If you’re amongst the millions of people who are advised to practice self-isolation to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus, know that whatever you’re feeling right now—whether it’s anxiety, despair, or uncertainty—is valid. The real struggle lies in how well you could handle these emotions.
If you’re used to always being out and about, being stuck at home and limiting your movement for an extended period could take a serious toll on your mental health. While you’re practicing self-isolation, here are ways to protect your mental well-being:
- Limit Your Daily News Intake – The death toll, the rising number of positive cases, and other negative news can cause panic and anxiety.
- Amplify the Positive Stories – Focus on stories of recovery and recognize the positive side, like the communities coming together to provide support.
- Honor the Frontliners – Recognise the efforts of the health care workers and the people who risk their lives to save yours.
- Take Care of Your Basic Needs – Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get moving. Exercise, develop healthy eating and sleeping habits, and take care of your mental and spiritual well-being.
- Stay Connected – Use your downtime wisely by reconnecting with your friends and loved ones.
- Get the Support You Need – If your mental health is suffering from the quarantine, don’t brush your emotions off. Instead, seek professional support immediately.
It’s also a good idea to list down the things you’re looking forward to doing the most once the lockdown in your area is lifted. Here are some suggestions:
Pig Out at Your Favourite Restaurant
In many regions across the world, restaurants and establishments are forced to close down to limit the movement of people. As soon as the quarantine is lifted, make sure to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant early on.
Reconnect with Nature
While some areas are laxer at their confinement rules, some countries implemented travel restrictions that make it impossible for others to connect with nature. Once the quarantine is lifted, go for a walk at a nearby park and take your dog with you. Your body (and your dog!) will thank you for giving it fresh air and blessing it with its much-needed sunlight.
Go Into a Mental Retreat
When you’re stuck at home for an indefinite period with the fear of contracting a fatal disease if you go out, you’re vulnerable to feelings of anxiety and could even experience depression. Going to yoga and meditation retreats once the lockdown is over can speed up your recovery from the mental effects of this pandemic.
Alternatively, you can give your mind its much-needed therapy in the form of art or music. Give your favorite museum a visit once it reopens, attend a gig of your favorite band, and do whatever it takes to reclaim your sanity.
Pause and Reflect
The quarantine can be emotionally challenging, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Before you go back to your normal routine once all this is over, take the time to pause and reflect. Think about all the ways this pandemic has changed your life. Moving forward, make a mental note to stay clean, healthy, and connected with the ones you love the most.