Being quarantined, whether self regulated or government mandated, is never fun. Since we are in Houston, we are used to hiding away for a few days at a time for a hurricane, but this is unlike anything we have experienced before. Something we do know from weathering hurricanes though, is that cabin fever is very real and very difficult when not handled! That feeling of wanting to snap and go off on everyone who is locked away with you can be really difficult to battle that 4th and 5th day, well what about the 14th or 15th day? Here are some tips and ideas I have been reviewing with my clients to help us all be able to manage this crisis in the best way possible.
Utilize your community resources! Each community is different, but check in with local emergency centers, school districts, community centers, and see if they are offering meals, school assignments, activities, or other supports that you could utilize over the course of the next few weeks. There are many online resources as well, especially to keep your kids busy over the next few weeks with school out. Google for resources in your area and I imagine you might be surprised at what you will find!
It can be really tempting to treat this like a second spring break. While that can sound fun, it is so important that our bodies stay on a somewhat normal schedule. Set your alarms to somewhere around when you would normally wake up for work, eat a good breakfast, lunch and dinner, go to bed at a decent time, you don’t want the stress of your body clock being messed up on top of everything else going on. An exception to this is if you are showing symptoms of being sick. Please take care of yourself and give your body the rest it needs when you can.
Variety of Activities
Many of us are going to be catching up on our TV shows and movies and I know that. There is nothing wrong with finding the enjoyment we can out of this situation, but we need to do more than sitting on the couch. Let’s keep our mind and bodies busy! Take a walk outside, ride some bikes, do an online yoga video, read a book, have good conversations with friends on the phone, play some board games, try some crafts, make the most of this quarantine, make a bucket list! (Idea stolen from my supervisor!)
Limit the Amount of Fear News You Take In
Yes, we need to stay up to date with new developments in the crisis, but constantly refreshing a news page every five minutes is only adding stress to our mental state. Pick a few times throughout the day to take in current news, but besides that, focus on other information and things to put in your mind.
No matter the emotion most present in your mind, whether fear, anger, sadness, anxiety or something else, your emotional state is different now than it was a month ago. Let’s take the time to recognize what’s going on and how that’s impacting our physical and mental states. Are we more impatient than normal? Having trouble sleeping? Not eating? Eating too much? Getting defensive? Help yourself understand what’s going on with the following statement:
“I am feeling __________ because _________. Therefore, I need to do __(insert coping skill)___.”
This statement will not only help you understand what is going on with yourself, it will help those around you understand as well!
If you have any questions or need any extra help during this time, please reach out to us. We will be more than happy to provide counseling services through video-conferencing services so you can get the support you need from the comfort and safety of your home. Be safe!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Alyssa or one of our other amazing counselors, please contact us 832-421-8714.