How to Cope During Self-Quarantine

young woman reading a book near a window

Author: August Clarke

“Trust even the bleak times.
When you reach the end of
the tunnel, then you will
know why this all had to be.”
– Melody Beattie

In the world’s current condition, you might find yourself being forced to self-isolate for one reason or another. Maybe you’ve developed symptoms of COVID-19 and are waiting for your test results, or perhaps you’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID and have to quarantine for that reason. If you’re in that situation, I feel your pain, because the latter of the two situations I mentioned happened to me and let’s just say that self-isolating is hard. It’s hard on your body, it’s hard on your mind, and it’s hard on your mental health. Here are some ways that I found helpful for handling the isolation:

1. Make sure to let some light in

This may seem like a weird tip, but when you are cooped up inside for a long period of time, you can literally go days (or weeks!) without getting the Vitamin D you need, and that has a huge impact on our mood, focus, and energy. Try to open up some windows to let a little bit of light in and you might be surprised by how much it improves your mood!

2. Take a step outside if you can

Depending on your reasons for self-isolation, you might not be allowed to go for a walk outside, but if you have a backyard or patio, don’t forget to step outside for some fresh air every once in awhile! Even propping open a window to let some air in can do wonders. Sometimes a change in scenery is all we need to give ourselves a boost.

3. Talk to friends and family regularly

Just because you can’t physically be with your loved ones, doesn’t mean that you have to emotionally separate from them too! There are plenty of apps (like Facetime, HouseParty, Zoom, and more) that make it really easy to connect with friends and family virtually now. I swear Facetime is the only thing that kept me sane during my self-isolation period! Social connection is really important, so I highly recommend making sure that you take the time to videochat with someone every day, even if it’s only for a couple minutes.

4. Tackle a project you’ve been putting off

For me, this meant CLEANING. Lots and lots of deep cleaning. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you can’t … well, go anywhere. But the point I’m trying to make is that, even in isolation, there are lots of ways to keep yourself busy, even if it’s just doing a spring clean-out. Maybe you have a book you’ve been meaning to write, or a painting you’ve wanted to finish for awhile. Now is a great time to get it done! As long as you can keep yourself busy, your self-isolation period will fly by.

5. Take breaks

You might be a little bit confused about this. How do you take a break from doing … nothing? But just because you’re isolating, doesn’t mean that you’re not doing anything. If you’re in high school, you probably have schoolwork you’ve been doing. It’s important to take regular breaks to rest. My biggest challenge with self-isolation, personally, was that I had days where I literally would just sit in front of my computer screen watching online lectures for hours and after a while I would start to feel really drained and spacey. Being cooped up inside all day is actually a massive drain on energy! And if you’ve been staring at your phone or your computer all day, that can be really hard on you too.

Being cooped up inside all day is actually a massive drain on energy! And if you’ve been staring at your phone or your computer all day, that can be really hard on you too.”

Not to sound old-fashioned, but it’s really, really important to give your eyes a rest from looking at blue light for a bit. There are plenty of other things you can do to keep yourself busy. Read a book, vent in a journal, or finish a drawing you’ve been working on. Whatever your heart desires. I promise it will do you a world of good.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your self-isolation period is only temporary, and even though it may feel really hard in the moment, it will be over before you know it. Life during a global pandemic is scary and anxiety-inducing at times. If you are struggling, ConnecTeen is here for you, by text, chat and phone.