Making the Most Out of Quarantine Life Part 3
Caring for Your Mental Health
As the Enhanced Community Quarantine period is extended until April 30, 2020, feeling quite agitated is expected. Being able to go out freely and safely is what most of us want now. However, until our nation manages to flatten the curve, we’ll just have to hold on and stay put.
With prolonged period of being locked in, it is important for us to protect our mental health to survive this. Here’s a list of things you could consider in order to cope and endure this quarantine period successfully.
Meditation is a practice that is linked with mental health as well as physical fitness. It’s about emptying your mind and achieving relaxation. This practice allows you to quiet your mind and let stress out so you can have a reprieve, even for just a moment, to gather yourself together and find courage to face the challenges.
When this is all over, you can even opt to attend a yoga class and meet like-minded individuals to gain new friends. It’s a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle which could be something good borne out of this tough situation.
Listen to Music
We can already attest to the power of music based on our own personal experiences. We hum when we’re inspired or happy as we go about our daily tasks, don’t we? How about the musical score to that particular scene in your favorite movie that totally moved you? Music is also your companion in suffering the traffic of your daily commute. In this difficult time, listening to music could also help you make it through.
According to studies, music has a positive impact on transforming our mood and fending off depression. Listening to music is even considered comparative to meditation as a powerful tool when it comes to overall improvement of health and well-being according to a 2016 study. So, when you feel like you’re about to sink into a bad spell, crank up the volume and listen in. If you don’t want to bother neighbors or family members, get that headphones and plug it in.
Do Free Writing
Writing therapy is a great way to safeguard your mental health. Free writing is a form of therapeutic writing where you just write whatever is on your mind. You don’t have to be a writer to do this and you can write in whatever language you prefer–be it in English, Filipino, a combination of both, or even your native dialect.
The key to this activity is to just jot down whatever comes to your mind. You let everything out free from any form of censorship. Write as if nobody else gets to read it or with full intention of destroying it when you’re done. If you decide to do this on your computer, think that you’ll delete the file after or just don’t save the file in the first place. This concept will set you free as you lay everything out with utter abandon; thereby releasing the stress, negativity, and tension as you write. You don’t have to worry about form, style, or even grammar because you just know that there’s no judging here. Once you’re done, you’ll feel so much better and lighter. Keep at it, every day, if you want to, for as long as you feel the need to let it all out.
Start a Grateful Journal
Popularly known as Gratitude Journal which supports the concept of attitude of gratitude, this is basically comprised of lists of things you’re grateful for. Unlike an ordinary journal, this one keeps track of the good stuff in your life. Doing this every single day will help you be calmer, more focused, and it promotes self-awareness, among other great benefits. Training your mind to look for the good things in life lead to contentment, so you tend to live a happier life.
Maintaining this good, positive vibe is what we all need in this challenging time when it’s so hard not to fall into boredom at first, then to discontent, and eventually, anxiety. To combat this downward spiral, you need something to hold on to. Aside from looking for things you’re grateful for, big or small, going through this journal will serve as your reminder that not everything is bleak and gloomy. If you look hard enough, there’s something good and there will always be hope.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
Practicing those suggested above will help achieve maintaining a positive outlook. This is so much easier said than done, of course. Nevertheless, remember that it’s difficult, but not impossible. One way of fighting that sense of despair is by taking a break from depressing news. A month into this ECQ, we probably already heard and read everything there is to know about this invisible enemy that plagues us. Turn away from or bypass the negative news and social media posts every now and then and tune in to more uplifting things.
This is not to say that you deny that there’s a global problem that keeps us within the confines of our homes to be safe. Staying alert is indeed important, but if it’s more of the depressing topic we already know about, then move on to something else. Feed your mind and soul with hope instead, no matter how far-fetched it may seem at the moment. Zone in on the fact that there are people recovering instead of being stuck on how many lives Covid-19 has claimed and still claiming. Hold on to the concept that this too, shall pass.
Let’s all focus on the next phase–when this is all over. You now know those things you took for granted before. Go for that trip you keep postponing before; see friends and family you wanted to spend time with but couldn’t during the lockdown. While you’re at it, visit your favorite restaurants to meet with them, or plan those great activities to celebrate life. Think of all the pampering you would like to do as soon as the quarantine is lifted.
We will survive this. And when we do, let’s support each other to get back on our feet. Remember, we’re all in this together.
Do you have quarantine tips you’d like to share with us? Tell us all about it on the comments section.