Coronavirus: Why it's okay to admit that self-isolation is hard

I have written at length about the things I am grateful for during self-isolation, and how lucky we are to have a supportive network of people around us during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 8:59 am

But as I clock up four weeks in self-isolation, I want to talk about the mental toll this strange situation can have on you and how it’s alright to admit that you’re feeling quite fragile - even if you don’t know why.

I’m one of the people classed by our Government as “extremely vulnerable” to Covid-19 – meaning I have to “shield” and self-isolate at home for 12 weeks, or until I’m told otherwise.

I have a rare blood condition which leaves me hugely susceptible to infection and I could become gravely ill if I develop symptoms of coronavirus.

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As I write this, I have so far spent four weeks at home.

Unless the situation changes, I have completed a third of my predicted time in self-isolation.

And what have I learned?

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Being able to sit in the garden is one of the positives to focus on during these difficult times

Some days will fly over and – between being lucky enough to still be working full-time, cooking, cleaning and telly-watching – seem totally normal.

Other days will feel like wading through treacle and are just downright sad. And it’s okay to say that you’re down, that you’re feeling fragile.

In an age where talking openly about mental health is (quite rightly) being championed, what better time to admit that these unprecedented circumstances can take their toll on even the strongest of souls.

Video-calling in big groups, constant social media notifications and rolling news updates about the pandemic are some of the things I have found difficult to digest on tough days.

The Government has issued strict guidance to families on staying home during the coronavirus crisis.

But even on these down days, there are always good things to be found.

Having a garden so I can get a little bit of fresh air, a home-cooked meal (I’m definitely spending more time in the kitchen) and FaceTime with my family.

Over this next week, I’m going to work hard on taking my own advice - looking for the positives in each day, focusing on the things I am thankful for and remembering that this won’t be forever.

It's okay to admit that you're finding things hard.

*Tweet me @DebraFox_ to share stories of how you’re coping in self-isolation.