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29 Best Tips on How to Cope with Isolation at Home (from People Who Have Done and Will Do This All Their Lives)

29 Best Tips on How to Cope with Isolation at Home (from People Who Have Done and Will Do This All Their Lives) | A Chronic Voice

People with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities are no strangers to being stuck at home in isolation. Many are unable to work full-time, or only have enough energy to go out for essentials tasks such as grocery shopping and doctor appointments. And even these activities require pacing and planning, to ensure that there is minimal post-exertion pain flares.

So what do people like us do at home all the time? You’ve been in isolation for a few months and should know by now – it’s definitely no holiday or fun times. It gnaws away at your mental and physical wellbeing, when you’re cooped up for this long with no social contact and minimal movement.

*Updated with new additions at the bottom! (29 May 2020)

Yes, It’s Okay to Use Different Coping Strategies for Different Days

Over the years we’ve learned how to cope with pain and isolation in our own different ways. As you can see above, the tagline of my blog is ‘articulating chronic illness from various perspectives’. It is my genuine belief that it’s beneficial to consider different viewpoints, even opposing ones.

Context matters, and I view each one as an extra tool in the coping toolbox. In fact, I do use completely opposite strategies for different days and situations. If you think about it however, they serve the same purpose at the end of the day – a bid for a better quality of life.

So let’s dive in and hear what these 29 people with chronic illness have to say about how they cope with self isolation. It is after all, something they’ve had many years of experience doing, and will probably need to continue doing for the rest of their lives. I’m sure that we can glean some insight and learn a thing or two. Heck, even I could learn something new as a person with chronic illness myself!


  1. ’29 Best Tips on How to Cope with Isolation at Home (This post!)
  2. Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability)
  3. 33 Things That Stop People with Chronic Illness From Leaving the House (Sans COVID-19)

What’s Your One Best Tip for Dealing with Isolation at Home?

“For those who don’t live with your partner, invest in some trusty sex toys!”
– Anonymous 😉 –

“Pick up on your long shelved hobbies, take courses and time to wind down. Spend time with family. Time to re-think and re-align purpose of life (but don’t go into depression).”
– Khai Hoon –

“Get off social media. Everyone is living their best life on there its not reality and it will make you feel bad like you’re missing out. Most people are sat on their bums watching netflix in sweat pants too, so don’t worry.”
– Ash –

“Plan something to look forward to each day, like a phone call with a friend – personal contact either by phone or online is so important for your mental health.”
– Jo Moss –

“Being organised and remembering self-care, especially if you’re supposed to be working and have kids at home! Give yourself grace. Anxiety is a pervasive fellow and will sneak on up so try to keep it balanced.”
– Melissa Reynolds –

“Don’t put pressure on yourself to be ‘productive’ and go with what your mind and body need each day in terms of activities.”
– Claire G. –

“Maintain a routine where possible but allow yourself time out if needed. Everyone has days where they are unable to cope. I get up at a similar time every day, do my stretches, food prep for the day, have a walk, do some jobs then allow myself some chill out time. If you can give purpose to each day, you will have something to get up for and feel that you’ve achieved something, even if it’s out of the norm.”
– Jo Jackson –

“Accepting that this situation is beyond my control, and it is much better for myself, my loved ones and the health system if I stay home. It’s simple, not easy, but true.”
– Karen Taylor –

“Having realistic expectations for each day. For example, rather than cleaning your entire home top to bottom in one day, agree with yourself on cleaning 1-2 drawers in the bedroom.”
– Susan C Smith –

“its Important to keep your mind busy, so arts and crafts are great for keeping you sane.”
– Stacey Kovaciny –

“If you’re still able to function well mentally, keep busy. Find something that is mentally stimulating like learning a new skill, writing, reading etc. There’s no use in worrying about the situation at hand.”
– Nick Winder –

“Think out if the box to find meaningful things to do. When I became homebound and then retired, I had to really adjust my perception of self and what my life was. I finally realized that I could do/be anything, so I began to find new things that have given me purpose.”
– Katie Clark –

“Make goals for each day and week, but write them in pencil rather than pen and have grace for yourself. Know that there will be days that you get a lot done, and there also may be days that there you’re especially fatigued, sad to the point of tears, and anxious to the point of brain fog that you can’t work through. Know that whatever you do – and don’t do – is good enough. We’re going through a pandemic. This is not a vacation. This is not normal. We don’t have to pretend it is. May you take good care of yourself, be in contact with people you love, and feel joy in unexpected places amidst the global and personal heartbreaks.”
– Emmie Arnold –

“Choose your 3 core values and purpose to do ONE thing in each of those buckets each day. I choose to do one thing in my Family, Faith and Health bucket each day – even if they’re small things.”
– Jennifer Brightbill, FNTP, CEOC –

“Making your home nice and comfy is my number one home bound survival tip. I’ve created a room that is super conducive to a mentally healthy environment with many accessories that create a relaxing mindfulness atmosphere. I have a HUGE Himalayan salt lamp, an electric fireplace, & a diffuser with several essential oil relaxing sense to calm the mind body and soul in my bedroom. Empowering music is also essential in creating an environment that is conducive to a mind being able to thrive in a home bound Quarantine situation.”
– Nina T Torres –

“Practise self care. Actively plan self care into your day to meet whatever your needs are. For example on a day I’m struggling with loneliness my self care may be a video call to my best friend. On days where I’m mentally struggling because of my physical limitations I make a point of being kind to my body rather than mad at it. This could be doing a face mask, giving myself permission to rest or saying positive affirmations such as ‘My body is not useless; I can still do *insert something I CAN do*’.”
– Rachel Tait (What a Pain) –

