As our towns, cities, country, and the world continue to face COVID-19, many of us have found ourselves looking for answers. While some abide to social distancing rules and others take them with a grain of salt, COVID-19 continues to severely impact the world. For those of us that have been abiding to social distancing, the time in quarantine may be draining. Being in quarantine can stir up emotions and thoughts that may have been easier to avoid with more distractions and freedom. Feeling trapped in a house that does not feel like home, being stuck with people who may not feel like family, or fighting your mind over the fears and questions we don’t have the answers to can all be rising scenarios during this stay at home order. Now, more than ever, self-care is important as our minds continue to wander, our daily routines shift, and human interaction disappears.
For some, the media and countless news story surrounding the Coronavirus have led to panic. Stocking up on toilet paper, holding masks for yourself when there are nurses who lack proper equipment, and the lack of information spread that does not come from reliable sources has caused uproars. Panic and fear may cloud our minds when seeing how others around the world, or even in our home, are dealing with this growing situation.
The fear people are feeling during this time is completely valid; however, that fear is a twofold. As many of us recognize the fear of the unknown and not being able to work or see loved ones, the other fear is that mental toll quarantine is having on many. Although the mental toll isolation has on individuals is not talked about as much as other aspects filling our media feeds, it is just as important and needs to be talked about just as much during times of crisis.
Quarantine is stressful. This is a situation none of us have ever experienced before and feels like a bad dream we simply can’t wake up from. As the number of days grow, I have found it extremely important to be honest with yourself and the people you are surrounded by. Acknowledging what I am feeling and the uncertainties that come with that has been an important tool for maneuvering this mystery. However, knowing I am not alone in that provides comfort.
Regardless of your age or occupation, everyone has been impacted by this virus. Workers, parents, students, and children all need support and it is important to know how to assess that in different environments/degrees. For me, being stuck at home with my family that is often on the go and fast moving has allowed us time to slow down. However, being “stuck,” for me, my siblings, parents, and grandparents, hasn’t always been the easiest as we all have different schedules and are trying our best to get through this situation.
Creating a space that allowed me to feel safe, express myself, and occupy my time is a great technique that I have found helpful. Whether that be working out, listening to new music, writing or drawing, cooking something new, watching the newest Netflix shows and Youtube videos, or doing a face mask and closing my eyes for ten minutes, all of these activities are for myself. Amid the people and distractions, it can be challenging to do these simple tasks even though they do not require much time. Although we may be confined to our homes, it is important to try to create a comfortable environment and routine. Use the extra time to be creative and work on improving yourself emotionally, mentally, or physically. For more options, healthcare company “Geisinger” assembled a great list of resources for well-being.
As quarantine continues, there will be good days and bad days. Finding good is different for everyone but, whatever that good is, hold onto it. On the bad days, remember why we are doing this. Social distancing is not solely for our own well-being, but the well-being of our friends, family, neighbors, and those vulnerable to this virus. The chart below is motivation for what social distancing does. For those that may not realize what they are doing or why, this chart shows the impact of our actions. We must keep ourselves busy, informed by reliable sources, see how social distancing can help an already big problem from becoming any bigger, and be empowered by being a part of the people who are trying to do good in challenging times.
For students who use school as an outlet for getting out of the house, quarantine may be extra stressful. For parents who have been laid off from their jobs worrying about how they will provide for their family, quarantine is scary. For those who are not following the guidelines health officials have provided, quarantine is not going to end. Knowing what is happening and what our role is to improve the situation is important information to know and enforce. If not, the damage happening to individuals mentally will only increase.
Our actions have a purpose and the are appreciated by man. Check in on one another. Remember these times of uncertainty once this is over. Let us not take for granted the moments and lessons we have gained through this. Know there is purpose for quarantine and taking care of yourself during this will only help you.