As the Covid-19 coronavirus spreads across the globe, more and more countries continue to implement measure to try and slow the spread of the disease. Many have enforced lockdowns whilst others have encouraged self-isolation especially for those who are in contact with those who are elderly and/or vulnerable.
According to Public Health England, self-isolation means you must:
- Stay at home
- Not go to work, school or public areas
- Not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis unless you have been told it is safe to do so by a member of the port or public health team
- Avoid visitors to your home
- Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you – such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping
Self-isolation could be a lonely and worrying experience for many people, so here are some tips to help you get through this difficult time if you are under quarantine or self-isolating:
1. Mentally Prepare Yourself
Isolating for a long time can be difficult as we’re not used to it. Begin to prepare yourself mentally for what it will be like to stay in your home for extended periods of time.
2. Tidy your home
Staying at home for extended periods of time could be more stressful for you if your home is messy. Not only will tidying your home give you something to do, but being in a clean and tidy home will hopefully give you more peace of mind too insha’Allah. Do what you like to do (and what you are able) to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere at home.
3. Create a timetable
If you are unable to leave the house, you might find that you have many hours of the day to fill and not a lot to do. Be proactive and make a plan – especially if you have kids and schools are closed. Allocate time for worshipping, tidying, cooking, learning and fun activities. You could base your timetable around your five daily prayers.
4. Explain to the children what’s happening
If you have kids, this may be a really confusing time for them. The general advice on talking to children about such difficult issues is to start with an open question: “How much do you know? How do you feel about it?”
Explain to them what is happening simply but don’t overwhelm them with scary information. Fortunately, you can reassure them that the disease does not tend to cause serious symptoms in children.
5. Combat Loneliness
When possible keep in contact with family members and/ or friends. Self-isolation can cause loneliness especially if you are used to seeing colleagues, friends and family regularly. Schedule time in to talk to people on the phone, or perhaps better yet on video chat. Even if you are not feeling lonely there may be people you know who are waiting for someone to reach out and talk to them.
6. Read a portion of the Qur’an daily
We should usually do this anyway, but especially in times like these, we should be reading Qur’an every day, even if it’s half a page or one page a day. Not only will we be fulfilling a religious duty and gaining reward but insha’Allah it will help us reflect, cleanse our hearts and reflect on life.
7. Read Adhkar and Salawat daily
Reciting adhkar was recommended by the Prophet (ﷺ) and reading Salawaat brings many blessings.
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (13:28)
8. Listen to Islamic talks and podcasts online
Don’t waste too much time in mindless entertainment and movies. Use this time to learn and improve yourself. There are many podcasts for Muslims out there too such as the IlmFeed Podcast which is available on most major podcast services.
9. Continue making du’a
Turn to Allah and make du’a for the protection of your family and the Ummah. Also, make du’a that those who are helping and supporting people during this pandemic remain healthy and patient. Make du’a for Allah to bring you and other people closer to Him during this time.
You can make du’a at any time, but here are some of the best times recommended by the Prophet (ﷺ):
“O Messenger of Allah, which du’aa’ is heard?” He said: “In the last third of the night, and following the prescribed prayers.”
“The closest that a person is to his Lord is when he is prostrating, so say a great deal of du’aa’ then.”
10. Have internet-free time
It can be easy to be caught up on social media catching up with the latest news, but studies have shown that too much social media exposure can have a negative impact on your mental health, especially at a time where people might be reading a lot of negative news.
For a period of time each day disconnect, even if it means physically turning off the internet router.
11. Don’t panic
Take all precautions but don’t panic. Whatever is meant to happen will happen, whatever is not will not. And importantly do not panic buy. The majority of the population is young and healthy and panic buying means that those who are elderly and vulnerable might find it difficult to get necessities. We more likely have more than enough food in our cupboards than we need.
‘Uqbah bin ‘Amir (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), “How can salvation be achieved?” He replied, “Control your tongue, keep to your house, and weep over your sins.”