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How to Take Care of Yourself While Quarantined

We have been in quarantine for a bit longer than a month now. Though we’re healthy and protected from being affected by the virus, not having social interactions can hurt both your physical and mental wellbeing. Being isolated from the world and from the people you love can make us fall into a state of depression and constant stress, during a scary period that adds up more stress. Fear of the unknown, uncertainty over how long we’ll have to resort to limiting our daily lives, and fear of contracting the coronavirus are legitimate concerns. Our normal daily routines are completely out of control right now. We don’t have any sense of a routine anymore. It’s nearly impossible to get into a rhythm with so much uncertainty. The loss of agency and personal freedom associated with isolation and quarantine can often feel frustrating. You may also experience anger toward the whole situation that is occurring around the world and possible frustration to the idea of being back to your parents' house after having so much freedom when you were on your college campus. Another frustrating thing that this situation has brought is you cancel all of the plans, like concerts, trips, birthday parties, that you had planned for the year. This can be very infuriating because the things you were looking forward to are now being taken away from you. However, you must know that we’re all in this together. We’re all affected by these quarantine orders and we’re all scared of this uncertain future we might have ahead of us, but we can also help each other coping with this struggle. 

Staying at home can feel restrictive, and make you experience boredom and sadness because you have not many options to do during the day and not many things to look forward to. To help minimize these feelings, consider shifting the textures of your environment every few days. By having a variety during the day will ease the restlessness that comes with quarantine. Try to do different easy activities at home that can lift your mood. Listen to music for a few days. Light a scented candle for a few days thereafter. Read books. the one good thing about quarantine is that it gives you time to do things that you didn’t have time to do before, so get started on that reading list of yours. Sit or take a walk outside if the weather permits for a few days, it’s really important that, even if we can’t be outside too much, we must receive some fresh air after all the hours of staying inside our house. Move from there and do some cleaning and reorganizing. Indulge in self-care treatments, like a long bath or a hot shower, meditate, or try some yoga. Changing the focus of your days will stimulate your mind, body, and soul and help ease depressive mood swings.

Though your face-to-face interactions may be limited, it’s important to take advantage of phone calls, text messages, video chat, and social media to access social support networks. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, use these conversations as an opportunity to discuss your experience and associated emotions with your friends. Reach out to those you know who are in a similar situation. Being connected to people that are going through the same experience as you can be beneficial and give you a sense of unity.

Create a new routine for yourself. Even though our normal routines, pre-quarantine, might be put on pause for a while, it’s crucial on keeping the habitat to have a daily routine. Set yourself a time of when to wake up in the morning, even if we now have plenty of time to sleep it is also important to not oversleep, that will build up laziness in your body and not give you the will to get up and be productive during the day. Make sure to have an appropriate meal plan, being depressed during quarantine can bring you to mess up your normal eating habits. It’s important to keep normal and healthy eating habits for your body, because if your body is in a good state then your mental state will be too. And finally, set up times to be productive, like doing your schoolwork, your chores, work out, etc… Setting specific times for different activities to do during the day will set your mind to look forward to something and will keep you dynamic. 

It's easy to fall into pessimistic thinking during the quarantine. The way you see the world and the future can become an all-or-nothing experience. However, being resilient during trauma requires a cognitive shift, and choosing positive words can redirect your perspective from hopeless to hopeful. Instead of constantly talking about how bad the situation is and how we still don’t see a normal future when we will be out of quarantine, try to stay positive. Though the idea of staying positive seems impossible right now, especially in a time where thousands and thousands of people are being brutally affected, we still need to try to keep our mind in a constructive state of mind. If we learn how to do this, we’ll be able to get through this quarantine easily.