Maintaining recovery during COVID-19.

How are you coping with the current COVID-19 crisis? Do you have any of your own routines or tips for coping with the isolation of COVID-19 quarantine?

In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s been asked to self-isolate. Although I wasn’t going to my partner and treatment team asked me to as a courtesy. To say I’m feeling guilty, trapped and a tad overwhelmed at this whole situation is an understatement. But surely I can’t be the only one feeling this way?

All of us with lowered immune systems, chronic illnesses, etc are paddling up the same river in similar rickety boats. Some of us may have paddles in the form of family and friends while others may not be so lucky.


Isolation, Anorexia Nerovsa & COVID-19.

Isolation was and still remains a huge part of my life. Although I now have a job and have made some friends in the local village, I still spend a large portion of my time alone with only my partner and two cats for comfort. But when sh*t really hits the fan I’m usually alone. I tend to curl inward with anger, sadness, and frustration rather than speak to anyone. It’s due to a mixture of embarrassment, pride and the ever-present inner voice that means I prefer to remain quiet than get any proper help. Ultimately the jokes on me and I usually end up hurting myself in some less-than-ideal way.

Illnesses like Anorexia Nervosa thrive in isolation, so you can bet your bottom dollar that she’s loving this.

Prior to my partner being furloughed, I found myself thinking about all the time I’d have to exercise, starve and basically stumble backward completely. Did I want that? No. Would it have happened had Ryan not been off work? Quite likely.

Whether or not I want to recover never seems to be enough. In fact, what ‘Chloe’ wants never really matters at all. Even a year into recovery I still find it very difficult to fight back against the cruel and constant berating of Anorexia.

I’d have tentatively said that recovery was going ‘fine‘ until I started back to work in January. Nothing’s gone wrong per se. The job isn’t overly stressful and my colleagues are brilliant. BUT being on my feet for over eight hours a day has meant my weight has dipped quite rapidly in the last three months. This has, in turn, flicked a switch in my brain, one which I’ve found difficult to flip back off again.

Anorexia is a cruel mistress but sadly she’s my mistress. Even if I don’t want her to be.


How to maintain recovery in COVID-19 uncertainty.

01. Stick to the plan but don’t be afraid to change it up.

There’s no doubt that these are worrying times. My stomach’s been in knots for days now and I know all too well how difficult it can be to stick to the plan, specifically the meal plan. When your head is so full of everything else it can be easy to let our own health lapse. BUT now is arguably the time when we should be looking after our health more than ever.

If you have a set meal plan stick to it as best you can amidst the panic buyers which sadly can take away a lot of our ‘safe foods‘. If that’s the case for you don’t be afraid to rejig things. I know all too well the panic that sets in when I can’t find my favourite and therefore ‘safe‘ cereal (Lidl Fruit & Fibre if you’re wondering). Instead, I’ve had to make the hard decision to pick up various other boxes including Cocoa Puffs and some granola.

On the subject of rejigging don’t be afraid to change meal times around. Provided you’re getting in your three snacks and three meals a day, who cares if you sleep in until 10.00 am? I certainly don’t and at a time like this, I don’t think your treatment team will care much either. Rest is good for the body, mind and soul.

02. Keep in touch with the outside world.

Isolation can easily lead to an onset of depression and hopelessness, both of which can be debilitating. It’s important that we remember that we’re not alone in this and that everyone will be feeling the pinch of loneliness, even if they are isolating with loved ones.

The 21st century is a wonderful thing! We can contact our loved ones in pretty much any way possible, from snail-mail to live video chat! Provided your granny knows how, why not give her a Wattsapp video call?

If you want to participate in group video calls the app Houseparty is great for multiple people. You can even play games together such as pictionary!

03. Now is the time to enjoy your hobbies or discover new ones!

Enjoy reading? Pick up a few new books from Amazon for your Kindle. If you’re into painting why not order a few canvases and start your next masterpiece? Now is the time to fall back in love with your hobbies. Who knows, maybe you’ll get crafty and take up crochet or knitting?

04. Practice self-care as much as possible.

Run yourself a bubble bath, place the laptop safely out of harm’s way and hit play on your favourite Netflix show. Hell, pop on a facemask while you’re at it!

Note: If you have any curious felines, kids or partners ensure that you keep the door locked for maximum relaxation! [Unless you want your partner present! There’s no judgment here.]

Need any more ideas for self-care? Check out this post on caring for yourself on bad days.
05. Keep a ‘worry’ journal.

I’ve been journalling using Evernote over the last few days. Instead of worrying about my handwriting or trying to think up a well-structured post, I’ve just been typing all my worries onto a document that no one else will ever see. There’s no pressure to be perfect (although my mind will tell me otherwise). It’s really helped me unravel some of the bigger issues floating around in my skull such as those which are financial and weight-related.

