There is no denying the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has been affecting everyone in the world - including those not physically affected by the virus. By doing the responsible thing and isolating at home for weeks, each of us are coping with this pandemic, and it’s an understatement to say that it has effects on our mental health.
Our travel plans are cancelled. We cannot meet up with friends and family. We cannot listen to live music. We cannot eat out. With the indefinite length of time that we’re required to isolate, there is a brooding feeling of panic all over, whether it’s about the possibility of running out of access to resources, or about the overwhelming feeling that comes with information overload, this pandemic is bringing about tons of mental health problems.
Simple Ways to Cope with Quarantine Jitters
By approaching this novel situation with the right attitude and guidance, we can all cope with the stresses and anxieties that occur during quarantine in a healthy fashion. Here are some tips and pointers:
Shift to a Positive Perspective
We know - this sounds harder to do than to say. You can start with small things. For instance - instead of thinking about being “stuck at home”, you can think of this as an opportunity to “focus on yourself”. A lot of people are taking this time to do chores that they’ve been putting off for a while.
Instead of looking at it as a mandated policy from the government, refocus from the outside to the inside: doing one simple positive, productive thing can create a positive attitude, which can carry on to the next day. After a while, you can create a positive habit without even realizing it. Start seeing the gift of time as a way to slow down and focus on yourself.
Keep Your Usual Routine
As much as you can, maintain some semblance of your usual routine before quarantine. If you have kids, doing this can be easier. For those who now have to work from home, it can be tempting to succumb to a lazy, nonproductive lifestyle. Doing so will only lead to a negative attitude and mindset.
To stick to your routine, go to bed at the same time you usually do. Have your meals at the same time. Take a shower, work out, and sleep like you normally would. Perform weekend chores during the weekend. This will not only keep you occupied and physically moving, it’ll also reduce the chances of spiralling down. Plus, when the quarantine is over, it’ll be easier to go back to life in the outside world.
Do Not Obsess Over the News
It can be difficult to not obsess about the news, especially given the status of the world today. We’ve all been guilty of doing this, and only because it’s easy to fall down the rabbithole. You open your TV, check your phone, surf the internet, listen to the radio - it’s all there. And staying at home gives us even more time and opportunity to obsess over the crisis. Many of us tend to Google everything, even mundane things, so over-researching about Covid-19 is definitely on the table.
We get it, it’s best to be informed during these times. You’ll want to know what the disease does, how it spreads, how to [possibly] prevent getting it, and so on. But there’s a healthy amount of information, and there’s an unhealthy amount of obsessing over the news.
Our recommendation: Only read or listen to the most credible sources. The top ones include the World Health Organization and the Centers for Dissease Control. It’ll also help to limit the amount of news coverage you expose yourself to per day. This is up to you, but maybe check the news only one to two times a day, for about 30 minutes at a time.
Physically Declutter Your Environment
There is a lot of truth to the adage that a chaotic home leads to a chaotic mind. There is a LOT of uncertainty happening outside our homes, in our communities, in our country, and in the whole world. It can be scary and daunting to lose this much control. By regaining control, through small and simple steps, you can help reduce the chaos in the mind.
Keep your home organized, clean, and predictable. By setting up a time slot for daily activities, such as chores and cleaning or decluttering at home, you can organize your day effectively. Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean you can eat in bed. Don’t work slouched down on your couch. Maintain the order of your daily life. Work in your office, on a desk. Eat at the dinner or kitchen table. By disregarding these basic home rules, you can find yourself distracting your routine and productivity. The day can feel longer. A messy home can also make you feel more uneasy and uncomfortable. Keep it clean and organized.
So you’ve done your daily chores. You’ve done work. You’ve fed the kids, put them to bed, and organized the house. There’s still a lot of time left. What should you do with this newfound gift? A good way would be to embody new “quarantine rituals”.
These can be anything you prefer - and enjoy - such as journaling or doing yoga and meditation. Jot down your anxieties and feelings, which can give you a chance to reflect on them later. Have you checked in on your family? Call your mom, see if she’s doing okay. Have online parties with your buddies. Learn new recipes online. Try new home workout routines. Spend some time drawing, painting, playing an instrument - anything that provides you comfort and ease.
Think of this as “special time” that’s only yours for each day. It’ll keep you grounded while also calming you and possibly entertain you as well.
Keep Your Mind & Body in Shape
Having a healthy diet is something to we should consciously aim for, pandemic or not. By having a healthy body and mind, we are fueling ourselves to better deal with crises like this one. Remember to include fruits and vegetables to your diet to get your daily Vitamin C needs. Antioxidant-rich food and beverages are also ideal at this time, to detoxify the body of free radicals and amp up the immune system.
In addition to healthy eating and regular physical activity, you can do well with nootropics. These supplements help keep the mind and body in sync, and are great for reducing stress levels and anxieties, promote better sleep, give you more energy (minus the jitters), and help you maintain mental clarity and focus.
We recommend taking OPTML NootropX if you want to maximize your mental potential and productivity during this time. If you’re having some trouble toning down your anxieties, or if you’re unable to sleep soundly, the powerful formula of OPTML Sleep can give you the rest that you deserve.
These measures are not just to physically protect our bodies, but to also empower our minds during these trying times. During world crises, mental health is as important as physical well-being.
Talk to Someone
Last, but definitely not least, is to take the option to reach out to a professional. Despite the tips that we’ve given above, it does get too much at some point. This is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being human. There are plenty of telehealth options that you can take advantage of, especially if things become unmanageable.
A lot of licensed mental health professionals and psychologists are offering telehealth options today. There are a bunch of HIPAA-approved video or audio call platforms available. If your stress or anxiety is reaching heights that are unmanageable, professional help is available. Please opt in.
A Final Word
This is a great time to be realistic and learn the facts of the pandemic. It is also an opportunity to find peace at home, without the distractions of the outside world. By keeping a balance of control and letting go, you can not only do your part in flattening the curve, but also strengthen your health holistically: physically and mentally, to help you fight this stressful situation and come out of the pandemic safe and happy.