Quarantine can be taxing on your mental health. Being stuck in the house all day everyday isn’t good for anyone, and it can be draining when it feels like there’s nothing going on. Luckily, there are ways to make sure your mental health is doing okay while in quarantine.
Here are 10 ways to keep your mental health in check.
1. Schedule Out Your Days
While the middle of the semester can be stressful, most can agree that one benefit of being in school is the set schedule that comes with it. Life just feels a little easier when your day is planned out for you ahead of time. But the end of the semester doesn’t mean you have to lose the structure that comes with it. Try planning out your days in quarantine by writing out a time table. Instead of writing out your class times, write down times you plan on eating meals or what times you want to do certain activities throughout the day. For example, you can plan to work out in the morning at 8 and switch to eating breakfast at 9:30. Having this schedule can help out a lot more than you think.
2. Try to Maintain A Sleep Schedule
Believe it or not, many mental health treatments rely on having a regular sleep schedule as a base. Just because classes are coming to a close doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to stay up all night. Staying up late and pulling all nighters is fine once in a while, but doing it consistently can really mess with your mental health especially when you pair that with the stresses that come with being in quarantine. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have a lot of obligations, now is a great time to set up a regular sleep schedule. Doing this can really help set you up for success mental health wise.
3. Watch What You’re Eating
It can be tempting to survive solely on snacks while in quarantine as a way to cope with stress, but it’s not what’s best for your health overall. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself by indulging every once in a while, but you should make sure you’re eating “real” food for your meals. It might be hard to do sometimes, but try to continue eating three meals a day while in quarantine. It’s similar to the idea of keeping a structured schedule during quarantine. Eating meals will keep you from living off snacks and will also help you make sure you’re body is getting the nourishment it needs.
4. Get Outside
Being in quarantine and social distancing doesn’t mean you need to be cooped up in your house 24/7. Getting outside to get some fresh air and sunlight can be a great way to boost your mental health. Take a walk around the block. Get in your car and go for a drive with the window down. Spend some time relaxing on your front lawn. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. Any time outside will be beneficial to your mental health.
Exercising is a great habit to get into while in quarantine. It’s a way to release tension and there are proven mental health benefits that come from exercising. It lowers your body’s levels of cortisol, which is your body’s stress hormone. Plus, you can’t deny how good you feel after a good workout. There’s a ton of exercises you can do at home without needing a gym. Look on YouTube for workout videos you can do with little to no equipment. Go on a run around your neighborhood. Search the web for workout classes being offered online. Getting in a workout at home has never been easier.
6. Get In Touch With Friends
One of the most difficult parts of quarantine and social distancing is being away from your friends, especially if you’re a college student who has recently moved back to their hometown for the time being. The good news is staying in touch with people while they’re far away is easier than ever. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friend to arrange a Zoom call to just chat. There are plenty of apps and programs to help you and your friends get together virtually. Have a significant other that you can’t see in person right now? Try to plan some socially distanced dates together. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with your friends and get your social fix while in quarantine.
7. Find A New Hobby
Being in quarantine, it’s possible that you have a lot of time on your hands right now. It’s the perfect time to find a new hobby. With the rise of websites like SkillShare and the abundance of free content on YouTube, it’s easier than ever to pick up a new hobby. Learn a new language on DuoLingo. Take a class online on a topic that interests you not for a grade, but just because you love it. Try something you’ve always wanted to do. Picking up something new is a great way to get your mind focused on something else and a way to have fun while you’re stuck in the house.
Meditating is an excellent way to take some time for yourself, especially during stressful times. There are plenty of apps that can provide some guided meditation exercises, such as Calm or Headspace. There is also a good amount of content on YouTube to help with meditating. Practicing meditation is a way to force you to take time for yourself, focus on your breathing, and clear your mind.
9. Watch Your News Intake
It’s no secret that a lot of what’s happening in the news right now is pretty stressful. News can’t be good all the time, especially in a pandemic, but it can definitely be a lot to process when you’re looking at it constantly. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay informed, but taking in nothing but news about the pandemic can have a seriously adverse effect on your mental health. Don’t be afraid to take a step back. Mute certain words on your Twitter feed. Take a break from Facebook if people you’re friends with are constantly posting about the pandemic.
10. Plan For The Future
Everything may look pretty bleak right now, but it’s important to remember that this won’t be forever. One thing that helps in terms of keeping that perspective is planning for the future, even if it’s small. Plan out some trips that you want to take in the future. Look on your school website for classes you want to take down the line. Look for decorations for room inspiration. Remember: this is not forever, and it’s helpful to look into the future as a reminder.