What social distancing and quarantine is doing to our brain and mental health?
Did you ever feel down during the time of quarantine and social distancing? Did you ever feel sad and alone? Well, you are alone not with these kinds of feelings, almost all of us have already experienced their "quarantine-down".
How comes and what can we do to prevent it and feel better?
The world seems to stand still: Social distancing, not seeing our friends and family for such a long amount of time, not going to school or work, not being able to enjoy the good weather and live the life we had before, having to return from our stays abroad or even being forced to cancel your holiday plans, all these are measures that we had to accept in the last time to flatten the curve and to prevent any further spread of the virus. All these are measures that we learned to live with and which we stick to because we want all this to stop, we don't want no more people to suffer, people getting infected, people losing everything, their existence, their lives. We do this because we are convinced that it is right but still sometimes the increasing loneliness, the effects of all these measures affect us, our wellbeing and mental health.
Not only that the whole situation stresses us out, we have no control over the outbreak, also we lose all of our structure in life. Getting up, going to school, going to work, having things to do, having duties and being responsible for something, all this becomes almost nonexistent.
Additionally, you cannot see your friends and family. You cannot simply hang out with them. The lacking change in your life affects you, you feel more and more cut off of the world. Feelings like sadness, anger, stress and resulting depression seem to occur more often during times of isolation. You got a lot of time, to think about your life and past and might starting regretting choices
So what can we do to in order to feel better?
Give yourself some tasks, some duties, something you are responsible for, create a structure for yourself, try to wake up at almost the same time every day and be productive, write yourself a to-do list about what has to be done, so you get the feeling of being useful, of having achieved something by the end of the day. It can be whatever you feel like doing, or what you feel has to be done. Start by cleaning your home, redecorating your rooms, maybe write something, read something. Just give yourself a sense.
Do whatever you enjoy doing, talk to people you love but don't give yourself the chance to overthink the past. Create plans for the future you can look forward to, give yourself something you can be happy about. Instead of thinking about negative things, stick to the positive, what makes you unique and what can you be proud of? Turn the things you might regret into something positive, how has the past shaped you and your personality and turned you into the wonderful, unique and beautiful person, you are today.
Kendra Cherry, How to cope with quarantine, https://www.verywellmind.com/protect-your-mental-health-during-quarantine-4799766, last updated: 18 March 2020 [last access: 02.05.2020]