Self-isolation Prompts a Range of Emotions Requiring Adjustments

Self-isolation Prompts a Range of Emotions Requiring Adjustments
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I have been self-isolating since March 19, and already I have been through a series of emotions during this lockdown period.

Initially, most of these emotions were negative.

A week into my self-isolation, the realization that I can’t leave my house hit me. Even though we are all on lockdown in the U.K., people still have reasons to leave their homes, such as exercise. But due to sickle cell patients being at a higher risk, I need to stay home 24/7, with the exception of my blood transfusions every four weeks. 

I absolutely love going out, and I would list it as a hobby if I could. Before the coronavirus, I spent most of my time outside my house, whether to visit a friend or go to the gym or work. But when I realized that I had been home for seven consecutive days, and news stories were saying that we may be on lockdown until June, I lost it.

I felt stressed and frustrated due to the sudden restrictions placed upon me. The house that I grew up in felt more like a hinderance than anything else. My negative thoughts had a direct effect on my behavior toward my family, and my mood was very low.

After speaking with a few friends, I realized that what I was feeling was common, and I felt relieved. I was able to recognize and accept my emotions and work toward changing my perspective. I needed to shift my thinking from feeling trapped in my environment to feeling optimistic. I started thinking of all the things I am able to do with the time and resources I am fortunate to have. 

I overheard someone recently saying that if this period of self-isolation were initially presented as a month’s holiday, with the condition of staying indoors, our attitudes would be different. We would be excited and think of the best ways to maximize this time that we have. I agree with that statement and started thinking of this self-isolation as an opportunity to do many things I wished I could have done when I was more occupied with work. 

I decided to be as productive as I could, and it was great — for a while. I quickly grew bored of my new routine and was longing for a new way to keep myself entertained, energized, productive, and positive. The expectation of being able to do all of this was overwhelming, and I was upset that I wasn’t able to stick to it as long as I had planned.

Now I have a new approach. I decided to take it one day at a time, and now I am not so fussed about the structure of my day, as long as I make the effort to get up, get ready, and get dressed. I have been making more of an effort to do things that I enjoy to help me pass the time, and I make sure I do at least one thing to work toward my goals. 

I am still trying to figure out a balance for myself, but I would love to know how you guys are coping. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.

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