I often find myself speaking with clients who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. With the current coronavirus pandemic, I’ve had my hands full, fielding queries from clients from all over the country. Many of them are facing all sorts of challenging issues.
The most common question has been, “How can I keep myself from getting it?” The answer to that one is easy: follow the national health care organization’s recommendations – American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How can I stay sane if I’ve been quarantined?
With this in mind – and with millions of people across the world in either voluntary or enforced isolation at home – there is the potential for serious stress, loneliness, and fear of being stuck at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go. So whether you’re in isolation or worried you might be at some point in the near future, here are 5 ways to stay positive during quarantine.
1. Stay in contact. Reach out to your loved ones. Connecting with others help ourselves and family to stay positive in a time of illness and to help them in their recovery process. Call, text, email, video chat anyone whom you are missing. For every person who’s going stir crazy in their apartment, the good news is that you’re not alone and can easily call a friend, family member, colleague, or neighbor who’s stuck in the same boat. We are never alone.
2. Exercise. Just because your gym is closed doesn’t mean that you can’t do your daily exercise routine. Many good studies show that daily cardiovascular exercise works as a treatment for anxiety and depressive disorders. Not feeling anxious or depressed yet? Exercise is also a preventative measure to promote mental wellbeing. So dust off that treadmill, unroll that yoga mat, or start a new regimen of push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks today.
3. Mindfulness. We’ve all heard about mindfulness but very few of us actually practice it. Somewhere between meditation and relaxation is this form of psychological self-soothing that allows a person to be aware of their internal state. Mindfulness is a tremendous tool for decreasing one’s emotional temperature, especially during times of stress! Now is a great time to learn mindfulness practice and to put it to use. The smartphone apps Headspace, Oak, and Calm are a great place to start.
4. Do Things. Have you ever wanted to understand how volcanoes work, wished you spoke better Japanese, or learned how to sew your own quilt? Now is your chance to take on that amazing academic project you always wanted to tackle! Not only do you have the time, but it will keep your mind off of anything worrisome while simultaneously keeping you productive. Maybe it’s time to start a new daily routine. Wherever your learning level is at, there’s always more to be done and now you finally have the time!
5. Keep the Big Picture in Mind. The coronavirus is only a few nanometers in size and yet it’s wreaking havoc upon the mightiest of people and has brought the mightiest countries in the world to their knees. The irony should not be too hard to grasp and we should all remember how many miraculous things we have going for us. Just consider it for a moment how good life is: If you’re reading this, you have electricity and most likely clean water and food. Presumably someone shared this link with you which means that people care about you and the people you’ll share this link with are people you care about too. Remember how blessed you are and with the Universe’s help we will all get through this alive and well.
In times of constant unpleasant media streaming, you need ways that you can keep your positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope. Be deliberate in activities that are positive, heartwarming, stress reducing and laughter inducing! Together, we’ll get through this.