How to stay sane in isolation

Many+people+are+stuck+inside+their+homes+due+to+COVID-19.

Audrey Blaine

Many people are stuck inside their homes due to COVID-19.

First, it’s important to understand that preventative measures like isolation, social distancing and event cancellations are inconvenient for everyone, but should be taken seriously. While you may not be at high-risk, protect the elderly, the immunocompromised, pregnant women, infants and other at-risk members of your community by taking measures to limit spread of the virus. Second, keep your situation in perspective. Yes, it’s a bummer that your spring break plans may have been cut short, but be grateful for your health and safety.

 

 

Isolation and social distancing can take a serious toll on mental health, but there are some ways to make the situation more tolerable:

 

 

Create a routine.

Having a lot of free time is great at first, but lack of structure can start to wear on you. Making a list of basic tasks, like wake up, get dressed, take a shower, etc. can help to get your day moving.

 

 

 

 

 

Catch up on work.

Checking off chores you’ve been putting off can help you feel productive while stuck at home. If you’re concerned about falling behind on classes or AP exam prep, try to get on top of some work independently now to ease stress later on.

 

 

 

 

 

Cook or bake.

With restaurants closing and recommendations issued not to eat out anyway, it’s time to start preparing food at home. Trying new recipes can make cooking and baking a fun way to pass the time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tidy up your space.

If your surroundings are a mess, it can worsen your mood. Do a load of laundry, make your bed, organize your things. Taking a moment to clean up can make a big difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep, but not too much.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep and maintaining a normal sleeping schedule. Make an effort to be getting to bed and waking up at a reasonable time. Avoid spending too much time in bed, however, as sleeping-in excessively could be harmful to your mental health. 

 

 

 

 

Limit screen-time.

While it can be tempting to pass the day scrolling on social media and binge-watching shows, it’s best to peel yourself away. Too much screen-time could leave you with headaches, while misinformation on social media could leave you feeling anxious. Try to reach for a book or a different pastime when you can.

 

 

 

 

Get some exercise.

Take your dog for a walk, dance in your room, do some yoga, find some way to move your body while stuck at home. Being inactive for long periods of time can leave you feeling restless and anxious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reach out to friends.

Remind yourself that even while isolated, you are not alone. In times like this we need a community. Talk with loved ones over the phone, text, through social media or any way you can to avoid feeling detached.

 

 

 

The current situation can be especially difficult for those prone to depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. Reach out to these hotlines for help and support:

Talk, Listen, Care Warmline – 573-651-3642

National Mental Health Association Hotline – 800-273-8255

Depression and Bipolar Support – 800-273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255