With the current outbreak of the COVID-19, many of us are under a Shelter in Place Order. Being quarantined until further notice and having travel plans changed can cause panic, anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation. Especially during this time with the constant intense news, it is easy to have spiraling negative thoughts. Here are a few fun ways to help you keep your sanity during this time:
Keeping a normal routine
Even in an unpredictable time, trying to keep a similar structure and a normal routine is beneficial. Whether you are a parent with children, home alone, or with a few others, it will make things easier. It is easy to fall into a pattern of going to bed at 5 am and waking up at noon every day, but this can lead to negative thinking. Waking up at the same time, going to bed around the same time, eating meals when you normally would, showering, and putting on clothes that are not your PJ’s will help keep a positive attitude. It will also help in adjusting back to what pre-quarantine lifestyle was like.
Utilize the internet
The internet is a great source to communicate with loved ones during this time. Maintaining your social capital can be a strong motivator to reach out to others. Research has found that using social networking sites, such as Facebook, motivates people to keep in touch with old friends and strengthen bonds with new friends. Utilizing the internet to see how friends and family are doing helps keep a positive and upbeat attitude.
Unique ways to still see your friends
As the time increases, there have been unique and creative ways to see you friends when also making sure you stay 6 feet apart. If wanting to get out of the house, one can find a group of ten people or less and they can park in a circle and sit in the trunks of their cars. It would be a fun way to see friends in person while staying 6 feet apart! Other ways include using a video chat such as Skype, Zoom, or Facetime.
Staying active during the prolonged period of time in isolation can be a positive tool in staying healthy and sane. It has been found that your mood can improve with physical activity. Research has also found that physical exercise has psychological benefits include decrease in anxiety, depression, dysfunctional behaviors, hostility, tension, phobias, and headaches. Physical activity also increases assertiveness, confidence, emotional stability, cognitive function, internal locus of control, positive body image, and self-control. There are many different ways to stay active, such as doing yard work, following an online exercise class, and taking a walk. The more active you are, the stronger your psychological wellbeing. This helps us fight against that negative spiral.
Changing your mindset from “I am isolated and alone” to “I am going to use this time to focus on myself”
As much as the world feels the way it does, take this time to focus internally instead of externally. Making a list of what you want to accomplish during this time and checking it off as you go keeps your mind productive with a positive attitude. Things could include reorganizing the house or learning new skills. Learn calligraphy. Improve your jump shot. Speak Spanish. Find a creative recipe with items you already have. Approaching this time with a growth mindset will reduce stress and perhaps start a lifelong healthy habit.
If things during this time become too much, contact Tabono if you need help. We are here to help. Please click here to contact us.
Lee, S.J. (2009). “Online communication and adolescent social ties: Who benefits more from internet use?” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 509-531.
Mandolesi, L., Polverino, A., Montuori, M., Foti, F., Ferraioli, G., Sorrentino, P., & Sorrentino, G. (2018). “Effects of physical exercise on cognitive functioning and wellbeing: Biological and Psychological benefits.” Frontiers in Psychology, 9(509), 1-11.
Plante, T.G., Gores, C., Brecht, C., Carrow, J., Imbs, A., & Willemsen, E. (2007). “Does exercise environment enhance the psychological benefits of exercise for women?” International Journal of Stress Management, 14(1), 88-89.