Not getting out as much lately? You’re not alone: All over the world, people are finding themselves unable to get out and enjoy the bars, restaurants, and outdoor spaces that they’re used to. The precautions we’re taking now are essential to limiting the spread of a deadly disease, but these measures also have dangers of their own. Staying home can be boring, of course, but it can also worsen mental illness. The experts at Psychology Today, among others, have written on the mental health dangers of a quarantined lifestyle. As Psychology Today points out, previous evidence from quarantines related to SARS demonstrates that quarantines bring out symptoms of psychological distress.
Anyone can suffer in a quarantine. Here’s what you need to know about staying as happy and healthy as possible when you can’t get out of the house the way you used to.
Treat Yourself at Home
Over the course of your daily life, your home might not usually play a huge recreational role. Urban dwellers in small apartments may find that they go to the bar more often than to the liquor store and to restaurants more often than to the grocery stores or convenience stores. That has to change now, though.
So, stock up on the good stuff and treat yourself! Get some fine wine from the local liquor store — many are offering curbside pickup and other limited-contact delivery options. Be sure to take advantage of delivery so that you keep yourself safe; it’s worth waiting a few business days or hours for that Pinot Noir.
Just be wary of the effects of alcohol on your body. Alcohol isn’t exactly healthy, and therapists caution against it as it is a depressant. Keep that in mind, and don’t place too many beers and wine orders with liquor stores and convenience stores. Balance things out with food and other treats, and be mindful of your health.
The news can be depressing these days, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad for you. In fact, Psychology Today writes that research has found that staying informed mitigates some of the effects that quarantined life has on a person’s mental health.
Of course, this does not mean that you should immerse yourself in internet rumors and sensationalist news sources. What it means is that you should set aside a little time each day to keep track of the situation and learn any key facts that you might need to know about keeping yourself safe — and sane!
Exercise isn’t easy when you’re stuck at home. Some social isolation guidelines allow for outdoor exercise, but that’s not necessarily an option for some urban dwellers. Gyms are closed, and other exercise options are off-limits, too. So, what can you do?
Body weight exercises are a good alternative to a gym trip. Climbing stairs, if you have some in your home, can be a good workout as well. And standing and stretching is a good bare-minimum way to keep from sitting or lying down all day long. A little movement will be good for both your psychical and mental health.
Get Online Therapy
Therapy is one of the best things for mental stress and mental illness. So, what can you do while you can’t go visit a therapist or counselor in person? In a stay-at-home situation, mental health care may seem inaccessible.
Thanks to online therapy and online counseling, mental health care isn’t as hard to come by under quarantine circumstances as it might have been a few years ago. Online counseling services can involve local or global care; a San Francisco therapist might offer online counseling in San Francisco, or he or she might offer online counseling in Idaho or around the world. That’s the power of online chats and face-to-face therapy over videoconference software: A San Francisco therapist isn’t limited to San Francisco at all!