Quarantine and Your Mental Health: What You Can Do to Feel Better
“Day 20 of quarantine: I’m feeling restless and quite honestly fed up with the world. I’m also just a little sad. I miss being around people in a normal way.”
This was an actual entry written in my journal today. I’m sure most of you can relate to a lot of the feelings listed above. Quarantine sucks, but it is extremely necessary in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, having our routines upheaved like this isn’t easy on our psyche. Human beings as a species are extremely sociable. We like our friends and family and we like being around people. Social isolation however, essentially cuts us off from the rest of the world, and according to the American Psychological Association, isolating carries with it a number of health risks including raised levels of stress, loss of sleep and severe depression.
There have been past quarantines where experts have seen similar symptoms pop up in multiple people, but the one difference is there hasn’t been a quarantine that has lasted this long, so experts don’t have exact research to go off of for how the totality of this quarantine will affect people.
The good news is that there are ways to cope. However, everyone copes differently, and there are factors that influence how well someone will cope such as their current mental health state, their personality and the duration they are in quarantine. Of course, for most of us, our duration is looking undecided at the moment. However long we are in quarantine though, there are things we can do to maintain some semblance of order. Check out the list below:
Establish a routine
Just because you may not be going into your 9-5 job every day doesn’t mean you can’t have your regular routine with some quarantine modifications. Get up at a normal time, shower, get dressed in real clothes and find something to work on. It could be your actual work, a hobby you picked up or just chatting with whoever you are isolating with. Do you have to do to make sure your mind and body are preoccupied.
Working out is a great quarantine activity. Not only will it keep you from gaining the “quarantine-15”, but you’ll have something to occupy your time and a way to get rid of that restless feeling you have. Running out all that energy in your neighborhood or working on the 6-pack you’ve always wanted will give you an outlet for any pent-up energy and aid in better sleep
Communicate with others
Just because you’re self-isolating physically, doesn’t mean you have to emotionally. Phones are a wonderful technology to have during this time. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while and chat for a bit, or FaceTime your family members that you weren’t able to see before the lockdown. If you are quarantining with others, reach out to them. Let them know how you’ve been feeling and see if there’s an activity you all can do together. Whatever you do, just don’t stop talking to people.
These tips and more can be found at Very Well Mind’s website if you feel like you need some help getting out of the dumps. Just remember, at the end of the day we are all in this together and never stop reaching out if you need help.
Let us know some ways that you’ve been beating the quarantine blues!