Quarantining yourself at home can play a significant role in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus. But this doesn’t mean that coping with the disruption in your normal routine is easy. Taking care of your mental wellbeing is important, even if your time in quarantine is relatively brief in the grand scheme of things.
Spending time in quarantine can have a significantly serious impact upon a person’s mental state due to the impact that quarantine has on three key elements of mental health which are autonomy, competency, and connectedness. The isolation enacted by quarantine often leaves a person or people emerging with the perception that they have no control over the situation as it develops. This becomes further worsened as they begin to feel cut off from the rest of the world and eventually unable to perform their usual duties.
Mental distress is common during as well as after periods of quarantine whereby people typically experience:
- Post-traumatic stress symptoms
- Depressive symptoms
- Low mood
- Emotional disturbance
- Emotional exhaustion
While people's reactions to self-imposed will differ, they may be likely to have feelings of loneliness, sadness, fear, anxiety, and stress. Such feelings are normal given the circumstances. However, there are steps you can take to protect your mental health and well-being while coping with a quarantine.
Things You Can Do to Cope
The disturbance in your daily routines can be one of the most difficult parts of quarantine. This can leave you feeling aimless as you try to figure out how to fill all the hours of the day.
Be as Active as Possible
Even moderately small times of physical inactivity can have an impact on your health, both mentally and physically. The research shows that just two weeks of inactivity could lead to decreases in muscle mass and metabolic effects.
Combat Frustration and Boredom
Some of the distress of being quarantined stems from boredom and frustration. Finding ways to stay occupied is vital, so try to maintain as many of your routines as you can. Keep working on projects or find new activities to fill your time, whether it’s organizing your closet or trying out a new creative thing.
Staying in connection with other people not only removes boredom, but it is also critical for diminishing the sense of isolation. Stay in touch with friends and family by phone and text. Reach out to others on social media.