Quarantine has changed routines often leaving people in isolated situations that effect the state of their mental health. Staying aware of what is helpful and harmful to yourself and others during pandemics and other global illnesses is critical to the safety of everyone. And, although following quarantine protocol can be difficult, their are so many ways you can grow and focus on your mental health while also not putting yourself or others at risk.
This is very important for your mental health in general, but especially in quarantine. “How am I doing?” “How do I feel today?” “What is making me feel this way?” “What can I do to take care of myself?” “What do I need?” “What don’t I need?” Reflection is a wonderful way to give yourself time to feel and consider. This can take many forms such as: journaling, keeping a log, taking quite time to reflect, and therapy. Making this a priority in your daily routine will provide clarity to how you are in terms of your mental health and wellness.
Productivity… What Does That Mean?
Our culture tends to focus on productivity and success, but productivity is not always defined by how busy you are. Consider productivity in your life as anything that betters your mental wellness. You do not need have to have 50 remote internships or learn a entire new language to be productive. Each day is a new day to do something productive for you… no matter how big the end product is. If you have not been resting well, reflect on what the reason is for your unrest. What makes you feel rested? Dedicate you day to being productive in resting well.
Create To Express
Create something! Absolutely anyone can create something. Let yourself reflect and have something that is wonderfully made by you! You can create a new Spotify playlist, build something to make the place you’re quarantined better, create your own recipe, paint, write, take photos, create new friendships. Creation is wonderful for the mind because it is a physical reflection of the spirit! People are meant to create and quarantine is a wonderful time to take advantage of your unique ability to create something.
Have A Mental Health Buddy
Human connection is so important for the mind. Even though connecting with others many look a little different in quarantine, it is still able to be done. Find yourself someone you an be real with and check in with. Make it a weekly phone call to catch up and ask how they have been and let them know how you have been. These discussions are sometimes difficult, but are so important to have. Have a pen-pal! Write them every week or so giving them updates. This is another fun way to keep in touch with people while still staying safe.
Give Yourself Grace
Be kind to yourself while you are in quarantine. Mistakes still happen. You will still have good and bad days in quarantine. You do not need to live up to any standard that is set for you by someone else. Use this time to love yourself and to learn what it means to love yourself. Taking care of your body physically is a good place to start. Take a bath, eat the foods that make you feel good after you’ve eaten them (not just tasting good in the moment), get the help you need, go on adventure workouts. Give yourself the grace to focus on the simple-seeming things.
Stick To A Schedule
Though the future and quarantine seems to have no clear path, you can still have a calendar with a schedule. Looking at each new day on a physical calendar can damper the anxieties of an endless quarantine. Use a schedule to think in the present. Why are we excited for each new day? Make sure you have something different written for each new day… even if it’s just “eat a chicken sandwich” on Wednesday. Now you have a plan. You have a reason for why Wednesday is different from your Tuesday. Your excited about that sandwich. Focus on the day.
If you’re anything like me, then you thrive in a community setting. Meeting new people is so fun and you can still do this in quarantine. Whether it is an old community or a brand new one, involve yourself in a community where you can interact with others. There are so many communities available online. If you feel like you don’t have a strong one, create one of your own. Use this community to meet new people or get to know better the people you already know. You are not alone in quarantine. You don’t need to feel like you are alone in quarantine ever.
Great news! There are professional resources online to help you connect with therapists and help safely. Therapy rocks. Getting help is freeing! No one is broken for getting help. You are still a stud if you go to therapy.
While technology is a wonder resource and means of communication, it also can become a pit to get lost in. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed from the social media, text messages, and cultural pressures, it is time for a phone break. A phone break can last a day or even a week. Let your main people know that you are taking a break from your phone (so they don’t become worried) and turn it off. Honestly, this can become a freeing act. Turn off your phone and put it in a drawer so that you are not tempted to get it back out. What amazing things can you do without your phone? What rest can you find? What activities can you find? Trust me, this is amazing
Check-in with yourself and others in quarantine. Mental health is always important to consider! Let us know how you have focused on your mental health during quarantine in the comments below!
Featured image source: https://advicefromatwentysomething.com/7-tips-next-road-trip/
Julia grew up in a town just outside of Chicago. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee where she is a junior Creative Writing and Literature major at Rhodes College. Julia prefers to spend her days outside writing stories for others to find joy in. Other than story-telling, you will find Julia running on her college track and field team and traveling the world.