Learn how to stay emotionally healthy during quarantine with these 8 genius tips.
This was a rough week at our house.
A couple of my family members are front-line workers in grocery stores — and it’s crazy out there!
Customers are cranky because they can’t find what they need, they’re frustrated that prices have increased and scared that items are being limited.
And they’re taking it out on the cashiers and stock people at their local stores.
Talking with my family helped me realize just how important it is to keep ourselves mentally and emotionally well right now, so I researched some ideas for us all.
How to Stay Emotionally Healthy in Quarantine
Acknowledge where we are.
We are essentially in a war scenario. I think at the beginning we were in shock, then we tried our best to make our circumstances work.
Now we’re just mentally drained and exhausted.
Admitting that life is extremely difficult right now, and adjusting your expectations will go a long way in helping you to cope with the circumstances. If you’re in denial or trying to pretend that the world is the same, it’s going to be more difficult for you.
Dealing with the actual reality of what’s going on will help to keep you mentally strong so you can cope well.
Lower your expectations.
Because life is very challenging right now, it’s super important to lower your expectations of yourself. Some days, maybe many days, are just going to be a wash when you don’t get anything “productive” accomplished.
That’s perfectly okay.
Take the time you need to rest, veg out, and just do something relaxing and fun. Go easy on yourself and give yourself LOTS of grace.
For many of us “social distancing” has become social isolation, and it’s hurting us. Isolation has serious negative health consequences for you including anxiety, depression, weight gain, and heart issues — and it even decreases your immune function! That’s the last thing we need right now.
In addition to Face-Timing and Zoom calls, I encourage you to find ways for real human interaction.
Of course, you need to take into consideration your local restrictions and whether or not you are a high-risk individual, but if you’re not, you CAN safely get together with others.
Here’s what I’m doing:
- Walk with a friend in your neighborhood or a park that’s open in your area.
- Invite a friend over to your house and sit outside six feet apart to talk.
- Coordinate a grocery shopping trip with a friend and talk in the parking lot.
- Order take-out and sit together in your backyard six feet apart to eat.
- Talk to your neighbor from the end of their driveway.
- Gather your neighbors in a circle in your cul-du-sac for a sing along (okay, I’m not actually doing that one)
Find creative ways to have some real human interaction — you NEED it!
Limit your time on social media.
In trying to stay connected you may be spending more time on “social” media.
I encourage you NOT to.
Our interactions there are not real social connection, and you may have noticed that you feel even more anxious after spending time on Facebook or Instagram. If you do, it’s probably time to avoid your phone except for a couple of specific times each day. Definitely don’t start your day by scrolling on your phone.
Take care of real-life self care and family first and you will find yourself much more emotionally and mentally well.
Avoid the news.
In addition to limiting social media, I strongly encourage you to limit your exposure to news stories, especially main-stream news media because they focus on sensationalism to grab your attention. The top stories are those that are the scariest and most dramatic — which is not helping your mental and emotional state, believe me.
If you want to stay up-to-date, I encourage you to avoid watching the news on television and to read select news stories online instead. Reading has much less of an emotional impact that video.
Try to maintain a routine.
I know it’s a crazy time, but looking at an endless row of days with no structure can negatively affect your mental and emotional state. Try to create a simple routine that you follow every day — not a schedule, but a list of activities/tasks you do in the same basic order every day.
And be sure to include connecting spiritually with God through prayer and reading the Bible, which will help your mental and emotional state tremendously.
See How to Create a Healthy Morning Routine You Can Stick To HERE.
Try to do something active every day whether it’s a short walk, an exercise video or a crazy dance party in your living room. Daily movement is essential to your emotional, mental and physical health — and is a key to help you manage your stress levels and anxiety.
Plus, who doesn’t feel better after a dance party?
Include some fun.
Above all else, we need to avoid losing hope. It’s so important to create mini-events that we can look forward to. Maybe it’s ordering special take-out food once a week, dressing silly and decorating the house to celebrate a made-up holiday, or baking cupcakes just because.
