The outbreak of COVID-19 requires us to be home-bound for the time being. This demands a complete change in what our usual days look like, which can be difficult and overwhelming. The process can be made easier by focusing on things that are under our control and adopting some beneficial habits (like caring for ourselves).
- Give your day some structure:
These are new circumstances that require adjustment. At such times, structuring your day and having a routine can help you feel more in control and purposeful. This is especially important if you don’t have office or schoolwork. Create a routine for yourself and set regular times for getting up, finishing chores, video calls, exercise, rest, any other activities that you have been engaging in and stick to it as much as possible.
- Limit your news intake:
Consuming news in any form can help you feel equipped. But trying to stay updated all the time can also lead to feelings of anxiety and worry. Try and limit how many times you check the news for updates and how much time you spend each time. Ensure that your source of news is a reliable one. Additionally, it is okay for you to take a break and step back. It is also okay for you to be honest with loved ones and set boundaries. Request them to not share pieces of information frequently with you that make you anxious.
- Make time for things you enjoy:
Keep aside time to engage in things that help you feel refueled. This could be reading, painting, creating art, singing, poetry, any hobby of yours that you can practice from home. These activities tend to take the backseat when we’re not feeling our best. But scheduling and completing them can be a good boost.
- Practice relaxation techniques:
Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness (focusing on the present moment) can greatly help feel more centered and calm. There are various apps and guided meditations available and you can see which works best for you.
- Remain connected:
It is natural to feel lonely at such times, especially if you’re residing alone, away from family. Having to be at home also means that our usual ways of socializing and maintaining relationships arent possible. But there are various new ways you can explore. Calling, video-chatting, writing virtual notes/letters, playing online games or activities, sharing mealtime, or even a simple supportive text can help you as well as the other individual feel more connected. If possible, you could also virtually check-on individuals you know who may need more support at such times (older individuals, those with disabilities, facing financial difficulties, those who may not have the support of a family, etc.)
- Care for your body:
Our physical health has an impact on the way we feel. Eat healthy whenever possible, keep yourself hydrated, sleep well, and get in some exercise/movement. Engage in any kind of physical activity that you enjoy and can be done at home (dancing, stretching, yoga).
Also, if you have access to substances, be mindful of your consumption. While it may help in the short-term, too much of any substance will only make you feel worse later and can also become a difficult pattern to break.
- Deal with worries and difficult emotions:
It is inevitable to feel worried, upset, scared and a range of other emotions at such times. Acknowledge these and find ways to express and regulate them. Some ways include journalling, talking to trusted friends/family members, creating art based on it. Think of skills that may have helped you in the past to deal with difficult emotions and use them now.
If you’re feeling too overwhelmed, you can call iCALL for professional counselling and emotional support. Our details are as follow:
chat: download nULTA app
Timing: Mon-Sat 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Mental Health Foundation (2020). Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak. Retrieved from
Mental Health Foundation (2020). Look after your mental health and wellbeing when staying at home. Retrieved from
National Health Service (2020). Mental wellbeing while staying at home. Retrieved from
World Health Organisation (2020). Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Retrieved from
World Health Organisation (2020). Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the
COVID-19 outbreak. Retrieved from