How to Cope With Self Quarantine
Coronavirus has us all feeling stressed, and it doesn’t help when we’re confined to our apartments. Here’s how Olivia’s been coping
The other day, my partner woke up with coronavirus symptoms, the next day, I had them too. We alerted the NHS and were informed that because our age made us low risk patients, they would not be coming to test us and instructed us to self quarantine for at least seven days. Despite often working from home, I started to get a little panicky. Luckily, the three days I’ve now spent staring at the wall/my partner’s face has helped me come up with some coping mechanisms I’ve found useful, and that I think you might find helpful too.
Which hobbies has the constant hustle caused you to stop investing time in? Now is the time to get back to it, or to try something new. Pick out a part of your home that feels calming and set aside some time each day for developing your creative passions. This is a great time to write that book you’ve always wanted to write, practice your illustration skills, or learn graphic design. Personally, I’ve taken up painting again. I don’t think I’ll ever be particularly talented at it, but there’s joy in doing something just for fun.
Sometimes you just need a distraction. There’s nothing wrong with needing to tune out the world for a little while, especially if you’re struggling with anxiety. Now is the time to pick up the book that’s been waiting on your night stand. If you don’t have anything in mind, that’s ok too. You can order some goodies online or use the app on whatever Apple product you’re reading this on. Personally, I love a fantasy when I feel overwhelmed by the world – tuning out to just get more depressed by whatever I’m reading doesn’t have the desired effect. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is definitely one of my all time favorites. It’s feminist AF, surprising, and totally imaginative! If you’re not into fiction, I’ve also been really enjoying Here for It: or How to Save Your Soul in America by R. Eric Thomas. A smart read by an incredibly insightful and comedic voice. Let me know your favorites in the comments below though, as I’m going to be needing more books in the days to come!
Yes, you can be kind without spreading germs. If you don’t have any symptoms and can go about business as normal(ish), smiling at strangers on the street, making eye contact with others, helping a neighbor with their grocery shopping, and donating to food banks are all positive ways to feel connected with others. Donating to food banks or organizations that serve the homeless is particularly important given that those living on the street are particularly vulnerable right now. If you’re sick like me, and can afford it, donating money is always helpful too. Plus, kindness online is really needed right now. Send encouraging messages to your friends, share uplifting stories, leave nice comments on the posts you usually scroll past. Small actions can really be the difference between someone having a bad or a good day.
Who are the people you’re in isolation with? Use this time to improve your relationship with them. Even if you’re generally happy with the state of your relationships, the fast pace of every day life can often prevent us from really checking in. Try to see this as an opportunity to connect more than you have been. If you live alone, utilize FaceTime to stay connected – even if you’re both just typing away while on the line with each other, knowing that someone else is there can be comforting. This is a great thing to do if you’re not used to working from home, we love an accountability partner after all!
This goes back to the idea of using this time to foster creativity. How can you use this time to improve your life or simply take care of yourself? Whatever it may be, it’s helpful to have a goal during uncertain times. Make a promise to yourself and think of concrete steps you can take to make it happen. It could be as simple as making sure you keep up your self care routine. Again, small steps can really make a difference in how you experience the next few weeks.
It’s important that we all stay informed right now, but watching the news 24/7 isn’t great for your nerves. How much news coverage is really necessary for you to know what’s going on? And when does it devolve into a negative cycle? Only you can answer that. Keep a close eye on how what you’re watching makes you feel. There’s also nothing wrong with balancing your news intake with content that’s a fun distraction. At the end of the day, you need to do what it takes to stay healthy and (as much as you can during these times) happy. That means you need more than scary news reports in your life.
What do you usually look forward to at the end of a work day? use this time to indulge in whatever that is. Think about what little things you can do to make your alone time more pleasurable. Light the fancy candle you’ve been saving for a special occasion, use all the bath oils, triple mask! You can also still get your endorphins going by doing an at home work out (there’s a lot of high quality and free YouTube tutorials) or *ahem* have some one on one time with your favorite vibrator.
There’s not a lot that we’re in control of right now. What we do have control of, however, is how we take care of our mental health. Start every day by writing down three things you’re thankful for, whether it’s something small like the lux breakfast you had the time to make for yourself or the fact that your family is still healthy. You can keep this up throughout the day whenever you feel like you’re on the verge of panic. Journaling in general is a great way to stay centered when you feel like your life is getting out of control. Stress is bad on the immune system, so prioritize what you need to do to stay mentally fit.
So there you have it readers! Hope it helps. Stay safe, wash your hands, and let us know in the comments below what coping mechanisms you’ve been using during your various social distancing or quarantines.