Dan talked about journaling in his guest post earlier this year! Check it out for more details. His post also teaches us the importance of learning to spend time with ourselves. If you’re self-isolating alone this is the perfect read for you!

06. Remember your helplines.

Please, please, please remember to reach out for help when you no longer feel that you can cope on your own.

UK numbers.

  • Samaritans – 116 123 [0330 094 5717 for those in Nothern Ireland].
  • Shout – You can text them on 85258.
  • Sane Line – 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm – 10:30pm every evening).
  • BEAT0808 801 0677.

If you feel unsafe or unable to keep yourself safe please call 999 (or your equivalent) for emergency medical assistance or go to A&E. Even in the current climate, it’s important that we remember that we deserve help just like anyone else. Yes, times are tough for the hospitals but don’t hesitate to call if you genuinely feel you need to.

If you have any other helplines you would like me to add, including those from different countries, please feel free to get in touch in the comments.

07. Set up a space for yoga & meditation.

You can’t say you didn’t know this one was coming. I am an avid supporter of all things yoga having discovered it this time just a year ago. It’s been an immense help to my recovery.

If you’re fit and able why not try it for yourself during quarantine? You don’t need any fancy clothes, mats or equipment, and the best thing is that you can practice at home! It’s suitable for all levels from beginner to expert, and you can find free tutorials online. I personally follow Yoga with Adriene on youtube for amazing routines to suit every circumstance.

If you want to know more about yoga OR pick up some new yoga equipment check out these posts.


How are you coping with the current COVID-19 crisis? Do you have any of your own routines or tips for coping with the isolation of COVID-19 quarantine?

Remember to follow the recommended guidelines in the fight against COVID-19. If you’re being asked to self-isolate please follow this advice. Practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, stay away from crowds and gatherings of more than two people. And, above all else, hold on. Things might seem uncertain at the moment but this too shall pass.

** You can now support me on KO-FI! Ideally, my Ko-Fi will help pay for the annual and monthly upkeep of my blog, and any investments I make in the future in regards to the blog. I spend quite a lot of time on writing, researching, creating graphics and paying it forward to other bloggers, so any support is much appreciated.

72 comments

  1. Sending much love pet. It’s a crazy world at the moment and I know how you feel about leaving the house. I go for a walk every day because I know if I don’t I’ll end up too scared to leave at all when the time comes.
    The worry journal really helps me, so it might do the same for you.

    xx

  2. I really love the idea of a worry journal, I think it’s something I’m going to have to implement as my brain just won’t stop at the moment! Working from home means I’ve got a bit of a routine going during the week which helps me get a bit of normality and therefore keeps my anxiety and my mood fairly stable but I often find myself at a loss at weekends so I’m looking at creating some sort of routine for that too. I need to go out of the house at some point too even if it’s just for a walk around the block – I haven’t left in over a month and it’s now starting to worry me a bit that it’s my OCD keeping me from leaving the house rather than anything else. Thank you for sharing your tips, take care and stay safe xxx

  3. This is the perfect time to think and set up your life to the right order. Sure, this are some great tips. Thanks for sharing and stay safe

  4. These are some great tips for maintaining recovery during Covid 19. I also change my plan if it needs improvement. It is not always helpful to stick to one plan. We have to adaptive according to the situations.

  5. It is good to have some strategies to help get through this time. It is hard for even those who aren’t struggling with other things. Great tips and I wish you the best.

  6. These are such trying times and it is indeed difficult to stick to anything. Thanks for the tips.

  7. This is one good thing about that shtrange situation that we canslow down and have time for things we always put for later

  8. I meditate everyday and I feel that helps me immensely. I have got some many calls lined up already on Zoom , Whats app as well as normal calls! I am messaging people I haven’t been in touch with for years! I feel life is busier indoors!

  9. Self-isolation during COVID can be so hard for mental health. These are excellent suggestions and I will be sending this post to my friends because I know some of them are really struggling.

  10. These are excellent suggestions, and they can apply to people who aren’t in recovery as well.

  11. Thank you so much for reading. I intended this post to work for everyone but especially those in need of some support right now.
    Stay safe! x

  12. Thank you so much for reading pet. I’m lucky I have my partner to keep me under control when things get hard.
    Stay safe! x

  13. Thank you so much for reading. It’s a hard time for all of us but for those in recovery, it can be even worse.
    Stay safe! x

  14. I’m hoping for it all to pass soon too but I need to be realistic as well. I’m prepared for this to go on well into June which is so, so sad.
    I hope you’re staying safe.
    Thank you so much for stopping in and reading. x

  15. That’s lovely to hear! I’m so glad I’m able to make you feel less alone in this world.
    Stay safe and thank you so much for reading. x

  16. My comfort zone is hard to push at the moment. I know I say to video chat etc but it’s so hard for me. For some reason, I have awful anxiety on the phone/video calls and it’s really creeping up on me again.
    Stay safe through all this! x

  17. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m a homebody too but I was just getting back into society after a year of isolation due to recovery. I’m scared this is going to set me back further than before. I’m already seeing more anxiety around talking to people on the phone etc.
    Stay safe!

