AN Oxford author, drawing inspiration from her own experience of isolation as a writer, has shared her tips for those now having to cope with the challenges of self-isolation.

The country is currently in a state of lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with many being asked to stay indoors.

Even before the extraordinary measures were implemented anybody showing symptoms of Covid-19 was being asked to self-isolate and to not leave the house.

Oxford based author of romantic fiction novels Zoe May has penned her advice to those who are now having to shun the outside world.

READ ALSO: Live updates from across the county on coronavirus.

In a blog post titled 'five ways to cope with self-isolation' she talks about practical steps people can take to help get through it.

Explaining her motivation behind sharing the advice she said: "I decided to post it because it occurred to me that I've done this whole self-isolating thing before.

"I was really isolated at one point, living in the middle of nowhere and having to stay at home to finish a book.

"My life became pretty virtual and even though I didn't enjoy it, I managed to cope.

"I've seen other people panicking about self-isolating and I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips.

"Many of which are the result of trial and error."

READ ALSO: Oxford Health recruiting to support NHS staff during coronavirus.

In her post, which has been shared on the author's website, Zoe sets out five steps that can help anybody having to cope with self-isolation.

She says that setting goals, embracing virtual communities and listening to empowering music can all help with the isolation.

Escaping, whether into a new book or a TV series, is another piece of advice.

Lastly, she writes, anybody who is particularly struggling should seek help.

She said: "Isolation can be really awful.

"Humans are social creatures and it's not easy having to be alone. Sometimes you need a helping hand to get through hard times.

READ ALSO: These are the places you can order takeaway food and drink in Oxfordshire.

"I take Propanolol for anxiety. It's a beta blocker that calms your heart rate.

"I try not to take it too often, but if I feel panicky, it helps. I also find herbal supplement, Kalms, helpful.

"Admitting that I take something for anxiety makes me a little uncomfortable, but it shouldn't.

"It helps and it's not a sign of weakness, it's a practical measure.

"If you're struggling, there's no shame in getting some medical help.

"And if you're really struggling and need someone to talk to, the Samaritans are there too."

Official government guidelines on how to cope with isolation in the wake of the pandemic say that mental health should be cared for as well a physical health.

The guidance states: "Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. There are also sources of support and information that can help, such as the Every Mind Matters website."

Zoe is an author of a number of romantic fiction books.

To read the full blog post visit her website at