It has been a year since the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus a Global Pandemic. The spread of the coronavirus has confined the world to their homes. Quarantine and social distancing was a fairly new concept for people around the world since the spread. Less social interaction and limited space for mobility lead to a rise in mental health struggles around the world.
The rate of depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health struggles lead to a disturbing increase in suicide and self-harm incidents. Quarantining at home played an important role in the spread of this infectious disease. But it was not easy for everyone. Taking care of mental health became necessary when the lockdown period extended to an unknown amount of time.
How Quarantine Affects Mental Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines quarantine as restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to figure out whether they have been affected or not. As COVID-19 can be contagious, quarantine has been a method to “flatten the curve” which refers to stopping the spread of the virus through social contact.
Spending time in quarantine can seriously impact the mental health of a person. The isolation in quarantine makes people feel like they have no control over their situation and have to wait an unknown amount of time isolating from fellow humans. People also feel cut off from the world and become unable to perform even simple daily tasks.
The prospect of being confined to a limited space can be daunting as educational institutes and offices are closed and social events cancelled. Time seems to come to a standstill if you have been confined to your home for a long period. Even if you are in your home with family, cabin fever may kick in.
According to psychological experts, social isolation may pose several health risks such as poor sleep, lower immunity, poor cardiovascular health and mental health. When your executive function skills are affected, you may find it difficult to control your
Quarantine may instil many mental health problems such as :
- Low mood
- Depressive symptoms
- Post-traumatic stress symptoms
- Emotional disturbance
- Emotional exhaustion
Among these effects, substance and alcohol dependency takes a rise during quarantine.
While individuals may react to this new lifestyle differently, feelings of helplessness, anxiety, stress and depression have become common whatsoever.
Here are a few suggestions as to how you can protect your mental health while staying in quarantine.
1. Reframe your mind
Mind is a powerful thing. It can make you feel powerful in the most unexpected of times. Condition your mind from thinking “I am stuck in this situation” to “Finally now I can focus on my home and myself”. This mindset changes everything while you stay in the quarantine.
Try to focus your attention on problematic matters to productive matters. Take this quarantine as an opportunity to focus on internal matters than external matters Try doing at least one productive thing per day. Such a simple goal will lead to a more positive attitude.
Prioritize tasks you have been avoiding for a long time. Reorganize your home and develop a hobby that you may enjoy. Take this period as a chance to slow down and focus on your betterment.
2. Keep Yourself Fit
Quarantine may be a good time to focus on your health if you have been consumed by work. Take time out from house chores and work to get a bit of exercise done. You can do any of the at-home workouts available on the internet. Even if you don’t have much space at home, you can do yoga or stretch in a confined space as well.
If you are taking any medicines for mental health struggles, don’t skip doses. If you can’t go out to get your medicines, tap www.90daymeds.com to learn more on how you can simply order your medicines and get them delivered to your home.
3. Develop a routine
While the spread of COVID-19 may be uncertain and we may be trapped indoors for an unknown amount of time, try to maintain some semblance around you. Try to develop a healthy routine that works for you. Divide work and leisure hours according to your stamina. Take on tasks which you can perform, otherwise don’t burden yourself. Avoid time consuming tasks and keep on shifting to a new task soon enough.
Try to develop the same time for waking up and going to sleep daily so your body becomes habitual to relax in those hours. Setting a routine will help you keep content and you will find it easier to adopt a new routine once you get back outside.
If you tend to consult Google every second, then you might reconsider your habit. Constant exposure to news and social media posts about the pandemic may make you feel overwhelmed. Too much information can sometimes be unhealthy, so try to refrain from over-exposure to news channels and sites. Consuming a certain number of channels and sites for a limited amount of time each day will help a lot in decreasing stress and anxiety related to the pandemic.
Man is a social animal. We need interaction with each other to thrive. Quarantine may lead to no physical contact with anyone and you may end up spending this time alone but it doesn’t mean you have to feel alone. Social media and mobile phones have made everyone connected in a jiffy.
If you are feeling down or your loved one is struggling with mental health, get in touch with your friends and family by phone or text. Reach out to others via social media. You can even join support groups online. Talking to others who are feeling just like you can develop a feeling of relaxation and contentment.
Remember you are not alone. If you are feeling overwhelmed or having suicidal thoughts, dial a local mental health helpline and consult a therapist.