There are lots of reasons why you may spend a lot of time at home; you might be a full-time Mum, a home-keeper, self-employed, retired, long-term sick or any other reason. But whatever it is, it’s important to look after your mental health and stop the walls from closing in on you. After all, your house should be your home and not your prison.
Being based at home has so many benefits, but it can also have its downsides. It can be lonely, you can feel isolated and if you don’t look after your mental health it can start to get you very down. The more time you spend on you own, the more it can lead you to not wanting to socialise. But humans are pack animals, we need human company to keep us happy, So how do you look after your mental health and keep happy with being at home?
I’m not a mental health expert, but I am someone that has been at home a lot. During my life, I’ve been unemployed, a full-time mum and now I’m self-employed and run my business from my spare room. I also have a mum, who is retired and lives on her own. So, although I’m not an expert, I am someone who understands how important it is to look after your mental health when you spend large periods of time in your home alone. So, I wanted to share my top tips that help me and my mum, to help you stay happy!
My top tips to look after your mental health
- Don’t sit in silence – make sure you have background noise of some sort. I tend to have radio 2 quietly babbling away all day, barely loud enough to hear, but the sound of chatter makes me feel like I’m not on my own
- Keep in contact – when you feel like you’ve not spoken to anyone all day, you probably haven’t! Pick up the phone and speak to someone.
- Get out of the house – First and foremost your house is your home, keep it that way. If it’s starting to feel like a prison you need a change of scenery. Go for a walk, go to a café, visit a friend for coffee – have a change of scenery!
- Go for regular walks – It will clear your head and get oxygen into your lungs. It also gives your brain new stimulus by seeing different things to your four walls. And, you never know, you might bump into someone for an impromptu conversation!
- Join a group – There are lots of different local groups for different hobbies; singing, keep-fit, golf, art – there is probably something for anything you can think of. Do some research, try your local library and Facebook is a great tool if you know how to use it! If you’re retired, you may want to think about joining the U3A (the University of the Third Age, is for retired and semi-retired people who come together for their educational, social and creative interests).
- Set yourself goals – what is it you want to achieve today? Don’t overwhelm yourself, but set yourself an achievable goal and do it. Whether that’s just to go to buy the ingredients for dinner, going for a jog, or clearing the spare room. It doesn’t matter what, but try to achieve something you want to do today.
- Don’t despair – feeling isolated comes to us all at times! You just need to find the right way for you to get through it.
I spend my time working with small business and start-ups, many of them are people working on their own and feeling of isolation has affected them all.