Self-isolating is an experience you won’t soon forget
Go easy on yourself, and remember that taking care of yourself is critical. Self-care includes all the activities you do to consciously take care of your physical, mental and emotional health. The resources on this page, from workouts and access to counselling, to recommended mindfulness apps and more, will hopefully help you. Assuming you’re feeling well, resilience, a positive outlook, an adventurous spirit and outstanding self-care are all your allies on this journey.
If you start experiencing symptoms, use this self-assessment tool to determine your next steps, and let the Front Desk staff (or your Residence Life Manager) know that you are feeling ill. After doing the self-assessment tool, if you still have questions, contact your healthcare provider or call 8-1-1 for guidance. If the symptoms are severe, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. Virtual appointments can be arranged with a doctor, nurse or other medical professional through the UBC Student Health Service.
Staying Physically Active
Maintaining an exercise regime is important to mental and physical wellbeing.
Keeping your body moving has so many benefits, especially in times of stress. Exercise elevates mood and mental resilience, it helps build a strong immune system, enhances focus, concentration and memory, and it improves good sleep. If you are feeling well, try out some of the many great options for staying active, even in small spaces:
- Sit less. Break up sedentary time by setting a timer/reminder to get up at least once per hour for a short activity break. Ideas include taking a phone call while walking around your space, dancing, stretching, doing a small chore like making a snack, completing a short online exercise, or having yoga session.
- Get a workout in. UBC Recreation is offering ways to thrive from the comfort of your own space through their resource-packed Get Active at Home program. You’ll find everything form recommended online workouts to Live Movements Sessions.
- Try someone new and get creative! Think of this change in routine as an opportunity to explore different avenues such as learning how to juggle or taking up Tai Chi.
If you are feeling well, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, as well as muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week. Any activity is better than none, and more activity provides more physical and mental health benefits. The goal during self-isolation, if you are well, is to maintain physical and mental health by sitting less, moving as often as possible, and aiming to maintain fitness by huffing and puffing a few times a day.
Staying Mentally Healthy
Thriving while in self-isolation requires planning and resources. A positive mindset makes a huge difference, but may not always be realistic, especially if you are feeling unwell. Top tips include connecting with others, eating healthy foods, staying as active as possible, getting plenty of rest, and finding satisfying ways to stay occupied.
- Stay informed, but not overwhelmed. Over-indulging in news from multiple sources can lead to heightened anxiety. Instead, focus on getting helpful information from trusted sources and limit your intake.
- Communicate and stay connected. Staying in contact with other people not only staves off boredom, but it is also critical for minimizing the sense of isolation. Check in with friends and family every day, and make use of the 24/7 counselling resources if you’re feeling off-kilter.
- Create and follow routines that include satisfying activities that give you a sense of purpose, productivity and accomplishment.
UBC Mental Health Supports
- UBC Wellbeing’s Thrive 5. Learn how to promote a healthy mind and body with the Thrive 5 by UBC Wellbeing.
- Counselling Services. If you’re feeling persistently stressed, anxious, or sad, you can book a virtual or phone appointment with a wellness advisor or counsellor.
- Managing your mental health during COVID-19. Explore a variety of articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.
- Mindfulness apps worthy of your attention. Five FREE mindfulness apps to download today to help pass the time.
- UBC Student Assistance Program (SAP). Offered by Aspiria, the UBC Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a free, 24/7 wellness resource for students. Services include personal counselling, life coaching, group programs and more, based on your needs.
- 24/7 Support (Here2Talk). Get started with free, 24/7 single-session counselling by phone or online chat for all UBC students, no matter where you are in the world.
Staff Ambassador Check-Ins
To support your wellbeing and connection to the UBC Community, UBC Staff Ambassadors will connect with you throughout your period of self-isolation to offer information and assistance. You can expect to hear from your Staff Ambassador within the first two days of arrival and they will continue to check in periodically to see how you’re doing, and refer you to campus resources including orientation, health services, and social connections as needed.
Want to take it a little deeper? See if you can adjust your mindset to thinking of this time not as forced isolation, but as a chance to recharge, reset and indulge in some well-deserved self-nurturing.
- Be kind to yourself. Tame your inner critic and be your own best friend by celebrating small victories like showering and getting dressed for the day! Have compassion for your humanity and your flaws. You’re human and you’re going to make mistakes.
- Focus on what you control. This might be a good time to remember the serenity prayer: to have the serenity to accept the things you can’t change, to have the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
- Treat it like an experiment. Put your ego aside, and get curious about the gifts of these strange times.
- Indulge in some paradigm-shifting noodling. Being around other people keeps us being who we’ve always been, because that’s who they expect to see, and we respond to their expectations. When there’s nobody around to have an opinion, take some time to think about who you want to be in the long-term future.
- Be grateful. There is always something to be grateful for. If you have a roof over your head, food in your belly, and maybe even toilet paper in your bathroom, you’re doing better than about a billion people. If you have internet (and if you’re reading this, you obviously do), you’re better off than about four billion people.