Let’s face it, COVID-19 has disrupted all our lives. This is not a political hoax, a scam, a scare tactic. We are in the midst of a global viral pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, we are in uncharted territory. If we learned anything from the last pandemic of 1918, prevention is our best defense. I can’t even begin to express the importance of everyone being on board with following your local governmental and medical recommendations for prevention strategies. Everyone in the world is affected, so if your basketball game or concert is cancelled as part of the social distancing tactic, know this is for the greater good. It is important to participate in a COVID-19 quarantine if you suspect being exposed.
This has been the greatest eye opener of our lifetime. It took a viral pandemic for us to realize we HAVE to live together and our actions DO effect those around us. Not to mention, you can be a carrier of the virus without having any symptoms yourself. Would YOU want to be responsible for inadvertently passing the virus onto your best friend’s parent who has compromised health and ends up dying? The effects are real, your actions do matter. Let’s address remaining sane during your COVID-19 quarantine.
Time to Comply
By now, we’ve all heard the term social distancing. This is not a new idea. This is what prevented the pandemic of 1918 to control spikes of outbreaks in countries that complied. It means exactly what it sounds like. Distance yourselves from social events. If you don’t HAVE to go somewhere, just don’t. Thanks to technology, you can shop online, do research from your home, order food from your living room and in some cases, even work from home. I understand not everyone has the finances to afford these services or luxuries, and small businesses may not be able to sustain these changes. In light of other effects caused by this disease, this article is about how to stay sane as you adhere to social distancing during COVID-19 quarantines.
First and foremost, if you are medically quarantined because you are ill, follow the recommendations of your medical provider. If you are self-quarantined due to possible exposure, this means you are quarantined. In other words, it’s not a staycation. You don’t leave the house or go to any public places. You stay home for at least 2 weeks. The reason is, you can carry the virus without having any symptoms for up to 14 days. Since you are doing your part to prevent the spread of the disease, and the world greatly appreciates your efforts, here’s some ideas to help you stay sane during your COVID-19 quarantine.
Keeping the Sanity
Work from Home
If the type of work you do allows you to telecommute (telehealth, telework, plus many other terms), please consider this option. Many companies are doing their best to figure out how to make this option a reality. If you have the means, this will provide the means to continue making an income.
Clean and Purge the House
This idea might end up being the second most important thing you can do while quarantined. If you were possibly exposed to COVID-19, it would be pertinent to take the time and scrub down your house. Please read the label on your cleaning products as many will say they kill viruses, but we tend to clean a surface then wipe it dry. DON’T DO THAT! In most cases, the product does not kill the bacteria or viruses until it completely dries on its own. Depending on the product, it may take up to 2 minutes to actually kill what it is supposed to kill. Have patience. Also, use the same products to clean your cell phones which should be cleaned daily!
Equally important as cleaning is purging! Use this time to go through those neglected drawers and closets. Not only does this mentally help you to feel better, but you are physically exercising too!
Should you be quarantined in your home and are unable to physically go to work, but feel well enough to be busy doing something, consider online opportunities. I could write an entire post on these options (perhaps I will), but in short, consider the following options: online surveys, start a blog (Blogging 101 – Tips for Starting a Blog), gaming, brain games, do research to learn a new skill, study history, learn a language, learn about animals, the list is truly endless! Furthermore, did you know which animal is suspected to carry the coronavirus? The Pagolin is unique for its scales and meat. Below is what it looks like!
While stuck at home, if feeling OK, then there’s lots of time on your hands. Stress and anxiety are globally high, so in addition to remaining physically well, we have to remain mentally well. As a matter of fact, artwork has been known to reduce stress and depression while increasing creativity. This includes any form of artwork, painting, sketching, finger painting or drawing in any capacity. Not only are there mentally positive benefits to doing artwork, it helps pass the time in a healthy way. If you need ideas for what to work on, check out this book 365 Days of Art: A Creative Exercise for 365 Days of the Year.
Catch up on all those books you’ve been meaning to read! Take the time to go online and read about topics you’ve always been interested in but have had no time to pursue! Consider books on tape or audiobooks if actual reading isn’t your thing. Again, it is so important to remain cognitively engaged during a COVID-19 quarantine.
Have you always wanted to write that book but never had the time to do it? The first several days you are home, you will most likely find plenty to do (assuming your quarantine is not due to being actively ill). Once this new routine settles and you start to feel antsy, perhaps now is the time to start writing. This can be in the form of a personal blog, journal, poetry, short stories, biography, essays or start writing that book you’ve always dreamed of. If you need some guidance for how to write a book, refer to this article – 10 steps for writing a book.
First and foremost, if quarantined due to being actively ill, please follow the WHO recommendations of separating yourself from other household members and pets. Next, if the household is self-quarantined due to possible exposure but no active symptoms, then consider family time with playing games. Board games remain popular outlets as opposed to online gaming. My favorite family board game is Clue. Even your teenagers will be open to playing board games with family, they just won’t tell their friends about it. If board games aren’t an option, there’s always card games! Uno is my all time favorite. Be creative with your together time. You may actually learn something new about each other.
Whether quarantined home alone or with the family, there is no excuse to not schedule a daily exercise routine. Human beings thrive on structure, and suddenly being placed on home quarantine disrupts those daily routines. Getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time every day will help you stay on track. Together with good sleeping patterns, develop a specific time every day that you dedicate to some kind of exercise. Thanks to Youtube and a host of other online exercise programs, there is anything from yoga, dancing and cardio exercises to get you moving. As long as you are medically able, this is a healthy idea to participate in during your COVID-19 quarantine.
Plan a Trip
This to shall pass, and we all hope sooner than later. Of course, when it does pass, getting back to normal lives will feel amazing! Vacations will most likely be on everyone’s minds! After quarantines and cancellations, getting out of the house will once again be in full force! Now is the time to start thinking about future trips. It’s true, we do not yet know how long this pandemic will continue, but some day it WILL be over. Think about where you want to go, explore excursion options, make a travel budget and start saving. Take a moment to read about Travel Planning Sites – the Top 5 to get started.
Binge that Show!
Watching tv is not the most cognitively stimulating thing to do, but it sure does satisfy that craving for entertainment! Got Netflix? Hulu? Any kind of streaming service? After exercising the body, take a break and binge on your favorite shows! Sometimes submerging the mind into a reality different from your own is just what is needed to getaway, without really getting away.
To Wrap Up
As shown above, there are a multitude of things to do while quarantined, even though this list is not all inclusive. The take home message is, protect yourself, protect others, and maintain healthy home quarantine practices as this is only temporary. We are all in this together as we experience the COVID-19 quarantine.
Please leave a comment and share what you are doing as your part of prevention during this global pandemic. As always, stay healthy out there!