The world has seen a massive shift in paradigm the last few weeks. Governments have been tirelessly working towards combating the rapid spread of the Coronavirus outbreak; one of the key measures implemented across the globe is that of Social Distancing and Quarantine. Governments have been enforcing that following this protocol is critical, as it helps “flatten the curve” of the number of cases. If not, any country’s healthcare system would get overwhelmed with an influx of daily cases.
While following this protocol is the absolute need of the hour, the impact of self-quarantine on your mental health cannot be ignored. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the effects of quarantine can have a profound impact on mental health. Individuals can develop depression, stress and anxiety, with infection fears, frustration, boredom, worries about financial loss, lack of supplies, stigma and more acting as triggers. Here are 7 ways you can combat them
Take care of your physical health
Cooking your own meals using fresh, seasonal ingredients nourishes your body. It is an essential step towards a healthier gut, therefore a healthier mind. Follow this up with a simple at-home exercise regime, which releases endorphins, known as the happy hormone. Along with these, make sure to get enough sleep for better physical health.
Follow a routine
If you are currently working from home, setting a routine will create a structure to the day, and will ensure that you are being efficient with your time. Treat the day as if you were going to work – shower, get ready and set a specific time for work to feel motivated and have a productive day.
Support your Immune System
You are more susceptible to catching viruses if you’re immunity is low, and in order do that, you must include alkaline-rich foods in your daily diet, that result in a balanced pH level ((the amount of oxygen your blood can absorb after food is digested), which strengthens the immune system. Eg. Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, cauliflower, broccoli, root vegetables, nuts, ginger.
Meditation is known to mitigate symptoms of stress and anxiety. It not only increases awareness about you and your surroundings, but also elevates your mood, encourages healthy sleeping patterns and helps redirect any negative thoughts you may have.
Take breaks from the news and social media
While it is important to stay well-informed and updated about the current news, excessive information can make you feel overwhelmed, therefore it is essential to disconnect and take small breaks from the news and social media to feel less anxious. Stay well-informed by seeking reliable, up-to-date information from trusted sources only.
Focus on your hobbies
Focus your time and attention on doing things that make you feel good – cooking, cleaning, painting, reading etc. or anything that calms your mind and reduces stress levels. You can also journal your thoughts; as you write down the thoughts in your head on paper, it helps you identify negative thoughts and prioritise any fears or concerns you may have, therefore a definite method to coping with stress and anxiety.
Stay connected with loved ones
Use technology to your advantage and regularly talk to your friends and family through phone calls, texts, video chat etc. With many being affected by the disease, it is important to be grateful for our loved ones and support one another.
While quarantine seems daunting, remind yourself why you are doing this – to protect the ones who are vulnerable and do your bit in helping the world fight this pandemic.