Safeguard your mental health: Coping with COVID-19

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Dealing with quarantine can be challenging. It's important to take care of ourselves in this rough time.

Mia Scott, Opinion Writer

With a pandemic spreading rapidly around the globe, social distancing has become our new normal as our government puts us in quarantine to fight the virus. As doctors and politicians urge us to stay home and away from people, it is easy for people’s mental health to suffer.

COVID-19 has riddled many with anxiety, fear and boredom. Not only is this an issue for those with preexisting mental health issues, it can plague those who could have been in a good head space prior to quarantine. While some are stocking up on masks, sanitizer and toilet paper, others are preparing themselves for isolation and loneliness.

During these trying times, it’s easy to feel hopeless and alone. Although we are experiencing something unknown to us, we must keep a routine going through something unexpected. Get up, put on some clothes (even if you’re not going anywhere) and do something productive. As a person who has been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, I know how easy it is to lay in bed all day, staring at your phone and listen to music and just try to ignore all of this mess. I know it’s hard, but do something as easy as cleaning your room. Looking at your safe space and how orderly it is can be so satisfying and can bring your mood up.

Psychotherapist Haley Neidich says that people with existing mental illnesses should maintain a sense of community while quarantined by talking throughout the day with family and friends via text, video and phone, according to www.cnbc.com. Even if you don’t have an existing mental illness, being with your loved ones always helps brighten your day.

While facing boredom it’s hard not to fall into the feeling of hopelessness. To fight this keep yourself busy. Read a book, catch up on some homework or spend quality time with your family. Doing simple productive things can help you get through the day easily with a positive mindset.

No matter how you occupy yourself, I encourage you to only encounter people through FaceTime or social media and keep your circle of people you’re exposed to limited to your immediate family and co-workers (if you are still required to work). If we want to beat the virus and preserve our mental health, we must stay indoors. The more effectively we quarantine, the sooner we can defeat COVID-19.