and family.  

Whether it’s a simple phone call or a multiple zoom video session, ensuring you have social contact even if it is virtually will make you feel a lot better and will also kill some time in the evenings when you may feel most isolated.  

 

 

2. Get outside (within reason) 

With spring indefinitely here, it’s imperative to get outside and get some fresh air and your daily dose of vitamin D, this should also lift your mood and allow you to clear your mind.  

 

3. Do some physical activity 

Doing a spot of daily exercise is so important for not only your overall wellbeing but your mood and mental health. You don’t have to do anything too strenuous, even just a 30-minute yoga class will stretch your body and allow more oxygen into the lungs and blood which should give you a good energy boost.  

Doing some kind of physical activity will also help to pass the time especially if you’ve been furloughed and aren’t working.  

 

4. Plan for the future  

This is unprecedented times of course, but there is a future in sight. Why don’t you take an afternoon to write a list of everything you want to do once your out of lockdown, this could be from eating your favourite food at your favourite restaurant to hugging a close friend. This will give you hope and something to look forward to once this is over.  

 

5. Stop scrolling

You must remember that everyone is on lockdown, so you shouldn’t need to suffer with any kind of FOMO. However, boredom may cause you to head onto social media and scroll aimlessly for hours, this can take its toll on our mental health and can make us feel even more isolated and anxious. Instead, take yourself away from real life and read a book, do a puzzle, a crossword or anything that takes you away from your screen whilst still engaging you in activity.  

 

6. Cook good food  

Proper nutrition is imperative to help us feel good and remain healthy. Ensure you are stocked up and have plenty of fresh produce and food in for the weekend ahead, so you can cook yourself some tasty, nutritious meals.  

Cooking from scratch will not only give you something to look forward to but will pass the time nicely and you can enjoy the process whilst listening to music and having a glass of wine.  

 

7. Self-care 

There’s no better time than the present to take a deep dive into the world of self-care. Take some time to refresh and re-engage your mind and body.  

Eating well, drinking plenty of water and spending time to focus on you will do wonders for your wellbeing. I recommend a nightly bath with some essential oils, a face mask and a good podcast.  

 

8. Reminisce  

The weather is heating up which could lead you to feel nostalgic for the past when you would spend lazy days in the park or local pub with friends. However, there is no harm in looking back on the good times spent with those you love.  

Looking back on photos or videos may spark motivation in you to keep positive and realise there will is light at the end of the tunnel and you will soon be able to create great memories again.  

 

9. Spring clean 

We’re all stuck in lockdown, so what better time than now to do that spring clean that you’ve been putting off. Cleaning your home from top to bottom will give you a sense of achievement, will allow you to enjoy your newly clean home and should also help give you a clear mind.  

 

10. Binge-watch without guilt 

Before lockdown we led incredibly busy lives which most of the time meant we weren’t able to catch up on our favourite shows, podcasts and Netflix series. It’s really important not to feel guilty if you end up spending your isolation binge-watching your favourite shows. This is a very strange time and its ok to feel worried and anxious and if watching a TV show makes you feel better then so be it, as long as you are doing some sort of physical activity and eating well and drinking plenty of water then enjoying this time to be lazy is fine.  

Read more: How to survive coronavirus isolation when you have children

Read more: 6 Craft ideas to try during lockdown


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