How to Cope with Self-Isolation

During these turbulent times, here are some ways that you can cope with self-isolation at home.

Green hydrangeas and tulips in a vase.

It’s a very challenging and frightening time in our world right now. My kids were in Maui with their dad and are finally home today! There’s nothing worse than your kids being far away from you during a crisis! We are now self-isolating for 14 days.

So perhaps you are in the same position. You have either traveled, been in contact with someone who may have COVID-19 or are taking extra precautions and just staying home. So now we are faced with a new challenge, how do we cope with self-isolation?

As an introvert / home body / WAHM, being in self-isolation doesn’t sound that bad! But I know that without some preparation and some introspection, things could go downhill very quickly.

To ground yourself in the present, remember to use your five senses to make you aware of your surroundings.

When you are anxious graphic.

how to cope when feeling stressed

Here are some tips on how you can cope with self-isolation at home when you are feeling stressed:

  • Yoga and meditation – I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation every morning and it’s made such a big different on my mood for the day
  • Turn off the news
  • Get outside each day for a walk, practicing social distancing
  • Schedule a phone date with a friend or family – sometimes we get so used to texting that we forget to actually talk on the phone. If you arrange a time to call each other, you can set aside an hour to talk on the phone
  • Have a spa day – light some candles and have a soak in the bath, put on a face mask, give yourself a manicure and pedicure
  • Drink some water
  • Focus on what you can control – you can control how you breathe in and out, your thoughts, what you watch, what you say, what you read
  • Use positive self-talk
  • Read a book
  • Start a journal – write down your thoughts and feelings
  • Plan for a dream vacation or some place you’ve always wanted to visit
  • Cook yourself a healthy meal
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Make a soothing cup of decaffeinated tea
  • Do a puzzle
  • Watch a comedy show or movie – laughter is the best medicine
  • Watch a tear jerker movie and have a good cry
  • Have a nap
  • Snuggle your spouse or kids
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Stretch
  • Learn to live one day at a time (if you have severe stress, maybe one hour at a time)
  • Have a forgiving view of events and people – believe that most people are doing the best they can
  • If you are in a space with people around and it’s loud, go to a room for silent time by yourself – wear earplugs if you have to
  • Relax your standards – don’t feel like you have to do anything while you’re at home – take care of yourself and listen to your body
  • Take deep breaths in and out – when we are stressed, we tend to take short, shallow breaths
  • Find something enjoyable to do
  • Get a good night’s sleep!
Woman sitting at desk writing in journal.

deep relaxation technique

Practice this technique once or twice a day to reduce your stress. It takes approximately 15 minutes. I sometimes say this technique to my son when he is too anxious to sleep at night.

  1. Sitting in an upright chair or laying flat on a bed, make yourself as comfortable as possible – loosen tight clothing, uncross your legs, rest your arms in your lap or by your side and take several deep, slow breaths.

2. Make a hard fist with both hands, wrists, forearms and upper arms. Hold this tension for five seconds then slowly release while concentrating on the sensations in your arms and hands as the tension is released. After the tension is released, notice the contrast between the tension you created in your muscles and the subsequent relaxation. Now, deepen this relaxation by giving yourself a mental command to relax each time you exhale; do this for the next 10 breaths.

3. Next tense your calfs and thigh muscles. Hold this tension for five seconds, then slowly let the tension out, as you did above. Again, notice the sensation in your muscles as the tension is released. Just as you did above, deepen this relaxation giving yourself a mental command to relax each time you exhale; do this for the next 10 breaths.

4. Repeat the above steps for your: chest and shoulder muscles (press the palms of your hands together and push), neck and jaw, forehead and scalp, abdominal muscles, back muscles (push your shoulders back as far as possible and hold).

5. Finally, take a series of short breaths – about one per second – until your chest is filled. Hold for about five seconds, then exhale slowly while thinking of the word ‘relax’. Repeat this process at least five times, each time striving to deepen your state of relaxation.

*Adapted from a paper I’ve had since 2000s from a therapist

Close-up of flowers in a vase.

best meditation apps

Download a helpful app on your phone or tablet to meditate each day. Remember to not look at your phone while meditating.

  • Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
  • Breethe: Meditation & Sleep
  • Calm
  • Insight Timer
  • Ten Percent Happier Meditation

Now that you are relaxed, maybe you’re bored

If you’re feeling good after the steps above and are now bored, here are some things that could occupy your time

Check out these articles below

50 Things to Do When You’re Bored at Home – Sarah of Life on Virginia St

25 Things to do While You’re Stuck at Home – Chelsea of Making Home Base

50+ Things To Do When You’re Bored at Home – Laura of The Turquoise Home

Free Printable Stay at Home Binder – Abby of Just a Girl and Her Blog

27 Projects You Can Do When You’re Stuck at Home – Jenna of Rain on a Tin Roof

resources for the kids

Teacher Recommended Strategies & Best Websites for Home Learning – Krista of the Happy Housie

30+ Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy – Vanessa Kynes

Homeschooling and Educational Activities for Kids – Rachel of Maison de Pax

How to Help Your Kids Have Less Screen Time – Rachel of Maison de Pax

Free Activities & Entertainment During Coronavirus – Chelsea of Two Twenty One

14 Days of Kids Craft Ideas to Make at Home – Christina of The DIY Mommy

Anxiety ONLINE Resources

These online resources are great for additional support and information.

Please take care of yourself. I love you!

Make sure to pin it for later!

How to Cope with Self-Isolation.

other helpful resources:

Things To Do At Home With Kids While Self-Isolating

How to Declutter & Decorate Your Home Right Now

How to Declutter When You’re Sentimental

How to Declutter Your Closet & Purge Your Clothes

School Memories Printables

How Decluttering Makes You More Creative

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  1. Thank you for these tips! I printed the list of what to do when I am feeling anxious and will hang it in my new “home office” area. Breathing techniques rarely work for me so I am hoping these steps will help me manage things.

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