What to Do When a Mass Quarantine Happens

Wow, this is a strange time we find ourselves in, isn' it? And it could get more serious before it gets better. The United States jumped to #1 in infection stats and at the current rate, we're unlikely to start the decline anytime soon. With more than 245,000 cases and over 6,000 reported deaths already — the exponential climb has begun and a mass quarantine, that is, strict federal orders to remain at home and limit movement, may be inevitable. While this might be scary, and times might get a little tough, there’s no need to panic. We’ll get through this.

This is already a reality in many states, so here we have some strategies for getting through this seemingly inevitable reality.

Home is a Safe Haven

When the reality hits that this could be for a while, some of us will chafe after the first week of isolation and others will adjust to new ways of doing things. This flexibility is the key to our wellbeing. Remember that there is a difference between thinking I'm stuck at home and I'm safe at home. Using the latter to pivot our thought process can help us to feel good and take this as a time to relax rather than feeling like we're trapped.

Stay Vigilant

It may be tempting to let safety protocols slide once or twice when times get boring or when we get used to the safety net of home and become a little lax (or lazy). But we have to remain vigilant to stay safe, and that may prove the most difficult part of all of this in the long run. If your area is in full lock-down, stay inside, avoid letting anyone visit, and keep the bigger picture in mind: We’re trying to reduce the rate of infections to minimize the burden on our hospitals, medical personnel, and medical resources so that we can keep the greatest number of people alive. Experts agree: We haven’t hit the peak of the infection yet and staying home is the best way we can help.

Routine Can Be Reassuring

Change can be challenging, especially when it’s extreme, but we’re wired to adapt. It’s what we do — find ways around our problems and engineer our world to meet our needs as we go. You may find yourself at home longer than you’d originally anticipated, and adopting new routines and patterns until the situation changes could help you and your family reduce anxiety, function better as a family unit, and enjoy your time together. Consider how you want to plan a schedule if you’re working from home or helping kids with distance-learning or home-schooling. Will you plan for recreation breaks, family meals, and exercise breaks? What about planning family-oriented activities, socializing at a distance with extended family and friends, or arts and crafts?

Some general recommendations to try to keep life as normal as possible:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule will help with a sense of normalcy. Get up every morning at a reasonable time and go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Pampering yourself could be an excellent way to use some of the extra time you have on your hands, relieve some stress and further enhance your personal hygiene. Why not lavish some extra time and care on yourself? Dressing each day will make things feel more normal, but you try to be comfortable and practical, too.
  • Maintain a regular work or school schedule. If you can work from home, clock in during your normal hours and give yourself regular breaks. Look into local online resources or contact your school district for instructions on keeping kids on track in school.
  • Stay social. Keep up with extended family and friends with the help of Skype, Zoom or Facetime. Maintaining social contacts can help alleviate boredom and stress. It also reduces the sense of isolation.

Life is change. The US Marines have a long history of dealing with challenging, changing situations which gave rise to their slogan “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.” The key here may be that e need to adapt, but the fastest way to do so is to create new routines and then use them to create a new sense of what's normal and expected. This is especially helpful for children.

Anxiety Can Be Redirected

Many of us feel anxious right now, and that’s normal. But anxiety can transform into brooding, which could ultimately lead to clinical depression.

Instead of getting mired in worry, all that nervous energy could be redirected in positive ways. Anxious about running out of food or other supplies? Call nearby stores and ask about expanding their delivery services. Concerned about local seniors and other high-risk people? Coordinate religious and/or secular groups that might help check on community members to make sure they are okay and have what they need. By facing your concerns head-on, you might help provide a solution and make an impact on other people who are feeling the same way.

Embrace the Positive

Even hardcore introverts might find living during a mass quarantine challenging. That’s why it’s important to find ways to keep your outlook positive. Attitude — positive or negative — can have huge impacts on how well you tackle the problem at hand. Research has shown that living in gratitude can make a person more optimistic and happier. Seek the positives in all of this. We’re living history-in-the-making, seeing real-life heroes every day. Can we make changes and turn this experience into something more meaningful and better? One popular exercise in gratitude is to write down three things you’re thankful for each day. You might find a journal of your daily entries inspiring, surprising or thought-provoking at some point should you review them.

These coming weeks might not be easy… but they don’t have to be hard, either. We get to choose how we will craft our home shelters and what we will make of them. And together, we’ll determine what comes after. Even though we might be isolated at the moment, we’re still in this together.

Copyright 2020, Wellness.com

4/3/2020 7:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
Wellness Exists to Empower Health Conscious Consumers. Wellness.com helps people live healthier, happier and more successful lives by connecting them with the best health, wellness and lifestyle information and resources on the web.
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I think being alone all day is the worst because I like being around people. The positive side I am getting my house cleaned, getting rest, doing my taxes and decided to hit the task that I procastinate all the time for not completing them. I take walks but sure if safe.
Posted by Cecile Caouette
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