The world is in lockdown. Over 169 nations/regions have at least one confirmed case of Covid-19, and the number of global infections is rising exponentially. This has forced nations to close their borders, businesses to close their operation and communities to close their doors. These are unprecedented and unknown times which brings about many different emotions for different people. These are the emotions of quarantine and how we can respond positively to each (please keep in mind that I am not an expert, and these are just some approaches which I believe may help):
There is every reason to feel angry. Plans may have changed; routines could have been destroyed, and the typical structure of life may have disappeared. Whether you had short-term goals which are now unachievable, or you had worked had to achieve a specific objective which is now useless, this period has flipped all our lives upside down. If you’re feeling angry, that’s okay. In fact, it’s completely normal and expected. Don’t use that anger as a means for violence or disobedience but rather as an acknowledgement that things aren’t how it was supposed to be. Regardless, looking into the long-term is a way to mitigate these feelings. There is an endpoint, there is a finish line, and with that in mind, that anger can be re-directed into hope and excitement about future prospects.
With so many unknowns and so many changing circumstances, this can make everyone feel anxious, and everyone reacts differently to these situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. Firstly, people with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. If this period becomes difficult for you, please seek the appropriate help. Some simple ways to reduce levels of anxiety can be taking a break from watching, reading or listening to news stories. Moreover, taking care of your body through meditation, eating healthy, exercising as much as possible and getting adequate sleep is vital. Above all, check in with your friends and family regularly. You may not be able to see them in person, but luckily, we live in an age where communication is easily accessible and immediate. Stay in contact and support each other.
We are disconnected. Our regular interaction has been reduced to merely our family members or people living in our home, and that is isolating and lonely. We are so accustomed to seeing people every day, strangers, friends and colleagues that when it is taken away, it feels odd. It exasperates the strange and scary situation which we are in. I believe the most crucial thing if you are feeling lonely is to reach out to others. Skype and facetime are two great platforms where you can still have some form of physical interaction but allows you to maintain relationships. Even just sending support or encouragement messages to others or asking someone to just have a chat is a great way to still feel connected. However, always remember that you are not alone during this process. We are all on this journey together.
There are mixed messages, changes to schedules and global confusion. All of these things put together is incredibly frustrating. There have often been unclear guidelines by different levels of government that contradict each other, leading to people being completely unsure of what to do. Moreover, the frustration of losing a job, especially for primary household earners can turn frustration quickly into anger and loneliness. One thing to assist in dealing with frustration is trying to only control what you can control. Focus upon your daily activities, what you’re eating, what exercise you’re doing, what movie you want to watch at night. People on the outside will keep on talking and keep trying to come up with the best solutions but use this time to be selfish. Focus on yourself, and this should hopefully ease the frustration which you may feel.
If you aren’t feeling bored now, I can assure you that you will feel bored at some point during this period of quarantine. For the majority of the population, our lives are predominantly spent outside the house. Partaking in a range of activities, going to work or attending events. Now we are stuck at home, and we have to make the best of the situation. Use this time to do some things around the house which you always think about but have never had time to do. Whether it be doing some gardening, or organising your bedroom, there are small tasks which can take up your time and mind. Also, enjoy the times just spent sitting down watching Netflix, YouTube or TV. Use that time to relax and then get serious in games of highly competitive monopoly with your family. If nothing else, you have lots of time to binge my blog! There are lots of posts to keep you busy! If you find an article that you like, or you have some questions or opinions on a topic I have written on, get in touch with me! Let’s have a debate/discussion! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a dm via Instagram @the_levine_lowdown 🙂
You may find yourself experiencing many of these emotions throughout quarantine. One day you may feel bored and the next angry. Personally, I have experienced all of these feelings already, and I know that this period is only getting started.
There is a finish line. You have people around you that care deeply about you. We’ve got this!