COVID-19 is a new infectious disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China around the end of 2019. On March 13, 2020, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. As it is a new disease, there is no vaccine or cure for it yet. The only way to stay safe from it is to avoid contracting the virus by using precautionary measures. 

Other than maintaining hand hygiene, not touching your face, maintaining distance from anyone who has flu-like symptoms, you could also self-isolate as a precautionary measure. If you’ve recently travelled or come in contact with someone who has been found positive of the novel coronavirus, you may be heading into self-quarantine so that in case you’ve contracted the virus, you don’t end up giving it to your friends and family members. It is also highly recommended for anyone who suffers from diabetes, lung disease, heart disease or kidney disease

Self-quarantine comes with its own set of challenges. You can’t go to the office, meet your friends, go to the mall or even the gym. If you live with flatmates or family, you even have to restrict yourself to one part of the house. And while we often focus on the logistics and physical restrictions of self-quarantine, we sometimes forget the toll it takes on one’s mental health. 

Also read: Mental Illness

Self-quarantine may prevent the spread of infection but if you’re not careful, you may come out of it with some mental health problems. Feeling lonely puts you at an increased risk of depression, anxiety, stress and more. Here are a few tips that may help you cope during this time: 

  1. Come up with a routine
  2. Stay active
  3. Get creative
  4. Soak up some sunshine
  5. Take a break from social media
  6. Journal your thoughts
  7. Check-in on others
  8. Remember why you’re doing this
  9. Doctors for Mental health tips for those who are self-quarantined

Don’t think of self-quarantine as a holiday. If you’re working from home, continue with the same schedule you had before. If you’re not, list down a bunch of things you need to do every day and at what time and try to stick to it as much as possible. So what if you don’t have to see anyone? Shower and get dressed every morning still. Have all your meals on time. Sleep for 8 hours every night so your body, as well as your mind, are well-rested. A routine helps you stay focused and even deal with change. 

Just because you can’t step out doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit. You may be used to a gym setting or you may be a runner - that’s okay, you can get back to those activities soon enough. For now, think back to the physical education class back in school and get ready some simple full-body exercises like jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, lunges and push-ups.

When you get bored with these, you can switch to yoga which also serves the purpose of meditations and keeps your mind healthy. Start with basic poses if you’ve never done it before and don’t overextend yourself. There are many apps and videos online that can help keep you motivated on your indoor fitness journey. Or just put on your favourite song and dance your heart out. Doing any type of exercise daily is extremely beneficial for your mental health - it’s a scientifically-proven mood booster and can help you manage stress. 

Also read: Bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere

There is so much turmoil in the world right now. Self-quarantine isn’t easy. It’s a huge change for anyone and you may have many feelings about your situation as well as what’s going on outside of your walls. Any artistic expression - from drawing and painting to sculpturing - has been known to help one process difficult situations and make sense of them. You don’t really need extensive supplies for it even - just some old sketch pens or colour pencils would do. And don't be scared of being bad at it - there is no one watching. 

They say you don’t understand the value of something until it’s gone. The same can be said for the sun - we were dreading the unbearable heat of Indian summer just a few weeks ago and now we’re sitting inside all day long. Ideally, quarantine in a room with a window or a balcony so you can get a little bit of Vitamin D daily - it’s important for your mental health. Exposure to sunshine has been linked to mental health in many studies.

Social media isn’t the enemy - it’s helping raise awareness about the infection, the precautions and best of all, you get to see how some people around the world are doing all they can to help each other through this difficult time. It’s a ray of hope in this darkness - but too much of anything is bad. While there is positivity, you can’t completely block out the misinformation either. While you may not fall for the myths, it does cause panic about how so many others consuming the same content may be more vulnerable than you.

Don’t cut off indulging in social media completely - but designate a few hours in the day during which you don’t check social media. It’ll help ease the anxiety you’re feeling. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your phone at all - but instead of tagging them in memes, video-call a friend instead. Seeing someone while you speak to them may also help you feel less alone in all of this.

Stress is at an all-time high, the emotional heaviness is palpable. Journaling has many mental health benefits, including keeping a check on your stress levels. Writing down your thoughts and feeling my also help you process the current situation. Other than the mental health aspect, you’re in self-quarantine because you may be infected - keeping a note of how you feel physically will help you track any symptoms that may show up. 

Being in quarantine doesn’t mean your hands are tied up. Remember - helping others helps you too. So pick up that phone, call your elderly relatives, ask them how they’re dealing with the situation or just talk to them about happy memories. You can make someone’s day by just showing you were thinking of them - make the best of your time and make someone new smile every day. You can also go a step further and offer to be a sounding board for others in a similar or worse situation, people who think they don’t have anyone they can talk to. You can share tips from your experience, tell people what works for you. Even helping one person is more than enough. 

Eventually, anxiety may give into frustration. You may start questioning the situations and justifying breaking the self-quarantine to yourself. At that moment, remember why you’re doing this - not for yourself but for other around you. Your family members, your best friends, your neighbours - those are the one who would be at risk if you were infected and decided to interact with them regardless. Studies show that if you have the novel coronavirus, you could give it to 2-3 people around you as it has a high reproductive factor. And even if you’re able to power through it, they might now be so lucky - especially if they’re elderly or have underlying diseases.

Dr. Ankit Gupta

Dr. Ankit Gupta

10 Years of Experience

Dr. Anil Kumar Kumawat

Dr. Anil Kumar Kumawat

5 Years of Experience

Dr. Dharamdeep Singh

Dr. Dharamdeep Singh

6 Years of Experience

Dr. Ajay Kumar...

Dr. Ajay Kumar...

14 Years of Experience

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
AlzumabAlzumab Injection8229.6
Pilo GoPilo GO Cream75.0
RemdesivirRemdesivir Injection10500.0
FabifluFabiflu 200 Tablet904.4
CoviforCovifor Injection3780.0
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