Quarantine can be a very difficult time for many of us. Many people feel that they are deprived of social experience and entertainment. However, we must stay strong and discipline ourselves to obey the lock down rules/ regulation to ensure the wellbeing of the collective and prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Looking on the bright side of this situation, many individuals are now able to work and study at home. As a result, time has become much more flexible as many of us can now save much more time than before. We no longer need to drive or walk to our work places and schools, or wait in line to purchase our meals etc.
A problem relating to the lock down is the lack of social interactions we are getting on a day to day basis, and has caused many of us to feel lonely. The nation wide lock down has hindered many of us to reach physical contact with other people. Thus, reducing our abilities to reach our social needs.
Why is socialization so important? As humans, we are social creatures and having an amount of social intimacy is a part of our psychological needs. When we do not have our social needs met for a duration of time, social isolation can lead to depression, as well as social and cognitive impairments (Biordi and Nicholson, 2013). Not only can social desolation lead to mental impairments, it can also cause physical health problems such as increasing your chances of having a stroke (Dystra, 2016). Therefore, it is important to ensure that we meet our required social needs so that we do not suffer mentally or physically.
During our current time, many tools such as social media, facetime and other chat applications has allowed us to communicate with each other without being in close physical proximity with the other person. Those technologies has allowed us to meet our social needs without being in the presents of another person, which is great because we can meet our social needs without furthering the spread of the virus. During your free time, you can choose to voice chat, face-time or call your friends and family members, engage in meaningful conversation, or play some video games with each other.
Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are staying home to prevent further spread of the virus. As a result, people are getting less exercises than pre-pandemic times. Therefore, it became more difficult for people to meet their daily needed physical exercise. Thus it is important for all of us to ensure that we get enough physical activity at home to ensure that our physical, and mental health won’t suffer.
Physical exercise is a way to maintain and improve good mental health. This includes mood state, self-esteem, and aerobic activity reduces symptoms of anxiety (Raglin, 2012). Therefore, it is a great idea to incorporate at home workouts as a daily routine. Evidence from clinical studies suggests that the psychological benefits associated with exercise are comparable with the benefits found in standard psychotherapy (Raglin, 2012). It is quite astonishing just how powerful physical exercise can be to our mental health. However, exercising to an excessive degree can cause disturbances in mood and worsen physical health (Raglin, 2012), so we should only exercise in moderation.
Goals and Projects or Hobbies
There are many people out there that depended on hanging out with friends, going out or any other social activities to keep them happy during pre-pandemic times. However, those previous methods to ensure a level of being entertained is no longer feasible in our current pandemic time. Therefore, people should look for other methods to keep themselves entertained while keeping the public and our collective safe.
Setting goals, projects, or finding a new hobby we can work on from home is a great way to keep ourselves happy. It allows a level of stimulation our brain needs in order to maintain our mental wellbeing. Not only would those activities allow you to be entertained, once you have completed a project or reached a goal, the sense of accomplishment will fuel you in a way that is more meaningful than getting wasted at a party. You will likely learn new skills and information that can be used your future, or guide you to a path that has the potential to lead you to your career. But most importantly, setting new goals and projects that you can work on from home will keep you away from the coronavirus. Thus, benefiting the collective and the greater good of humanity by decreasing the spread of the virus.
Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately.
Boidi DL, Nicholson NR. 2013 – Chronic Illness ; Impact and Intervention
Cacioppo, J.T., & Hawkley, L.C. (2003). Social Isolation and Health, with an Emphasis on Underlying Mechanisms. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine46(3), S39-S52.
Dykstra DJ (2016). The concepts of loneliness and social isolation loneliness
Raglin, J.S. (2012). Exercise and Mental Health. Sports Med9, 323–329