The COVID-19 global pandemic has been a tough adjustment for the world, both for physical and mental health reasons.
You’ve likely been inside for a couple of weeks. Are you starting to feel stir-crazy at this point?
This is a super common occurrence during quarantine and has even been recognized by the CDC. Dealing with stress and keeping your mind occupied is an important factor for your health during this time.
Keep reading to learn the top ten tips for maintaining your intellectual health during the quarantine. (1)
- Create a Routine and Stick to It
This pandemic has certainly changed all of our daily routines. There’s no more commuting, going out to eat, or regularly visiting friends. But trying to maintain as much normalcy throughout the day can be a relief to your mental health.
For example, if you were going to the gym before or after work, you could try to use that time to do a workout video in your living room or go on a run.
Another huge mental health activity is changing your clothes, brushing your teeth, and showering. Get ready for the day and do all of the things you’d normally do to help yourself feel productive.
- Stay Connected with Friends and Family
Having regular video chats with friends and family can create the support system you need during this time. If you’re feeling particularly anxious or stressed, reach out to someone you trust who you can lean on.
Just in general, keeping your family connected and providing regular updates will make you feel less isolated. Making the most of technology and reaching out to the people you love is highly recommended.
If you and your family have experienced a loss recently, continue to reach out daily so you feel less isolated. Using keepsake urns might also be something you can have with you and will make you feel connected to those you lost.
- Get Sleep, Drink Water, and Take Care of Your Health
Taking care of your health is a regular part of your life, regardless of this pandemic. So take this opportunity to refresh your health routine. Consider the amount of water you drink every day and the amount of sleep you’re getting.
Eating nutritious meals and exercising can also improve your daily life. When grocery shopping, try to avoid foods you know will make you feel bad later and aim for healthy portions when eating.
Finally, try to limit the amount of alcohol you’re consuming. This can be an easy substance to lean on during difficult times, but it can actually end up emphasizing any mental health issues you might be struggling with.
- Give Up What You Cannot Control
So much feels out of our control right now, and trying to give up the things that you are unable to control will provide you with a lot of mental freedom. It helps to focus on the things you can control.
Washing your hands, staying inside and avoiding too much news consumption are all ways you can stay within your control. In general, do what will help you feel safe.
This may be different for everyone, but staying in isolation and continuing to practice social distance are all things you can control and will likely help you feel safe.
- Unplug and Avoid Obsessing
Part of giving up what you can’t control also involves unplugging as much as you can. With a 24/7 news cycle, it can be easy to watch the news all day and listen for every update. But staying informed is different from obsessing.
Checking in on the news every now and again is important, but leaving your TV news program running all day might be too much for your brain.
- Go Outside But Avoid People
If you’re being told to stay inside, you should follow the recommendations of public health officials. However, if you’re able to go outside and avoid people, it can certainly help your mental health.
Take a walk around your neighborhood, but don’t linger or sit down anywhere public. Keep the windows open when you can and try to get some sunlight through the day. People are often vitamin D deficient so going on a walk will help your body.
If you live somewhere with a lot of nature, avoiding crowds while getting some fresh air will help you to feel more normal and healthy.
- Stay Positive and Focus on Gratitude
It’s very easy to spiral during a time like this, and one major way you can combat that feeling is by remaining as positive as you can. Take a few minutes out of your day to remind yourself of what you are grateful for. Try making an actual gratitude list and expanding on it.
This can actually help lower your stress levels and create a more positive thought process throughout the day. You can share what you’re grateful for with a loved one as a practice in spreading more positivity.
- Quiet Your Mind with Meditation
Staying in the present moment can help you to give up what you cannot control. Meditation and mindfulness can help you to improve your view on life.
Meditation can help you to feel calm and reduce your stress levels, so this is something you can practice several times a day.
- Do Things for Fun
While it’s good to stay productive and have a routine during this time, it’s also important to break up the monotony with some fun. What are the hobbies you enjoy but don’t usually have time to do? Is there a TV show you’ve been waiting to catch up on?
Without having social obligations or commutes, you’re getting more time back in the day to do things you enjoy. Try a new book and explore the projects you’ve been putting off. Staying active and switching up your days is great mental health coping skill.
- Set Realistic Goals to Avoid Burnout
Along with setting time aside for fun, consider setting realistic goals for your professional and academic life. Take each goal and write down the steps you need to take to achieve them. Being realistic with your schedule will help you to not burn out.
Checking small items off your to-do list will help you to feel more of a sense of accomplishment. In general, try to not be too hard on yourself during a time of such high stress.
Keep up With Your Intellectual Health During Quarantine
This time can be very overwhelming for people, but not letting your intellectual health fall to the wayside is important. Remember to take care of both your physical and mental well-being to decrease your stress.
Follow the tips above and share this list with your friends and family who might be struggling during the quarantine. Check out other articles on our site to help you deal with these stressful times.