“Take one day at a time. Don’t borrow trouble from yesterday or tomorrow. Today has enough of its own.”
– Jen Johansson –

“Take care of yourself and give structure to your day. Have a routine of tea, yoga, art, work, relaxation and family/fur/plant baby time. Try to stay out of bed during the day and get outside when you can.”
– Emilee Kendell, A Mercurial Consciousness –

“Netflix and TV are great, but I have a hard rule. No TV until after dinner. During the day, this gives me plenty of time to work, write, create art, work on my garden and read, which are all activities that make me feel good.”
– Carrie Kellenberger –

“Finding lots of distractions whether it be television, books, social media or a hobby.”
– Liz, Despite Pain –

“Focus on what you can do rather than being sucked down by what you can’t do. Look at the big and tiny things you can actually do, even if you have to think outside of the box a little. We may not be able to change the situation itself, but we can change our perspective, and perspective is a hugely powerful thing when you come to realise the potential. Give yourself permission to rest as you readjust.”
– Caz / InvisiblyMe –

“The best tip for surviving home life is to focus on accomplishing one goal per day–even if it is something small like walking to the mailbox and back, knitting, or finishing a book.”
– Cheyanne Perry –

“Acceptance. We cannot change what is out of our control. We can only change how we choose to cope.”
– Terry Mayfield –

“Stay as productive and busy as you can so your your thoughts don’t go crazy.”
– Alice –

“Social media friends are always there when I need.”
– Kevin B –

“Reaching out to others through other means so I don’t feel alone. Email, text, phone, social media. Also finding things I can do within my means so I don’t feel worthless. Can I run a mile or hike the parkway no I can’t but I can help tutor kids in English & edit short stories.”
– Ernestine Coleman-Dupree (Virgina Nymph) –

“Enjoy the little things.”
– Gemma –

“Look for interesting and new ways to engage with the space around you and use the tools you have at home to feel fulfilled. We rearranged some furniture and are using rooms in different ways and it has made us feel better just being here and also more productive.”
– Sarah Poitras –

“Change your scenery, both physically and mentally. I used to enjoy working at cafés a few times a week to help with productivity and mental wellbeing. Now that I can’t do that I go for short nature walks instead (probably healthier, ironically!). Also, don’t work on the same tasks or projects every day. When you feel like your brain is maxed out on it, switch things up. This will keep you mentally stimulated, gives you momentum and have something to look forward to.”
– Sheryl Chan –

Check Out the Latest Contributions Below:

“Before chronic illness, I quit working full-time to become a stay-at-home mom. Learning how to relax and not feel like every moment has to be filled with productivity was not an easy lesson to learn. It did however, prepare me for the downtime later caused by chronic illness.”
– Cynthia Covert –

“Take time to breathe, if I feel it’s all getting too much I turn everything off and just sit and close my eyes and breathe slowly, it’s like hitting the reset button for me.”
– Rachael Tomlinson –

“Be aware of the damage that constantly comparing yourself to others can have. Remember, people tend to share the best parts of their life on social media. Be kind to yourself, you’re doing just fine.”
– Samantha DeCosmo –

“Well on a personal level depending on your faith, it is that God is in control. No one on this Earth is in control of what takes place. So trusting The Lord more for bringing me closer to him, becoming more faithful lot him allowing him to take the lead of my life. Oh and watching church online is nice! I never go to church due to my fatigue from Lyme Disease, so church in tv is wonderful!”
– Jaime Smith –

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this roundup! Submissions are still open; click here to fill in the form and I’ll add your opinion to this list if it’s suitable 🙂

Note: The article is based on each individual’s own experiences, and nothing should be taken as medical advice. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.

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Pin & Help to Share These Tips!

#NotAlone at Home - What Those Who are Homebound Can Teach Us

How to Survive Isolation - 20 Top Tips From Those with Chronic Illness

29 Best Tips on How to Cope with Isolation at Home (from People Who Have Done and Will Do This All Their Lives) | A Chronic Voice

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May 30, 2020 21:13

Must have been hard living alone during this pandemic. I hope everyone is safe!

Cynthia Covert
May 28, 2020 08:42

Such a wonderful variety of tips! If anyone can help people get through these times, it is the chronically ill! Thanks for sharing my tip.

May 28, 2020 05:58

I’ve done yoga and worked out everyday and had to start homeschooling my son. But I’m still on social too much1

May 27, 2020 23:20

This is an amazing and inspiring post! We all have our ups and downs but staying positive and focusing on self-love and self-care will help us all! Thank you for sharing these wonderful quotes and advice from some amazing people!

Shruti Chopra
May 27, 2020 23:07

I love this one “Take care of yourself and give structure to your day….” – structure creates normalcy and I’m all for discipline to help myself through the days (lockdown or no lockdown). Thank you for putting all of these together 🙂

May 27, 2020 21:21

So many helpful suggestions here! I particularly like feeling as though I have accomplished something in the day – no matter how small.

Rachael Emma Tomlinson
May 23, 2020 21:57

Thank you, Sheryl, I missed it the first time but I have submitted mine too, you really do have some amazing ideas and are so supportive of us all x

Caz / InvisiblyMe
May 21, 2020 03:59

This is such a fantastic idea, Sheryl! I love being able to see such a mix and match of ideas and suggestions from other people, it really does make for a colourful patch-work quilt of inspiration and support. Thank you too for using my words of not-so-great wisdom! ? You’ve done brilliantly putting this together, I think it could be a wonderful resource for a lot of people! xx

May 17, 2020 22:45

There are some really good ideas here. I hope everyone is coping ok. Thanks for including my tip.