The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on all of us regardless of where we live or who we live with. While there are some perks to living alone during this time—like not feeling the emotional burden of looking after young children or sharing tight quarters with roommates—isolating without others presents a unique set of challenges. Here are some of my tips for coping with the quarantine blues regardless if you live alone or if you’re sharing your space:
Keep up With Your Relationships
Social isolation can drive us all crazy, especially if you’re an extrovert like me. Take this time to really nurture your relationships with friends and family members. You can start a weekly video meeting with family from all around the country, or connect with friends online for an exercise class, book club, or any other shared hobby your friend group might have.
Now also might be a good time to look into teletherapy. Schedule a telehealth session with a therapist who can guide and encourage you while also being a reliable person you can speak with on a consistent basis.
Take Care of Your Body
Coping with the “quarantine blues” can be mental and physical. It can be so easy to melt into your couch with any and all forms of chocolate desserts, but doing this for an extended period of time will obviously have some negative effects on your body during your quarantine period. Cooking is a great opportunity during quarantine! You have the chance to learn a new skill and put something healthy in your body. Aim for naturally colorful meals and whole foods and limit the amount of sugar, salt, and simple carbohydrates you’re consuming on a daily basis. There are so many easy healthy dishes available on the internet so everything you need is at your fingertips. Just like Chef Gusteau from Pixar’s “Ratatouille” says, “anyone can cook!”
Along with eating healthy, you also have to make sure you’re getting some exercise and sunshine. You can find plenty of online workout routines for beginners and experts, or keep going “quarantine walks” around your neighborhood or apartment complex. Keeping up with your exercise routine is a lot easier when you have an accountability buddy, so grab and friend (virtually) and get moving!
Explore a New Hobby
Now is the perfect time to try new things! Exploring new creative outlets or improving upon an existing skill can be a great boost to your mental health and fight off the quarantine blues. Of course, don’t overextend yourself when adding this new hobby to your daily or weekly schedule. This process could look something like researching a new topic of interest, learning to play a new game, or diving into a craft like cross-stitch, single-line drawing, or gardening. You could also try reading a non-fiction book, writing poetry, or learning calligraphy. The options are endless!
As always, make sure you are monitoring your health and symptoms. It’s a good idea to keep vitamins, supplements, a thermometer, etc. around, as well. If you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms, let a friend or family member know and consult a healthcare physician for the next steps forward.