The outbreak of COVID-19 has most of us working from home and staying in quarantine, which is a hard change in pattern. But this is especially difficult for those who struggle with anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. Because the looming stress of a pandemic plus staying in isolation can get overwhelming. 

So if you too are struggling to keep calm amid a pandemic, here are a few steps that’ll make it easier:

1. Expose yourself to sunlight during the day 

Stepping out into your balcony and getting some sun is refreshing. It will actually help your mind keep a track of day and night, aligning your biological and social clocks. Being indoors all day long can get quite stuffy, so try breathing in some fresh air and letting your worries go. 


2. At least interact with one or two people in a day

If you are quarantined with your family or friends then this step is relatively easier. However, if you are self-quarantined then interaction with others isn’t advisable. But you can still have a fun group video call with your friends and family. Find online activities that you can enjoy together. This is a time to seek people out, to make sure that you don’t feel lonely. 

3. Make one good memory to go to bed with 

If you are quarantined with people then you can try watching a movie together or playing a board game. If you are alone, then sync a film with your partner or family so you can take one good memory to bed. This will make you feel more productive and satisfied at the end of the day. 

4. Take out self-care moment between or after your work is done

A simple face mask here and a pedicure there can make all the different. Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean your body and mind can go unloved. Light some candles, put on your favourite music and dance around the room. You can also add some meditation to the mix or your favourite workout routine. 

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

5. Take a shower, wear nice clothes and avoid lounging in your PJs

It’s the ideal dream to lounge around in your pyjamas all day long but it isn’t productive. Research statess that if you put on business clothing, then it helps you get into the right mindset. You don’t have to go that far though, just taking a shower and wearing nice clothes before you start working will uplift your mood. Also, moving spots while you’re working keeps you from getting bored. 


6. Restrain the amount of information you open yourself to 

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there and it can in times like this, trigger your anxiety or depression. Even though it is important to stay informed, try limiting the amount of news you expose yourself to. Restrict and watch just a considerable amount, preferable a while before you go to bed so you don’t sleep agitated or upset.

7. Make a timetable and remember to include all your favourite activities 

Study shows that you tend to work longer hours when you are working from home. These hours can take over your entire day and so making a timetable helps. Before you begin work in the morning, you can try getting an hour in for yourself and make a healthy breakfast or workout. Remember to take consistent breaks to have a cup of coffee and breathe. 


8. Organise your thoughts and your living space

The messier the space you’re living in, the messier your mind gets. Marie Kondo your house and you will definitely feel better. The more at ease you feel in your environment the less likely you are to overthink the current situation. 

9. Pick up a new hobby or skill you’ve been putting off

Since the internet is still available, it is a great time to learn something new. Got a guitar you haven’t touched yet? Or books you’ve been putting off reading? Well, this is the opportunity to expand your horizons. 

You can talk to your therapist and wander into art therapy (available online) as well, it is extremely relaxing and will prove to be a great distraction. 


10. Make sure you have a way of reaching your therapist or doctor incase you need help

These days of quarantine can be difficult for someone who is surviving anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. And your doctors and therapists know that. So make sure you keep in contact with them and have means of reaching them incase you feel overwhelmed. 


Remember to stock up on your regular medication, if you take any. And keep helpline numbers on hand for you and your loved ones. Stay safe, stay indoors!