• Erin Fitzpatrick

How to Not Lose Your Mind in Quarantine

Wow. Quarantine. I was never expecting to write a blog post about this.

The Coronavirus, COVID-19, has taken the world by storm, challenging all of our existing systems and disaster plans. As a result of this ravaging, we've ended up (hopefully) stuck in our homes in order to prevent the spread of the virus. They are calling this isolation an attempt to "flatten the curve," which essentially means to stop the drastic increases in cases by preventing the spread through social distancing.

I'm no epidemiologist or scientist, but I don't think that anyone anticipated that we'd be spending the better half of March, possibly April, maybe even May, locked in our homes, fighting over toilet paper, and binge watching Netflix. Although this presents an innumerable amount of challenges for so many, this post is going to focus on how to not lose your mind.

Although staying home and watching TV, even working from home in some cases, sounds like a dream come true to some (a.k.a. me), after a while, boredom will creep in. It's just a matter of time before you're scrubbing the tiles with a toothbrush or giving your cat a new hairstyle. All jokes aside, this is an important time to focus on self care and mental wellness because it is too easy to let yourself slip into loneliness, sadness, and negativity during this period of solitude.

So for that reason, I've created a list of ways you can keep yourself mentally and physically cared for so that you don't lose yourself to this experience.

1. Routine, Routine, Routine

It is essential, really, to maintain your typical routines during this time. I don't necessarily mean that you're pretending to talk to coworkers or driving around the block to simulate a commute, but if you are used to getting up at a certain time -- keep doing that. If you are used to grabbing your breakfast on your way into work, take your time making your coffee and a healthful breakfast in the morning.

If you have been spending a lot of time in your pj's (I'm guilty), get back into getting dressed and ready for your day. When you're busy and focused on a routine it leaves less time for boredom and moping around the house.

2. Facetime with friends

During this isolation, it can get a little lonely. Connecting with friends is really important. You might normally stick to text messaging or social media, but now is the time to initiate more face to face communication because people we are used to seeing in person are also stuck in their homes. Facetime and apps like Skype and Zoom can allow us to connect in a deeper way than just messaging. Try reaching out to at least one friend each day. It doesn't have to be an hour long conversation, but it can if that's what you need right now!

3. Read & Write

Remember that pile of books you've been collecting on your bookshelf? The ones you said you'd read when you get some free time? Hey, now's the time!

Oh, and that super cute journal you grabbed at the store last year and have yet to write more than a grocery or to-do list? What a perfect chance to start writing down those feelings, or maybe your memoir!

4. Start a new hobby

It's time to start that garden, build, paint, or create something...

Have you been filling up Pinterest Boards for years with inspiration?

Now is the time to break out the craft box and get to work! Or pick up that instrument you haven't learned to play yet. Turn on some videos and learn something new from home.

Plenty of teachers and schools are heading online to offer virtual classes, most of them are affordable or free at this time. So don't hesitate!

5. Move your body

Dance, go for a walk, exercise, do yoga...

Moving your body stimulates the happy chemicals in your brain. Just because we are socially distancing, doesn't mean we need to sit in our homes and bing

e watch Netflix shows. We can move our bodies inside just walking through the house, doing some online exercise videos, or playing with our kids or animals or partners! We can move our bodies outside by gardening, cleaning up our yard, going for a walk, and more.

Don't let yourself get stuck in this feeling of isolation for long. Move your body and free your mind!

I hope that this list resonates with some of you and gives you some healthy ideas on how you can keep yourself stimulated during this confusing and stressful time. For me, personally, I've found this list to be really helpful. Of course I find myself wishing I could go meander around Target or take my kid to the park, but by keeping a safe distance from others during this pandemic, we will shorten the length of time we will be stuck in this quarantine. So stay home. Stay busy. Stay healthy!

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