Surviving Quarantine

Social distancing plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This doesn’t mean that coping with the disruption in your normal routine will be easy. Previously existing mental health conditions, including depressive and anxiety disorders, can also impact an individual’s ability to cope with isolation. Here are five ways to cope with being quarantined.

  1. Continue with previous routines

The disruption in your normal daily routines can be one of the most difficult aspects of being quarantined. Don’t give in to the immediate urge to sleep in and stay up late. Change out of your pajamas, shower and make a to-do of all the things you want to achieve each day to create a sense of normalcy and productivity. Also, create clear distinctions between work and non-work time, ideally in both your physical workspace and your headspace. 

2. Remain active

Exercise is one of the best mental health boosters, minimizing stress and relieving symptoms of depression. Staying in shape can also keep our bodies primed to fight illness. Fortunately, Youtube has many free at-home workout videos from yoga to dance to martial arts for all levels of fitness. 

3. Remain connected

Stay in touch with loved ones. Remaining connected is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and feelings of isolation. Reach out to others on social media. Facebook has groups for all interests and backgrounds. Talking to others who are going through the same thing can provide a sense of community and empowerment. Many groups have created virtual forums where you can contribute or just sit back and enjoy the chatter.

4. Limit your media intake

People tend to experience greater anxiety when they feel like they don’t have access to the information that they need. On the other hand, however, there is a sense of panic that can stem from being immersed 24/7 in reports that focus on inaccurate or overly negative information. It’s important to stay informed, but it’s equally important to set limits. If you need help curbing your screen addiction, try installing a time management app

5. Be intentional

Use any extra time very intentionally; don’t drift through the weeks. Pick one or two things you’ve wanted to learn about or how to do and teach yourself. Plan to come out of this quarantine with a new skill or hobby.