How to Stay Mentally Healthy in Isolation
By Josephine Agbonkhese
What seemed a pandemic affecting “far-away China” has encased the entire world, leading to panic, emergency responses and unusual, unprecedented measures; with lockdown, social distancing, isolation and quarantining topping the list. With all these comes stress, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations, bingeing, paranoia, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
Psychiatrist/psychotherapist, Dr.Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri, MD, Pinnacle Medical Services, however assures that the following will help you stay mentally healthy whether you’re on lockdown, isolation or quarantine.
1. Minimize News Time
Constantly following news about COVID-19 could cause you to feel more distressed. Seek information only from trusted sources and updates only once or twice a day.
Do light exercises as you feel comfortable with. Remember, the goal is not to wear you out but to make you as relaxed as possible.
3. Avoid Maladaptive Strategies
Avoid using maladaptive coping strategies such drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating excessively and so on.
4. The Rule of 4:
Quarantine may become a magnifying glass on good and bad traits. For every one bad trait a person has, think of four good ones. Not dwelling on bad traits could help you maintain a good relationship.
5. Check on Family/Friends
Check on your family, friends and neighbours. Being supportive of one another puts you in a position of reassuring others, which in turn reassures you.
6. Maintain Social Network
Stay connected and maintain your social networks. Keep communication lines open.
7. Maintain Routine
Try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines or create new routines if circumstances change.
8. Monitor Sleep Pattern
Monitor your sleep pattern and that of children and the elderly. It’s important to get enough sleep.
9. Read Books, Watch Movies
Identify, read books and watch movies that provide a welcomed distraction and complete escape from the global pandemic.