It’s a stressful time in history. The strain of spending time in quarantine can take a serious mental toll on you, leaving you feeling like you have no control over the situation.
Feeling cut off from the rest of the world can leave you feeling anxious, especially when you are used to leaving your home to go to work or run the odd errand. Time can move slower indefinitely as depression symptoms, emotional exhaustion, irritability, fear, confusion, anger and sadness all set in. Extroverts, for example, might find it more difficult spending most of their time indoors. As a result, they can experience loneliness on a greater scale due to needing more interaction with others. For them, talking on the phone or chatting with an online community may be the right place to fulfil those need to connect. On the other side of the spectrum, introverts may enjoy the solitude, as they have an easier time coping with limited social interactions (at least for a time). Keep in mind that everyone reacts to stress differently. It can depend on their environment, personality, background, and support system. Where ever you fall in the extrovert/introvert spectrum, there are different elements you should keep in mind when tending to your sanity.
Here are 6 easy ways to beat the quarantine blues:
- Stay in contact with loved ones
Everyone needs people who bring positivity into their life. Those who support us, help us grow, and nurture us during difficult times. Feeling socially isolated is the worst, especially if you are used to interacting with people every day. Now can be a time better than ever to get in touch with those that mean the most to you. You can support your loved ones by calling, video chatting, email, or mail a thoughtful card. Sharing laughter is great too. Sending funny pictures or videos can take the stress right out of your or their day, at least for a little bit, and that’s what counts!
Being an introvert, I get exhausted if I am in social situations for too long. After a while, I need to hang back and not talk to anyone for up to days at a time. This is fine for me, but I understand that it’s good to keep in touch with those I care about, especially because they might need some contact themselves.
2. Practice Mindfulness
While taking care of others may be a conscious priority in your life, you need to prioritize taking care of yourself as well, since being mentally fit will allow you to better help others. Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate. Feeling guilty about not being productive enough is totally normal, especially considering that at this time we are all unable to perform normal work, tasks or errands like we’re used to. Likewise, it’s understandable that you need to know what’s going on in the world. However, you should counter any negative stories you read with something upbeat. There can be an overwhelming sense of anxiety when people don’t have access to the information they need, but anxiety is just as prominent when immersing yourself in 24/7 news reports. Catch up on videos and articles that include your own interests. Put on your favorite movie or watch some funny animal videos, so you can feel productive while also taking in information that will improve your mental health.
3. Develop a new skill or hobby
Learning is essential to our existence. Just as food nourishes our bodies, knowledge and information nourishes our minds.
Before the internet, having a college degree was that exclusive ‘in’ to specialized knowledge. However with the internet of our fingertips, everyone has the ability to become an expert and grasp an infinite amount of knowledge.
Think of this this time as having more freedom to learn something new! Learn to code, take on a free training course, or learn a new language! In fact, I’ve been using Duolingo to learn a few new languages for some time now and have grown to really enjoy it. The quality is comparable to Rosetta Stone, except that it’s free! Add me and see if you can surpass my experience points!
Wondering what type of learner you are? Take this quiz on Educationplanner.org to give you some insight on what works best for you. Take advantage of this newfound free time to greater develop as a person!
4. Stay physically Active
We all know exercise is good for your body. Keeping a regular routine is vital, especially into your older years. Studies have shown that regular exercise can even slow the degenerative process of your brain that naturally comes with aging. Now this doesn’t mean you have to go all out or at your maximum every time you work out. Going for walks, calisthenics, and yoga are all moderate ways you can meet your fitness goals. Studies show that regular activity can help to relieve depression. The key is to find something that you like and keep at it. Getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day can significantly help overall health, both physically and mentally.
5. Practice Gratitude
Little things that you are grateful for can be overlooked in every day life. Friends, family, a roof over your head, access to the internet, etc. Taking a step back and appreciating what is valuable to you can help you remember how much you have and not focus on how little you have. Practicing gratitude can not only move your mind to a place of positivity, it can help you increase empathy, your self-esteem, improve your sleep, your social connections and overall mental strength. Start by making a list of all people, places, moments, and aspects of your life that you are grateful for. Focusing on the riches that lay right in front of you can be precisely where to start, and these are what we tend to loose sight of the most. I’d love to hear what you grateful for in the comments below.
6. Focus on the positive outcomes
The best way to get through a negative situation is to focus on the positives. Positive thinking is what ultimately can separate the weak from the strong minded. When times are tough, those who keep a cool head and maintain positivity are people you need around you. Maintaining a state of mind in where a negative experience is there to build you up and not tear you down will help you grow stronger as a person. Remind yourself that you have opportunity to learn about yourself and overcome obstacles. Focusing on your opportunities, and not limitations, can make an enormously positive impact. You find out how resilient you are!
Staying healthy, getting ample sleep, exercising, meditating, eating well and establishing strong social supports can be the foundation to a balanced life. When times get stressful, it is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your core values and focus on what you can control. Your mental stability is important, so take care of it.
What are some things you have been doing to keep sane during quarantine? Let me know in the comments below!
If you need help coming up with a goal to set for yourself, check out 30 Ideas for a 30-Day Challenge