How to cope with a semi-quarantined, not fully back to normal life

While many have begun to return to life as normally as we can amidst Covid-19, many have opted to continue living in a restricted manner. As we head into month five of implementing precautions to keep ourselves physically healthy, the question begs to be asked: what about our mental health?

While self isolation can play a key role in reducing your risk of infection, it’s important to remember that it can take a huge toll on your mental health. Isolation can leave us feeling lonely, hopeless, and as if nothing is in our control. It can lead to deep feelings of depression and anxiousness, irritability, sleeplessness, anger, confusion, and emotional exhaustion. 

So what can we do to maintain a positive mental outlook while still protecting ourselves against the virus? Here are some things we recommend. 

Establish a routine. Even if you’re home bound, having a daily routine will help you feel like you have some type of control over the situation. Plan out daily activities that will keep you busy and break up the monotony of your day. If you’re working from home while caring for children, try to plan activities that they can enjoy, as well, and that will allow you a mental break from the chaos of working from home while parenting full time. 

Fight off boredom. If you find that you don’t have enough to keep you busy, find ways to keep your mind off of the loneliness. Whether you read, start a 1,000 piece puzzle, reorganize your home, or pick up a new hobby, spend your time in a way that interests you and gives you something to show for it. Set goals. Make lists, and check off each thing you accomplish. This will give you a sense of purpose and productivity, and heighten your feelings of self worth.

Stay active. Be as creative as you’d like. While it may make sense to use a treadmill or stationary bike, others may find that they enjoy dancing around their home or lifting weights in their living room. If you’re home with your kids, consider making a competition or a game out of it, or even playing an action based game console such as a Wii together. Consider downloading a fitness app to track your progress!

Communicate with those you care about but aren’t in physical contact with. Switch up methods of communication, and make sure to get some face time in with the people you miss. Be sure to utilize tools like smart phones, live streams, and video conferencing to branch out from the normal texting or phone calls so that you can connect in a visual way! Also, try writing letters, sending packages, or dropping off surprises in the mailboxes of those you’re thinking of and missing during this time. Consider connecting with new people, as well. Join an online book club or group, and look for new and unique ways to be social without leaving home. 

Get outdoors. While public spaces might not feel safe to you, the benefits of being outdoors are immeasurable. Our moods, cognitive function and ability to focus are all improved when spending time outdoors. Being outside can also help you become more in tune with yourself, and help you to shed the stress and chaos of the uncertainty that you’re facing. Try to spend time outdoors each day, even if it’s just in your backyard or front steps. 

Find or continue to receive professional help. Having the guidance of a professional therapist during these unprecedented times will help you stay focused, grounded, and in control of the situation. Even if you’ve never explored therapy before, admitting that you need help in the face of a pandemic can be empowering and life changing. Don’t be afraid to utilize the resources available to you!

If you don’t have a therapist, we have a team of psychologists here at Wellness Psychologist Services who are accepting new patients for online telehealth sessions. Contact us to set up your mental health intake today!

205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 563-1155

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