With a virus or other illness spreading rapidly around the globe, countries all over the world will ramp up their efforts to slow down the spread. Healthcare systems everywhere rely on the efforts of individual people to limit interactions in order to help avoid overwhelming hospitals, intensive care units, and other necessary battle grounds in fighting a global pandemic.
But where does that leave the average person? In these troubling and unknown times, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the anxiety of it all. And forcing yourself to remain indoors around the clock makes this challenge all the more difficult. However, in recognition of the importance of humanity working together, it is crucial that everyone find ways to make the most out of their time during this type of situation. Here are three ways to use a quarantine in a productive and positive way.
- Create a Schedule for Yourself
No matter the circumstance, having a schedule is a great and proven way to increase your potential, provide a sense of accomplishment, and allow yourself to see how effectively you’re spending your time. But during a major crisis, having a schedule can become immeasurably helpful, for many reasons.
Firstly, a schedule provides structure. In the wake of a worldwide illness, when many people find themselves working from home or not working at all, structure is one of the first constructs to go out the window. Providing structure for yourself on a daily basis can help to keep your mental health in better shape by avoiding the pitfalls of loose living. Many people report feelings of hopelessness, depression, loneliness, and a lack of motivation when they attempt to live a life without structure.
Write out a schedule for the next seven days. Include every little detail of your day that you can account for in advance, including meal times and a range of time for waking up and going to sleep. Try this for the next seven days and see how you feel!
- Turn Off the TV
That’s right! Turn off that beloved television. As a matter of fact, it might be a good idea to unplug it for a while as well. Of course, binge-watching your favorite shows and movies certainly has its place, especially in today’s culture, but during a quarantine situation, it is far too easy to fall into the trap of watching television around the clock, and the consequences can be devastating. Watching TV for too long or too often can create many negative symptoms, including a heavy toll on mental health and some dangerous side effects to physical health as well. During times of crisis more than ever, moderation is key!
One amazing tip for limiting the amount of time you spend in front of the screen is to plug your TV into an outlet with a preset timer. You know yourself best, so you can decide how much time is the right amount for you and which hours are the best to spend watching television. Some TVs and entertainment devices have their own timers or restriction settings. These settings can often be found under the parental controls section in the device’s settings. The added layer of control might be that extra push that helps you get off the couch and move onto something more productive, so it’s certainly worth a try.
- Stay Active
Speaking of getting off the couch, another easy thing to forget throughout any crisis is the importance of physical exercise. This is especially true during mass quarantines, when most people are spending more time indoors and moving through the world at much lower rates than what they’re used to.
The human body is made to be active, just like most other animals. Spending too much time sitting or lying down can cause detrimental issues to your physical health, and your mental health will almost certainly be negatively affected too. Keep this in mind when you make your weekly schedule, and make sure that every day has something physically exerting planned at some point.
Anything from a brisk walk to weightlifting can be extremely effective at keeping your organs in better shape and improving your overall mood. No amount of exercise is too small to be important. It all counts for something. So don’t ever sell yourself short for trying.
Although most gyms will be closed during a quarantine, there are still plenty of options for taking care of your physical and mental health through exercise. A quick search online will bring up videos, blogs, and other informative resources on new workout routines or other versions of exercise you can try. Looking up yoga instruction videos, body weight exercises, or at-home workout routines can be a great place to start. You’re sure to find something that will match your skill level and desire to be challenged or soothed. Just make sure you take precautions and don’t push yourself any harder than your body can handle. If you’re not used to working out, it is always best to speak to a healthcare professional before beginning a workout regimen. Safety first!
Go ahead and try these ideas for making the most of your time in quarantine. As long as you put in sincere effort and give it a fair try, you won’t be disappointed. Start with a schedule for yourself for the next seven days. Be sure to include time for relaxation and rest, whether that means watching a limited amount of television or meditating. On the other hand, include time for exercise as well. Start at your own skill level and work your way up from there, and remember that no safe exercise is too small to help in some way.
In any healthcare crisis, it is important that everyone works together and takes good care of their own physical and mental health. As long as everyone does their part, the challenge is always surmountable. Just do what you can to stay happy and healthy!