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Quarantine Quandaries: How to Beat the Hum Drum of Isolation

In recent months we have been introduced to COVID-19, a virus, which has thousands of people across the globe, exposed with symptoms and many others fearing exposure and risk. There are widespread recommendations for social distancing, with thousands in quarantine and considerably more being advised to work from home. For many industries, this reflects a drastic change of pace, with students remotely learning, and full business having difficulty functioning at their usual capacity. This reflects a challenge in how we can stay sane, now finding ourselves in increased isolation, in a less sane world. Many people find it hard to be productive at home. We often take cues from other people working and that helps our own productivity. Without those usual cues, you may want to initiate your own accountability. Here are a few tips that may help:

Plan your time.

If you are in quarantine for a set period of time, get your calendar out. Mark off the 14 days (or recommended period of time).  Strategize your list of what meetings you will have each day, set times to have conference or video chat calls with friends and family. Planning out each day will break up the time helping it to feel more manageable.

Find Novelty:

To help break up the boredom from home, try to get creative with what is available to you. This may include finding new ways of baking, cooking, home improvement projects or reaching out with friends and family who you may have difficulty keeping in contact with.

Don’t get lost in binge-watching.

While it’s always fun to catch up on shows you may have missed, try to keep track of your time. When you reach that, “Are you still watching?” prompt from Netflix, it may be advisable to take a break, walk around and shift gears.

Our bodies give us cues on how we feel. Behavioral activation strategies show us that when our body gets moving, it can help our brain stay more engaged. When we lie down in bed for a long time and become listless and lethargic, the mind often follows suit.

Mentally — Try to Keep Perspective

The mass hysteria can make it seem as though the world is ending. It can be discouraging to see empty shelves in stores and public areas that are now vacant. However, there is also a lot of growth and healing that has encouraged people to find novel ways to stay together.

In Italy on a rooftop, a poet read aloud as everyone around was on his or her own rooftop, listening. A rabbi who was in quarantine in Skokie, Illinois, was reading aloud a prayer service (story of Purim, the Jewish Halloween) from the community members who read to him through his window, the congregation gathering outside. Many people are finding a beautiful way to stay connected, while apart.

A mom’s group in my community in Astoria, Queens has started an excel sheet of when different moms and caretakers may be available to watch one another’s children with the potential of schools closing.

Use this time as an opportunity. A positive mindset will help you get through the current moment and find more optimism and productivity in your work.

Meet your physical needs:

Try to exercise a bit each day, look up stretching work routines, in-home yoga and Pilates apps can also work. Even a few jumping jacks, push-ups or sit-ups will help you wiggle out of the resting mind that can take over when we are in the same familiar environment.

We can be tempted to stay in bed but the more active we are, the better we’ll be able to deal with daily challenges.

Keep a Routine

It can be challenging to work from home, so keep on top of your day. Write out a schedule of breaking up your time into meetings, breaks, times for meals, so that you can effectively manage your time without the usual prompts from the office environment and coworkers. A man in Wuhan in extended isolation stated that “everyday blends together” finding ways to break up each day will help to feel rooted.

Practice self-care: 

Try to turn your home into a spa. Taking baths, lotions, candles can transform your space and your mood. Finding coping skills that will work for you. Listening to music, journaling, playing an instrument, finding comedies you enjoy may all help provide a much-needed outlet for stress.

Talk to friends, Family, and Therapist:

Keep communication open with your friends and family. Thanks to technology, we can connect through video chat, or just a phone call. If you need someone outside of your circle, a therapist would be a great option.

Dr. April Brown, Cope Coral therapist are here for you. At this time, Dr. April Brown is offering video counseling for both couples, and individuals. If you are interested in more information, please contact Dr. April Brown.


Thank you.

Cape Coral Office:
1404 Del Prado Blvd, Unit 135
Cape Coral, FLORIDA 33990

Sarasota Offices:
1487 2nd Street Suite C-4
Sarasota, FL 34236
(239) 565-6921

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