Social Distancing and Quarantine: Keep Your Spirits Up
As the coronavirus continues to spread, many of us are finding our daily routines drastically changed. Government and health officials recommend social distancing, meaning that schools are closed, many companies are adopting work-from-home policies and social activities we usually enjoy are severely limited. Many individuals will have to undergo more intense 14-day quarantine periods if they have left the country or been exposed to the coronavirus.
Whether you’re undergoing mandatory quarantine or are just following suggested social distancing methods, we’re all about to spend a lot more time in our homes than we are used to. While the first few days may feel like a much-needed long weekend, it might not take long for your mental health to deteriorate.
Humans are inherently social creatures, so to be cut off from our friends and family can be isolating. Here are some suggestions to stave off the isolation blues:
Keep a routine
Try and be consistent with your daily routine. Wake up and go to bed at the same time. Have set mealtimes and establish methods to block off your schedule. This is especially true if you are transitioning to a work-from-home schedule and/or are trying to keep children occupied.
Keep boredom at bay. Use this time to complete spring cleaning or start on a project you keep putting off. Maybe pick up a new hobby or learn to bake or cook that new recipe you’ve been wanting to try. Perhaps start a journal or read a few books. Pick up some workbooks and new books to keep children busy.
If you aren’t strictly confined to your home, take daily walks around the neighborhood. It will get you moving, and the fresh air and sunshine are good for both mental and physical health. There are also plenty of home workouts available online, many free, from yoga to high-intensity cardio.
Make time for fun
Take yourself on a date and watch a movie or TV show you’ve been hearing about, complete with some homemade popcorn. Make a blanket fort. If you are isolated with a roommate or family, play board games or complete a puzzle.
Connect to family and friends
Just because you are physically isolated doesn’t mean that you have to be emotionally cut off. Make plans with your family and friends to talk on the phone or video chat. It’s vital to have human connection during this time.
While social media and cable news can be beneficial ways to pass the time, it’s important to not stare at your phone or watch the news around the clock. Constantly monitoring infection numbers and getting inundated with information about coronavirus can be suffocating and can increase feelings of anxiety and helplessness. If you are feeling lonely and down, go for a walk or call a friend just to chat.
Still need help? Talking to a licensed professional therapist is the best way to get help for any mental health issues related to social isolation. Get help when you need it right from your phone or tablet – visit www.simplerpsych.com for more information. Your care, anywhere.