Tools for Managing our Mental Health During Quarantine of Covid-19
1. Start your day with a meditation in order to ground and center yourself. Here are some links and apps for finding meditations:
- Try ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), “experience of tingling sensations in the crown of the head, in response to a range of audio-visual triggers such as whispering, tapping, and hand movements” (Poerio, Blakey, Hostler, & Veltri, 2018). This is not for everyone, but some find it very relaxing. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LJkU9ysHmM
- Insight Timer
2. Limit News Exposure: Limit news or reading about events to 30 minutes a day. We need to stay updated, but watching or reading the news frequently or constantly scrolling through social media will just overwhelm you and will increase your anxiety. So, make sure to set some boundaries. Sign up for regular updates from a reliable source.
3. Keep a daily routine and create a schedule. This will help keep a sense of normalcy. Set your alarm to wake up at a certain time every day, take a shower, change your clothes, and plan your day. Don’t forget to schedule self-care.
4. Focus on what you are able to control instead of focusing on what you can’t control. We cannot control what is going on outside, but we can control how we deal with it. We can control our decisions and actions, we can follow the CDC guidelines, we can cook, we can stay home, we can help each other, we can decide to take it one day at a time.
5. Practice gratitude. This is a good time to count our blessings and focus on what is going well and see the positive side of this. For example, “I am grateful that I can be home and rest” or “I am grateful I can connect with loved ones.” It’s ok to feel peace, joy or excitement.
6. Stay active physically, mentally, and socially
- Physically: Modified exercise is essential for releasing anxious and nervous energy, so make sure you move your body, go outdoors, experience nature, stretch, and try to change up your scenery.
- Mentally: Keep your mind engaged, journal, read a book, watch a movie, play a game, listen to your favorite music, occupy your mind on things that interest you or work on a project at home. This is a good time to get creative or to catch up with projects you may have put off.
- Socially: Stay connected with others, social distancing does not mean social isolation. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, stay in touch with family members, utilize technology to your advantage and reach out.
7. Utilize your coping skills: This is a time to use tools that help you cope, take breaths, write down/dictate your thoughts and emotions, allow yourself to feel your feelings, talk about them with a trusted friend or therapist.
8. Keep perspective. Remember that this is temporary and it will pass. Utilize this time to plan and prepare for what you’ll want to do when this is over. We can come out stronger on the other side. Remember, we have gone through difficult times before, we will get through this one too.
9. Continue to stay connected! While mentioned above, it is worth highlighting this, quarantine can feel very isolating, so it is very important to stay connected via phone, email, facetime, social media, etc. As some of my colleagues have stated “Social Distancing does not mean Social Disconnecting.”
10. Help someone else if you can AND/OR ask for help if you need it. Many organizations are looking for volunteers in order to help the community. If you can, volunteer to help others and if you need help, please reach out and ask for help. It’s ok to need help.
- Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/tips-social- distancing-quarantine-isolation-031620.pdf
- CDC- Managing Anxiety and Stress: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html
- CDC- Helping Children Cope with Emergencies: https://www.cdc.gov/childrenindisasters/helping-children-cope.html
- Department of Mental Health CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES: https://dmh.lacounty.gov/covid-19-information/
- Department of Mental Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-800-854-7771
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (English and Español)