This is a unique and uncertain time leaving us to create new and hopefully healthier habits.  Spending time in quarantine and dealing with the global outbreak takes a serious mental toll. Part of the reason for this is the impact that quarantine has on three key elements of mental health: autonomy, competency, and connectedness. We can experience loneliness, sadness, fear, anxiety, and stress while in quarantine so I recommend making your mental health just as important as your physical health.

Here are tips to dealing with stress during quarantine:

1-Establish a routine– If you’re working from home, it can be helpful to structure your time much like a regular workday. This can be a challenge, however, if you’re at home with other family members, including children, who are now home all day as well.

2-Be as active as possible– Staying active during quarantine will help you feel better and maintain your fitness level. There are many at home workouts with or without equipment. Here is an example of a body-weight workout with no equipment. Sample Cardio Circuit Workout (No Equipment)

  • 1 min: March in place — Lift the knees high and swing the arms
  • 1 min: Jog in place, pushing the arms overhead
  • 1 min: High knees
  • 1 min: Slow, controlled Plyo-jacks
  • 1 min: Regular jumping jacks
  • 1 min: March in place
  • 1 min: Skaters
  • 1 min: Mountain climbers
  • 1 min: High knees
  • 1 min: March in place

3-Combat boredom and frustration– Some of the distress of being quarantined stems from boredom and frustration. Finding ways to stay occupied is important, so try to maintain as many of your routines as you can. Keep working on projects or find new activities to fill your time, whether it’s organizing your closet or trying out a new creative hobby. 

4-Communicate– Staying in contact with other people not only eliminates boredom, but it is also critical for minimizing the sense of isolation.

5-Stay informed but not overwhelmed Rather than spend your time watching cable news, focus on getting helpful information from trusted sources. Sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), state and local health departments, and your doctor can all be helpful. Put on music or turn on a funny movie you have seen already. Do not put on the news all day.

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