How to Manage the Stress of Quarantine

Lifestyle | Apr 10, 2020

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Breathe neon sign on foliage. Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

There’s no doubt that this is an uncomfortable time. Between feeling stuck in the house, stress over grocery store trips and concern for one’s health, it can be taxing. That means it’s more important than ever to manage our stress level—and healthcare organizations continue to emphasize its importance. Here are a few ways to help you manage stress during quarantine.

Get outside
Spring has already sprung throughout the US, which makes it all the more therapeutic to sit on your balcony or deck, camp out on a patch of grass or go for a walk. Do some deep breathing while you’re out there, and let your body soak up some beneficial vitamin D.

While you may need to adapt your exercise routine, don’t stop it. Runs, hikes, and walks are still permitted under most stay-at-home orders, just be sure to maintain the six-foot distancing rule and be to wear your cloth face mask. Or check to see if your gym or yoga studio are offering virtual classes. Of course, you can also find at-home workout options from HIIT to Pilates with a quick Internet search. Nike Training Club is even waving fees for its premium subscription until further notice, and Peloton has extended its free trial to 90 days. Also, our communities are offering free online fitness classes to all residents through Fitness on Demand. Contact your team to learn more!

Enrichment activities
Do the things you enjoy as long as they adhere to stay-at-home requirements. Watching movies, connecting with friends , playing music, and other hobbies can all help to center you. This might also be a good time to dive into a new hobby or take on new learning opportunities. Right now you can take free online courses from a variety of Ivy League schools. Or learn a new language with the free Duolingo app.

Take a break from the news
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information available, and while you should absolutely stay informed, too much news can feed your stress. Instead of constantly reading or watching news about COVID-19, find some good news. One place to start is with John Krasinski’s new YouTube vlog “Some Good News.” Or turn off the TV altogether. Indulge in a guilty pleasure like reading a tabloid. Make a quarantine playlist. Take photographs of things that make you happy.

Let’s do what we can to flatten the curve, but don’t let the stress make you sick. Take care of yourself, stay positive, and we can get through this. If stress is leading to overwhelming anxiety, sadness or depression, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline at 1.800.985.5990.