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How Quarantine Affects Mental Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they then become ill. Because some diseases can be contagious even if people do not yet have symptoms, this step minimizes the spread of the illness during the asymptomatic period!
THESE QUARANTINE PRECAUTIONS ARE SAVING LIVES!
In addition to the uncertainty and stress of the global outbreak, spending time in quarantine can take a serious mental toll. Part of the reason for this is the impact that quarantine has on three key elements of mental health: autonomy, competency, and connectedness. The isolation imposed by quarantine frequently leaves people feeling that they have no control over the situation. They also feel cut off from the rest of the world and unable to perform their usual duties.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!
As schools close, workers telecommute, and other social events are canceled, the prospect of being confined to your home because of quarantine can be daunting. Time seems to creep by much more slowly after you've been at home for a long period of time. Even if you are home with other family members, the sense of isolation and cabin fever can be powerful.
THE OUTDOORS ARE CALLING!!
The American Psychological Association reports that social isolation carries a number of health risks. Feeling isolated can lead to poor sleep, poor cardiovascular health, lower immunity, depressive symptoms, and impaired executive function. When executive function skills are impaired, you may find it more difficult to focus, manage your emotions, remember information, and follow directions.
While quarantine may be only temporary, even brief periods of isolation and loneliness can have negative consequences on both physical and mental well-being.
SELF CARE IS ESSENTIAL!
Stress Management Resources
Practice breathing and relaxation techniques at home:
- Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation.
- Stress Management: Doing Guided Imagery to Relax.
- Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
BCBSVT Spring Vigor
Take care of yourself
- Unplug. Don't let the technologies that help you do your work get in the way of your leisure time. Consider turning off cell phones or beepers when you are with family or friends. And avoid checking work email after hours.
- Be realistic. Remember that everyone has good days and bad days at work. For more information, see the topic Stop Negative Thoughts: Choosing a Healthier Way of Thinking.
- Reward yourself. When you finish a difficult task, celebrate. Take a short walk or call a friend!
- Schedule time for fun. Being quarantined is an adjustment for all of us! Be sure to schedule “you time” every day…Take the lunch time virtual yoga, go for a walk, read a book
Exercise can improve your mood and energy. It can also prevent fatigue and boost confidence! With gyms and studios closing, many places are offering free, virtual classes! Search for you favorite class type or check out the following!
Free Online Yoga Classes:
While the coronavirus is still spreading, it's best to take a "better safe than sorry" approach. This means:
- Keep your family home and away from others as much as possible. Don't have friends and extended family over, and don't go to their homes. People who look healthy still can be infected and can spread the virus. That's why it's important to stay away from everyone, even if they don't seem sick.
- If you have to go out, make sure you are at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people. Viruses can spread when someone sneezes or coughs out tiny droplets. These droplets don't usually travel more than 6 feet before falling to the ground.
- If you're caring for someone who is sick, take all recommended precautions. It's important to keep that person away from others.
- Use the resources available! Everyone is going through this together. Many communities are sharing their coping mechanisms. If you are struggling to come up with ideas try a google search or check out the following resources:
Maintain a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
What is it?
- A partnership that SUPPORTS and GUIDES you in defining, creating and achieving your best self.
- Focuses on your strengths and positivity.
- Areas of focus may include: Nutrition, Fitness, Stress Management, Weight Management and Work/Life Balance
What should I expect?
Initial Coaching Session: (30-45 minutes in length)
During these sessions, you will get to know your coach and define your long-term vision of health and wellness. You will decide on a plan and set achievable goals to focus on between sessions.
Follow Up Coaching sessions: (15-30 minutes)
During these sessions, you will check in with your coach to review your goals and progress, identify and celebrate your successes and brainstorm how to overcome obstacles. Sessions will conclude with defining short-term goals to help you move towards success.
How do I get started?
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-828-7308.