Is self-quarantine life starting to drive you crazy? As tempting as it might be, drop that snack cake and pass up on that glass of wine. There are many ways to cope with the stress and anxiety that comes along with developing cabin fever.
1. Get Active
Just because you must stay home doesn’t mean you must stay on the couch. It’s deceptively easy to let the day go by without taking time to move around. However, the shelter-in-place policy does allow for walks or bike rides. Take a morning run and evening stroll. Take your bike out of the shed and do a couple of laps around the block. You can also roll out your yoga mat and watch some workout videos on YouTube.
Reading a great place to visit the world without ever having to leave your home. Chances are you might have some books around your house that you never got around to reading or a classic you can reread. If books are not your thing, several magazines and newspapers have temporarily lifted their paywall so you can read them for free.
3. Watch TV
While you should maintain a high level of physical activity, do indulge in some of your favorite TV shows. There’s a reason why Netflix, keeps asking you if you’re still watching. Movies and TV shows are one of the easiest ways to occupy your mind even it’s just for an hour. With so many streaming services out there, you are sure to find a good show to carry you through the self-quarantine. Just don’t spend the day watching show after show. Better yet do some push-up or sit-ups during the commercials!
4. Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are great for multi-taskers or people who are now working from home. Think of your favorite hobby or topic and search for a podcast dedicated to that topic. The podcasts can be information or humorous. This non-visual format all allows you to divide your attention so you can focus on other activities throughout the day.
Learning is not just for children or college-aged students. You are never too old or young to learn more about the world, languages, a new skill or a new hobby. If there is something you always wanted to learn how to do, then this is your time to do it. Download the Duolingo app and work on your Spanish or learn a new skill like sewing.
If you didn’t know, plants are the new “it” thing. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb. This the perfect time to develop this hobby. There are many plants you can get that are low maintenance such as cacti. If you are feeling more adventurous, try growing an herb or vegetable garden.
Meditating has many benefits that help reduce anxiety and stress. If the self-quarantine is driving you crazy, meditating is a great way to press “pause.” Take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour a day to sit still and empty your mind. If sitting still it too hard, then try thinking about all the things you are grateful for. You can also practice mindfulness. Spend a couple of minutes outside use your five senses to focus on what’s going on around you, from the grass between your toes to hearing birds chirp.
Are you guilty of having a stockpile of empty, beautiful journals or notebooks in your home? If so, pick one and start using it. As stressful as this time is, it will be an important moment in history. This is a great time to document what’s going on from your point of view. It’s also a great way to cope with any fears or anxiety by putting your thoughts on paper. One day, you can go back to this journal and see how far you have come.
Don’t under-estimate the power of self-care. Taking time out of your day to relax and pamper yourself will help you to be calm. Take a long hot bath or shower, do a face mask, or pour your favorite essential oil into a diffuser. Don’t worry men, we didn’t forget about you! Purchase some extra luxurious facial products and take your time when shaving.
No matter what you choose to do, keep doing your best to move forward. There are things you can control and others that you can’t. Take this time to focus on the things you can control and ways to come out this situation stronger. Who knows; one of these coping strategies might lead you to a new passion or way to unwind when times get tough.
The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.
For more COVID-19 updates, please visit: https://www.ochsner.org/coronavirus