Military Life

How The Military Cope With Isolation And The Tips They Are Sharing

Some advice for dealing with isolation from the military community

Armed Forces personnel are used to spending long periods of time on deployment away from family and friends and spending time in close quarters – so many of them have been sharing their advice for people back home who are now coping with isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now that millions have been told to stay indoors to protect public health from the coronavirus pandemic, many are away from loved ones, confined to their homes and unable to visit friends and family.

Members of the Armed Forces have been posting their advice on some strategies to cope with daily life when faced with restrictions of movement and other challenges of living in close quarters.

From across the internet, and services, the military have been pulling together and sharing their tips and here is what they've been saying online.

Routine, keeping in touch with loved ones and friends online and other activities all feature in the posts.

Crew aboard the HMS Prince of Wales, the Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier which can carry up to 1,600 personnel, are among those to post their tips based on their experience of life at sea.

Former Submariner, Jon Bailey, also shared some advice on Twitter, suggesting that staying connected and daily catch-ups are a good way to cope with challenging circumstances.

WO2 (sel WO1) Louise Thornton AGC SPS, the Adjutant General's Corp Staff and Personnel Support Branch Sergeant Major, shared her thoughts on getting through isolation, echoing the need for maintaining a routine and keeping in touch.

Meanwhile on Instagram HMS Oardacious, the team of four Royal Navy Submariners who rowed across the Atlantic in December of last year,  shared a list of advice including exercising, routine and interaction. 

View this post on Instagram

Isolation Tip 1: Interaction On a Submarine we live and work in close proximity with our shipmates, who become our friends family for months on end. We rely on each other to fulfil our social needs, whilst also living in the hierarchical environment necessary to operate a nuclear submarine at sea. As far as contact with the outside world goes, we receive a weekly “Family-gram”; a 120 word message from our loved ones. This is our only connection to our families, to which we’re unable to respond, and it provides a snapshot of a parallel universe where friends and family are getting on with their daily lives. The brevity of the message means it doesn’t contain a lot of detail, but the impact to morale is from the fact that there’s someone out there thinking of us– don’t worry if you don’t feel like you have much of interest to say, just making an effort to connect with someone is an enormous boost for you and your friend. During our Atlantic row we had a satellite phone that allowed each rower to make a short 5-minute phone call home every other day. This was invaluable for two reasons; it became part of our routine, something to look forward to as well as marking the passage of time; and it became our therapy – an outlet for talking through our highs and lows for encouragement and commiserations. TOP TIPS - Take the time to make time for others every day. We are spoilt for choice with modern technology: so no excuses not to maintain contact, and to be creative with it. Consider others, perhaps older relatives or friend who needs that connection now, more than ever, or if you know of a neighbor who could be struggling, consider sharing your phone number with them with a note passed through their letterbox. - Compassion, Empathy; many will be affected differently by some of the implications caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, from job security, childcare, homeschooling, anxiety, health concerns, loneliness to name but a few – a problem shared is a problem halved, share the load where you can by talking. **For the full post see our blog https://www.hmsoardacious.com/blog/isolation%20experts** 📷 ministry of Defence

A post shared by HMS Oardacious (@hmsoardacious) on

These are just a selection of the posts across social media sharing advice on coping with the challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic grips the UK - why not share your military tips for others back home?

 

* Cover image credit: Royal Navy. MoD/Crown copyright 2018