Self-care in Quarantine: Maintaining Your Mental Health
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, more and more communities are going into self-quarantine in order to help reduce further transmission. However, the stress of locking ourselves in our homes for an extended period of time may negatively impact our collective mental and emotional health. Isolation and the lack of things to do typically result in a mood dip; to combat this, it’s important to proactively fill up your day with both focus and breathing room in mind!
Below are some tips to help preserve your mental wellbeing while in self-quarantine mode:
Getting out of bed and swapping the PJs for something more appropriate for work helps your mind transition out of its resting phase and helps you get into the productivity mindset. It’s important to create a divide between your bed and your desk — taking your sleepwear to the desk defeats the purpose! If you want to remain comfortable, you can wear a top you’d usually use at work, then pair it with a looser pair of bottoms that feel a little like sleepwear but aren’t exactly your naptime pair.
CREATE A MEANINGFUL ROUTINE
It can be tempting to hole up in bed all day with your devices, but don’t give in! Get up, do your skincare, put on your makeup, and plot your to-dos, mealtimes, phone breaks, etc. from anywhere else you can sit up, except your bed. Having a designated workspace, and actually following through with listed tasks can help you retain a sense of normalcy and prevent you from losing track of time (which can happen when you’re in the same place all the time). Make sure to mix things up on your agenda — list down the things you need to do, as well as things you simply enjoy doing, and make space for both.
BOOST YOUR MOOD
A brisk walk to catch some sunlight and nature can help activate the part of your brain that responds to stimuli, resulting in a more elevated mood. However, if you can’t step out due to quarantine restrictions, you can also opt for some indoor exercise or a dance break - get up, put on your favorite jams, and dance to those quaran-tunes!
It’s important to connect with friends and stay on top of the news, especially when you’re holed up at home, but don’t overdo it. Know when to switch off the social media noise! You can do this by scheduling your phone time and dividing it between social engagement and news review. You can tune back in at the end of your workday, but don’t spend the evening simply scrolling away —make sure you have something else slated for evening education or entertainment.
While limiting your screen time is sensible and helps prevent you from endlessly scrolling through social media, it’s also crucial to remain in touch with those you care about. Communicating like you normally would (i.e. sharing tidbits of your day or photos of your cat) may help you stay mentally refreshed and provide a sense of emotional stability during stressful periods.
· Create a chat group outside of the more common social media platforms with others in your community who are practicing self-quarantine. Checking in on one another and participating in collaborative activities is a great way to build camaraderie while helping others thrive. We’re alone, but TOGETHER! · Schedule regular calls with your loved ones, whether one-on-one or as a group. It’s important to let them know that you support them and are looking out for their wellbeing, especially in these trying times.
This might seem like a tall order for somebody who’s stuck in the house, but there are several ways you can help others who may be having a tough time without breaking the social distancing rules.
· Find legitimate groups organizing supply drives for hospitals and other COVID-19 frontliners online. If you can’t contribute supplies to these drives directly, you can at least signal-boost so their calls for action reach more people. · If you’re financially capable of aiding those who may be less fortunate but cannot step out due to quarantine and/or travel restrictions, you can opt to order supplies online for those who may be in need and coordinate with a trusted individual who may be able to receive and distribute in the areas you want to send aid to.
If you already practice all of the above, what else are you doing to stay safe and sane while on lockdown? Talk to us - we'd love to hear how you're getting through each day!