COVID-19 has abruptly changed a lot about the way people live. Instead of going to work, traveling, or socializing, you stay safe at home. Whether you're sheltering in place alone or helping a family member with ongoing educational needs, quarantine can be extremely stressful.
In doing what you can to minimize the spread of COVID-19, it's important to pay attention to your own health as well as that of those around you. If you're struggling with your mental health under quarantine, you might have been already dealing with a mental health condition or you could be reacting naturally to the increased stress many people are now living with.
Even in quarantine, you're never alone. You can always reach out to All Day Medical Care Clinic for professional support, safely from home with telemedicine. Our experienced staff treats new and existing patients with a variety of mental health care needs.
Here, we share some suggestions for little things you can do at home during quarantine to protect your mental health.
Managing your stress
Managing your stress matters for both your mental and physical health. You might not be able to remove or resolve sources of stress right now, so managing your tension is extra important.
There are several small habits and practices you can try to help you manage chronic stress. Everyone's needs are different, so be patient while you experiment with strategies to give you the emotional relief you need. You can try:
- Going for a walk or taking time to yourself when you feel particularly stressed
- Practicing yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, or other alternative therapies for stress management
- Talking to someone, either a supportive friend or a mental health care professional, over the phone or online
- Writing about your emotions in a journal, blog, poem, or song lyric
Taking time to ground yourself
With all of the disruption to your daily routine, it can become easy to lose your bearings. If you're feeling mentally stressed, take time to ground yourself. A simple exercise of stimulating your five senses can help you find your footing again. Try to stimulate your senses of:
- Touch: feeling warm or cool water on your hands, touching fabrics or a pet's fur, or digging in a garden or window planter
- Taste: relying on distinctive flavors like citrus, mint, hot spices, or cocoa
- Smell: using scented soaps, lotions, oils, or foods to awaken your nose
- Sound: playing favorite songs, relaxation playlists, or podcasts, or even doing a little singing yourself
- Sight: counting and naming at least five objects around you, including noting size, shape, pattern, and color
Practicing preventive wellness
Your physical well-being makes a big difference in your mental state. As you adjust to new routines and places, you might find your physical health slipping. Each day, make sure you're taking good basic care of your physical health, and you'll start to notice positive results in your mood and mental wellness.
Are you staying up too late, sleeping only restlessly, or staying in bed into the afternoon? Disruption in your sleep cycle can cause or exacerbate mood-related issues like depression. Get enough sleep, and on a regular schedule, to restore your sense of wellness.
You might be eating differently than you were before, too. If you're not getting the right balance of nutrients, your mental health can suffer. Make sure you:
- Eat breakfast to get a good start each day
- Get enough fruits, vegetables, lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats
- Avoid junk food and mindless snacking throughout the day
Regular exercise, whether at a home gym, on a yoga mat, or just on an afternoon walk, can also significantly improve your overall physical and mental wellness.
If you need support for mental or other health concerns, don't hesitate to contact All Day Medical Care Clinic right away. We're here to help. You can get in touch with a member of our compassionate and experienced care team by calling our Gaithersburg, Maryland offices, or using the link on this website.