You’ve been stuck at home for at least a week and you only leave to go for a walk or get necessary food or supplies. If you’re like most of us, you’re probably feeling a range of emotions about being self-quarantined, the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing. As humans, we’re inherently social, so finding yourself socially isolated can be difficult.
There are ways to cope, however. Let’s look at some ways you can use this time to make a difference and feel better.
Learn/Use Technology to Connect
Even though you can’t get together physically, you can still use various technology platforms — like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom — to connect with family and friends. Here’s how to use Skype, how to use FaceTime and how to use Zoom.
Studies have shown that volunteering helps boost mood and gives you a sense of purpose. Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer. Consider sewing masks for area hospitals in your free time, write letters to nursing home or assisted living residents or other volunteer activities that can be done from your couch. Your senior center, local United Way branch or VolunteerMatch.com may also have volunteer-from-home needs.
Who doesn’t love getting a card or letter in the mail? Send a handwritten card or letter to family members or friends. If you’re the creative type, consider also sending a piece of artwork or craft you know the person will like — this could be anything from a painting to handmade jewelry to a piece of knitting or much more.
Share a Virtual Meal
Now that you’ve learned how to use FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, set up a virtual breakfast, lunch or dinner date with a friend. Order something you and your friend enjoy via GrubHub, Doordash or restaurant delivery or carry out and chat while you enjoy your meal. If you’d rather not use video chatting, use your speakerphone or hand-held device.
Create a Virtual Book Club
Many libraries have apps you can use to keep reading books during library closures. Take advantage of technology and create a virtual book club with your friends or family. Select a book, read at your leisure and meet up at a later time to discuss your opinions.
Establish a Routine
You may have seen sample schedules circulating online for parents who now have to homeschool their kids, but it turns out having a routine is beneficial regardless of age. Quarantine is disruptive, of course, but try to add structure to each day. Set times to be physically active, read, do chores, connect with others, eat, and anything else you want to include in your day.
Gyms and senior centers are closed, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop your exercise routines. Even short periods of physical activity can be beneficial. Get outside, take a walk or use this time to deep clean your home or do yard work. Try these ways to exercise at home (of course consult your doctor before you begin a program or if you have questions).
What are you doing to cope during quarantine? Share your tips below.