Very few of us have ever experienced a pandemic before. What can you do to lower your stress level and stay as sane as possible during quarantine? We have a few suggestions:
Limit Your News Intake
If you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed from the constant Covid-19 news coverage, you may want want to limit your intake. Decide which topics you need to know more about, and which topics you will stay away from. Sometimes additional information doesn’t help and can actually work against you causing feelings of anxiety and panic. You may decide that you want to only watch press briefings by your governor. You may want information directly from your child’s school system. You may decide that you are going to forgo COVID-19 information altogether, since you are staying home and practicing good health habits recommended by the CDC. Sometimes a little more news can lead to a big meltdown of fear and anxiety. Keep it in moderation.
Keep a Routine
A routine is essential for both you and your loved one. For many, this is not a vacation — responsibilities and life are still in session. Try to stick to your normal caregiving routine as much as possible. Have set wake-up times, free time, meal times, and exercise times. The more we can stick to a routine, the better off we will be mentally and physically. Try writing out your daily schedule and posting it in a common place, such as the refrigerator in the kitchen, to keep you on track throughout the day. Keeping things consistent will help you have some sense of normalcy in your world.
Accept This As Our “New Normal”
While you may not like the social restrictions and stresses associate with the Coronavirus outbreak, this is our way of life for the time being. Remember that this is temporary. There will be a day when things look normal again, restaurants and retail stores will reopen, people will return to work, masks and gloves will not be required, and toilet paper will be widely available. We don’t know that date yet, but it is coming. Another piece of making it through this time is to look at the positives. You may be spending more quality time with your loved one. People are reaching out to others to provide support and comfort. People are calling each other on the phone or video chatting opposed to just sending off a quick text. You may be taking this time to reassess your life, maybe there are hustle and bustle areas of your life you do not want to return to ‘normal’?
It is important to get outside regularly. Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders both physically and mentally. Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to sit inside four walls day in and day out. Most “shelter-in-place” plans allow for outdoor activities, as long as a distance of six feet is kept between you and others. Nature moves at a slower pace than humans, so you may find yourself adjusting to a different rhythm. It’s a nice break from how quickly things are changing right now. If you or your loved one has a physical limitation, just spending time outside can be a good reset. Try sitting on the back deck and bird watching, or sitting outside and reading a good book out loud to your loved one.
Be Easy On Yourself
We are all doing the best we can right now. We’re all in this together and taking it one day at a time. We will get through this.