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Most of the world’s population is in isolation to protect themselves from the spread of coronavirus. Humans are social animals, so how do we deal with forced isolation?

Whether you are isolated with your family or on your own, isolation can affect mental wellbeing. PPE (personal protective equipment) is available to protect the body, but what protects mental health?

Mind, the mental health charity, has a few suggestions. Many people are feeling anxious, stressed and overwhelmed by the 24-hour coverage of the crisis in the media. Mind suggests limiting how much news and information you consume.

You can connect with friends, family and work colleagues on the phone or via video calls. It helps to have someone to talk to, and if close friends are not available, the Elefriends charity provides a confidential chat service.

Your brain needs to be stimulated. If you work from home, this can be sufficient stimulus. Read books, magazines, play games, solve crosswords and other puzzles, or perhaps learn a new skill with an online course. Groups of friends can organize quizzes and games on video conferencing platforms.

Regularly exercise, either in the home, the garden or by taking a daily walk.

If you have financial worries as an employer, employee or self-employed, don’t struggle on your own. The government website and money advice sites like MoneySavingExpert.com have plenty of information on how to get financial assistance.

There is a wealth of mental health advice available for people in isolation on Mind’s website.

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