For many of us in quarantine, the days have started to blend together. Without any milestones or markers to determine how much time has passed, life begins to feel monotonous. And your mood may be dipping because of it. As we’ve shared before, we think it’s normal to feel glum right now. Isolation, job insecurity, health scares and financial stressors are hitting us all. So what can we do about it? While there’s no magic cure for feeling down, there are some small steps you can take that may help you feel relatively better. Here’s our best advice for dealing with the quarantine blues. Remember, it’s OK if the crisis is affecting you — be kind to yourself.
Gratitude can be a life-changer. And there’s science to back up the claim: According to Harvard Health Publishing, studies have shown that people who practice gratitude in their daily lives have a more optimistic, positive outlook than those who do not. Gratitude may even have positive effects on your physical health, which is especially important right now. An easy way you can begin practicing daily gratitude is to write down three things you are grateful for each morning. They don’t have to be anything crazy; you could write about having a place to live, food to eat, a healthy body and people in your life who you love. Give it a try. You may be surprised by the results.
Stick To A Routine
For those of us who are working from home right now, our routines are probably out of whack. Structure helps us feel stable and grounded, so when our routines are disrupted, stress can creep in fast. While you can’t practice your “normal” daily routine at this time, try to create a new routine, and stick to it each day. Plot out your days so that you have designated times for work, rest and fun. Committing to a daily routine has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety and improve mental health.
Another practice that may help with overcoming the quarantine blues is mindfulness. Simply put, being mindful means you’re living in the moment. The behavior may involve breathing exercises, guided meditation or other tools to help train your mind to focus on the present. When we’re struggling, our thoughts can spiral out of control. This may lead us down negative paths, making us feel worse. Mindfulness helps bring us back from these dark places by teaching us to focus on the here and now instead of worrying about the past or future. It’s become increasingly popular due to evidence that it can help people recover from depression and anxiety in recent studies. If you’re new to mindfulness, check out this resource for more information about getting started.
Getting creative is linked to positive effects on mental and physical health. You don’t have to be an artist to engage in creative behaviors — this is about the process of doing an activity you enjoy, not the end result. Whether it’s drawing, dancing, writing, painting or something else, expressing yourself creatively may boost your mood and provide an outlet to channel stress. If you enjoy coloring books, check out some online options available for download here.
Eat Healthy Foods
Our diets have a profound effect on our moods. Food is fuel for bodies, including our brains. When we feed it poorly, our brains are can’t perform at their best. Try sticking with healthy meals at this time to give your body the nutrition it needs to function optimally. Plus, healthy eating can boost your immune system, too.
Looking for more coronavirus-related content? Check out some of our previous posts below: