Mental Health During Quarantine
In these historic times, we’ve been seeing a ton of stuff all over social media and the regular media, too, about how to use quarantine time wisely. To finally learn how to speak French, play the ukulele, or to finally use our Peloton that’s been in the garage. Not only that, but we’re also expected to be uber positive, to encourage each other on social media, the “We got this!” mentality.
For those of us who’ve lost our jobs, closed our small businesses, and are quickly depleting savings (if we even have any) the idea that using this time as if it’s some kind of paid sabbatical or vacation, is foolish and even harmful.
This isn’t to tear down those who are doing extra online yoga classes or finally finishing that novel. Not at all. More power to them. However, to assume that being productive and engaging in self-care is the only way to get through this doesn’t work for everyone. Why? Because it doesn’t bring mental health into the equation.
The idea that we have to do something, anything productive when we are faced with something we’ve never faced before can affect one’s mental health negatively. For those who already suffer from depression and anxiety, it can double-down on the suffering. And for those who don’t, this uncharted territory and social expectations can send us down a path of depression and anxiety.
So what do we propose? Well, we’re no mental health experts, but as fellow humans, we want to let you know that almost any way that you choose to safely deal with quarantine is okay with us. If that means binge-watching Tiger King over and over, more power to you. If that means listening to your old emo CDs from high school, cool with us. How about just chatting with your dog? Yep, do it. We won’t judge you if you don’t learn how to be an expert in Photoshop or get six-pack abs.
What we do know—and these are just gentle suggestions—that doing the following might make you feel better:
- Continue showering, brushing your teeth, and wearing clean clothes.
- Reach out to friends and family more regularly. Just hearing a loved one’s voice and having a good conversation can help your mood enormously.
- Get some fresh air. Whether you have access to a balcony, backyard, or simply the sidewalk, make it a point to get outside every day.
- Get the right amount of sleep. Staying up all night doesn't usually make you feel better.
- If you find yourself really struggling, make an online appointment with a therapist. Meeting with one over Skype, Zoom, or even the phone can help you get your mental health back on track.
We are all in the same boat. So whatever you need to do, or NOT do, is okay. It’s more than okay. We DO got this, but we got this in our own way. Take care of yourself, and we’ll see you on the other side of this.