Mental Health Wellness During Quarantine
15 April 2020 (adapted from a public Facebook post by a clinical psychologist)
- Stick to a routine. Write down your schedule and maintain usual bedtime and wake-up routines. Get showered and dressed, brush your teeth. Put on something comfortable and bright.
- Get outside at least once per day. If you are concerned about contact with others, try first thing in the morning. Open the windows and get fresh air.
- Find some time to move daily for at least 30 minutes a day. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, try a YouTube video (check out “exercise for kids” or contact the YMCA for Zoom classes if you are a member).
- Reach out to others daily via phone calls, Skype, FaceTime, texting, emails. Set up virtual play dates for you children so they can connect with friends as well. Reach out for help. Mental health counselors are offering telemedicine appointments.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Stress and eating often don’t mix well. Challenge your family to eat well and try new recipes. If you need assistance, check out https://www.4j.lane.edu/communications/coronavirus/foodservice/ .
- Spend extra time playing with children. Especially if you are also homeschooling, set aside some time to read together or snuggle or do something fun. Children work through their emotions at play, so you may see fantasy play around sickness or doctor’s visits.
- Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and a wide berth. Help everyone find their own retreat space. Identify places for school work and for play. Expect behavioral issues and respond gently. We are all dealing with disruptions in routine. Expect children to test their limits and meltdown.
- Lower expectations and practice radical self-acceptance. We can get wrapped up in meeting expectations from work, homeschooling and dealing with increased anxiety. Accept this situation and your feelings around it. Avoid self-blame or guilt. We are all doing our best.
- Evaluate your social media. If news about COVID-19 causes anxiety, limit yourself to small amounts at a time. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with. For your children, it’s understandable to have looser rules at this time but avoid unlimited use. Social media is a good source of connection, but even teens need to turn off their phones in order to get some sleep.
- Notice the good in the world. There is a lot of scary information to take in right now. There are also inspiring stories of neighbors helping each other in miraculous ways. Give back to others as you can. Support restaurants, sew masks, check in with elderly friends if possible.
- Find something you can control and control the heck out of it. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, start a garden. Now’s the time to learn how to play the ukulele, take an online painting class, read the Harry Potter series, etc. Check out Hoopla electronic books and movies at the local public libraries at http://eugene.libguides.com/ebooks .
- Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. “Chunk” your time and take it moment by moment. We don’t know how long this will last so focus on an amount of time that seems manageable—one day, one hour, one minute and focus on that time first.