Coping with Quarantine during COVID-19

Young women's version of this guide

What is the goal of quarantine?

The main goal of quarantine is to reduce the spread of infection by limiting the movement of the general public while keeping everyone safe and healthy. It’s important to participate in quarantine because it can also help prevent the healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed by patients with the illness.

How am I supposed to feel during quarantine?

It’s important to remember that however you are feeling during this time is normal. It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis.

How do I manage my mental health during quarantine?

Managing your stress and psychosocial wellbeing during this time is as important as managing your physical health.

  1. Take care of your body– get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet and engage in physical activity. If you are continuing to work at home or in the community make sure to rest and take breaks during work or between shifts
  2. Create a routine– Maintain a daily personal routine and schedule such as getting dressed for the day, taking a shower, making a to-do list of what you want to achieve to create a sense of familiarity
  3. Stay connected– Make the most of technology and stay in touch with friends and family
  4. Practice helpful coping strategies– utilize skills that have helped you previously in times of stress (i.e. dancing, drawing, cooking, journaling or talking to a friend). If you are looking for new skills you can try meditating
  5. Avoid unhealthy coping strategies– such as smoking, alcohol, or drugs (in the long term these can worsen your mental and physical wellbeing)
  6. Limit media intake– The constant stream of news reports about the outbreak can cause more stress and worry. Stay informed about the situation through reliable sources but practice limiting your news and social media intake to lesson anxiety and avoid feeling overwhelmed
  7. Take one day at a time– resist thinking too far into the future, remember these are temporary measures
  8. Reach out for support– If you feel overwhelmed reach out to talk to a healthcare worker or counselor. Make a plan of who to call and where to go if you need more support for mental health needs

How to identify a mental health concern:

  1. Fear and worry about your own health
  2. Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  3. Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  4. Worsening of chronic health problems
  5. Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

How can I stay connected during quarantine and social-distancing?

Use your electronic devices to connect with loved ones by calling, texting, emailing, or scheduling video chats.. You can even set up a time to virtually hangout with friends or family. You can try cooking or eating a meal together through video chat. Netflix has a new option to chat with friends while watching the same show or movie. There are even options to play board games online with friends.

What mental health resources are out there for me during this time?

Many therapists are offering sessions  through virtual visits at this time. If you are not already connected with a therapist you can find one on Psychology Today. There are also many mental health/wellness hotlines that are staffed 24/7 via call or text:

  1. Crisis Text Line
    1. Text Home to 741-741
  2. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1. 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    2. Spanish: 1-888-628-9454