We all need whimsy, fun and surprise in our lives, so work hard to include it.
See some creative theme night dinner ideas HERE.
These days are challenging to be sure, but we can take some small actions to help ourselves stay well emotionally and mentally.
And remember, I’m in this with you!
I would love to hear what’s helping you cope well so please leave a comment. 🙂
I’m on your team!
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Jenny Young says
I admit that I am seriously struggling. I realize everyone feels as if their world has been turned upside down.
For me, I’m an empty nester, a stay at home housewife who before covid spent about 25 hrs a week babysitting my 2 yr old grandson(think potty training & fighting naps). With the virus, our family decided to take him out of daycare. So now I watch him 40 hours a week….which includes 3 to 5 days a week getting up at 4:30 to drive to my son’s house by 5 & sit there until 6:30 or 7…giving my daughter in law time to get to work before my son gets home from the night shift. Then around 8 or 9 my son brings him to my house to watch him for the day. Needless to say I am exhausted.
I feel as if I get healthy meals prepared for my husband (who has juvenile diabetes) & myself I’m at least staying on top of things. Not knowing how long this will last…when I will get some relief & rest…makes it so much harder. Toss in that my husband is working from home (thinking keeping a toddler away from his grandpa for hours at a time)…it’s just hard.
In my area, many of my friends are socializing again. Churches are meeting again, dine in restaurants are opening but the virus cases are rising by the 100s every day. Living with a diabetic I am trying to isolate for his sake.
I am trying to stay off of FB. It is hard to see everyone else going on as if they have no cares….though I know they do.
Anyhow…there is my rant. I’m drinking my coffee, reading my blogs & waiting for the little kid to get here for another day. I feel guilty to be so frustrated about the whole thing. So many people are missing their families. So many people would love some time with grandkids. It’s just how upside down the world is right now & I feel like I need to adjust because what is upside down very likely will be the new normal.
Kimberlee Stokes says
Oh Jenny! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with such challenging circumstances. I can imagine how difficult this transition has been for you and how exhausting it must be to care for a toddler full time, all while trying to keep him away from his grandpa. You have every right to feel what you are feeling!
I pray that God will encourage you, comfort you and give you strength, stamina and energy during this challenging time. You are wise to stay off Facebook. I’m doing that too!
Please stay in touch (click the contact HERE) and let me know how you are doing. I’m happy to pray for you.
I’ve been reading your blog for years, Kimberlee. I still appreciate your upbeat attitude and hopefulness. I will soon lose my job, and it will be a financial wallop. I am looking on your blog for ideas and hope that we can make it through to an easier time. Thank you!
Kimberlee Stokes says
I’m SO sorry to hear that you will be losing your job Stacey. Thank you for letting me know how I can help you during this challenging time. Please feel free to send me any specific ideas you’re looking for.
Is that a picture of your patio with your dog? It is lovely & looks so peaceful. I would love to have something like that! I also wanted to say I love your stuff about your journal. I have been so stressed I stopped completely writing in mine & I regret it. I just really didn’t know what to put in there. I really admire your organization of yours. I will try to do better. Thanks!
Kimberlee Stokes says
Yes, that’s our back porch. It’s taken a some time and effort to get it where we want it, but I love it now. And it does bring me a lot of peace. 🙂
Walmart recently had the cushions on the swing for $19.99 each and the toucan pillow and bird pillow for $5 each so it got a little update. The rest of the items are from the thrift store except for the large planter on the left which is from Lowe’s.
As far as journaling, I understand about feeling stressed and unmotivated. It helps me to just make some kind of marks in it every day — even if it’s just drawing some lines or circles. Sometimes I color in the circles, sometimes I don’t, but it’s stress relieving to just doodle. Most importantly, have fun with it and don’t worry about the outcome. Just enjoy the process. 🙂