  18. Thank you so much for reading. It’s hard to stick to these things, I’ll not lie. But I’m doing my best against it all.
    x

  19. We can all use this time to explore and maybe find other ways to cope as well. I know I’m planning on testing some things out.
    Stay safe! x

  20. I’m keeping in contact as much as I can. I have phone/video anxiety so it can be so hard.
    I hope you’re staying safe! x

  21. This can be such a tough time for our mental and physical health. I think it is good to focus on the things that we can work on, like staying busy with projects we usually don’t have time for. My thoughts go out to everyone struggling.

  22. This is a great list for everyone dealing with these overwhelming, uncertain times. I love all the ideas; self-care is so important now more than ever.

  23. Self isolation can lead to depression so I hope everyone is still talking with family and friends.

  24. I am once again seeing that gentle reminder that it is time to start up the yoga sessions again. Haha. And I’m still trying to figure out how to fit it in. Have a safe and healthy week, my Friend!

  25. Again, these are all amazing tips. As I have mentioned above, trying out new things to do is a great way to cope up. <3

  26. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms, but it will never hurt to listen to how others are doing it as well. And then copy the best practices that fits us. Sharing of ideas and tips, is one of the best things about the internet.

  27. These are amazing tips. I use Yoga with Adriene as well. Doing things we love is so important at this time.

  28. These are great tips for these covid-19 times. I especially liked the Yoga and Medication part. Two great things I know are very ”healing” and they are also great additions to manage isolation. Great read as always Chloe. Thanks for sharing

  29. Even for a healthy individual with a perfect mental health, this period is very nerve wreaking and difficult. We need to have power to go through it by focusing on other things than the news and by following our already established routines.

  30. It’s difficult to stick to anything during times like these, so I applaud you for being steadfast. I love your suggestions. I definitely need to journal more, writing has been my best therapist, and I love the idea of having a dedicated area for meditation and yoga.

  31. Meditating and journaling is what’s keeping me sane these days. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Great blog post. I’m so glad you mentioned SANE. They are a great Charity. I used to write for them. If you even need to reach out know my door is open.

  33. Likewise thanks for these tips. It gives added strength, knowing we’revnit Batting our journey of life on our own.

  34. Nyxie this is SO DARN IMPORTANT. My anxiety has definitely been a struggle right now, so I can just imagine how hard it must be to maintain recovery during this time.

    Know I have faith in you. You’re so strong! You’ve got this friend.

  35. What a great post. Sorry you’re going through this, but it seems like you are handling it well. I’m a total homebody and love to be alone so it’s not affecting me so much. But I love the suggestions that you posted here. I’m sure many people are in the same boat as you and it’s wonderful when people speak up and become in inspiration to others dealing with the same things.

  36. This is SO important to talk about! I know that I have felt quite the hit when it comes to my mental health during all of this – and the first instinct is to take advantage of the situation and completely isolate myself from the world. I’ve been trying to make a point of pushing out of that ‘comfort zone’ spending time connecting with others (even if it’s just the blogging community on Twitter) and video chatting with friends, family and loved ones. Anyone that’s struggling, you’re definitely not alone!

  37. True. It’s the time to evaluate ourselves, what have we done, what we are doing and what we need to do. I guess it’s important to focus on what we can do, and what we should not do next time. As for ourselves, going back to old hobbies or discovering new ones is a great idea!

  38. I have been thinking about this situation for over a week now as things seem to be getting progressively worse around here (as expected). It is harder to keep up and check in with those who aren’t as well off as we are when we can’t go out as much. And I sometimes worry that even when calling or texting they’ll say they’re fine and I won’t really know. I’m praying for this to all pass soon.

  39. I love that you are giving tips to make sure that people are still doing well during this time. COVID-19 affects all of us in different ways. We still need to take care of ourselves. It is important to still keep contact with people – we have technology to help us with that. Thanks for sharing all of these resources!

    Nancy ♥

  40. I can see that this stay at home can lead to dangerous habits like exercising more. You need people to call you more to keep you from doing that

  41. I loved your idea. Even i did a blogpost about how to spend time in quarantine. This is great.

  42. I love the idea of taking a bubble bath. How many times do we say, “I wish I had the time for a bubble bath!” I have been taking this time to follow up on my favorite blogs, and write for my own. It’s been a good piece of this crazy mess! Thank you for the wonderful suggestions here. Best to you!

  43. It’s so nice that you are open enough to share this experience and this advice. I think that for others who suffer from anorexia to know that there are others out there who understand their situation is a huge help. Besides, this advice is good for everyone, not just those who are recovering.

  44. What I am working on, more than usual, is in fact a psycho-physical balance to ensure that I do not lose sight of my lucidity and health.

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