We were not made to social distance. We’re not made to isolate and be alone. We are not in control of this virus. The past month, I have processed these things and many others as I help others process and learn coping skills for quarantine.
We’ve all been thrust into new norms very quickly. Kids are homeschooling. People working from home. We are wearing masks when we go out of the house. The shortage of toilet paper. Paranoia. Skyrocketing anxiety. These are crazy times we are living in.
You may not be good at adapting and change, but we are in a living history lesson that is forcing us to.
Here’s some coping skills for quarantine that can help:
Take a break from the news
Being informed is a good thing. Being consumed is not. Make sure that you are taking in nuggets that you can digest and that keep you up to date with info you need to know. Make sure you don’t get sucked in. This can result in worry and anxiety. We have to be careful about what we are putting into our brains that is helpful and harmful.
Make a list of to do’s for each day
A new routine and schedule can be very helpful. We have done this as a family, and it has helped us all shift into better coping skills for quarantine. We have included a family walk, down time to read, doing some chores, and having fun on our list. It feels good to be productive and accomplish something. This can help you not get stuck in a rut.
Ask for help
This situation can hit us all in different ways with a wide range of emotions. If you are struggling, don’t internalize and keep it all in. You may need to reach out for help from someone you trust. It may be as simple as asking someone to pray for/with you. Or for someone to help with groceries. Maybe it would be helpful to have someone check in on you in some way each day to make sure you’ve done something good for yourself to help keep you out of depression. There is no shame in asking for help!
Create community in new ways
We’ve had to get creative. Using apps, setting up video calls, and even playing a game with friends over Facetime! We never would have thought of these things before this, but these are strange times. Connecting with community is a huge part of coping skills for quarantine, so make sure you prioritize it in any way you can.
Take advantage of this time
It is easy to forget what day it is while social distancing and staying at home. Many days can feel like Groundhog’s day. That’s why it’s important to be intentional with your time and plan things to do. It could be tackling a project you never felt like you had time to do or finish. Maybe it is playing games or doing crafts with your kids. It could be good to read some of this books that have been on your list for a long time. Try to think of it as self-care as you are decreasing your stress by using your time well.
Try to find something to look forward to
This is VERY hard to do when there are so many unknowns right now. This is honestly one of the hardest parts for me! But here’s what we’ve done….a new very difficult puzzle, new recipes, starting a new Bible study, artistic designs with sidewalk chalk, a slow sleep in morning, watching new movies, bonfires and s’mores, planning a garden to plant, etc. These are just simple out of the ordinary things we’ve looked forward to in our family of 5. They aren’t big, but they do help as one of our coping skills for quarantine.
Getting off the couch can make a HUGE difference in how you cope. You don’t have to be a mega runner or do a whole new exercise routine. But it is important to get up and get moving to help you cope. A simple walk outside can do wonders for your mental health!
Focus on what IS true
Fear can be a big liar and get you distracted from the things that ARE and make you think about the things that COULD BE. Make sure you poke holes in the lies and stay grounded on the truth.
Lean on Faith and Prayer
The last and most important coping skill is one that involves the heart. The ONLY reason I’ve been able to do any of the above coping skills is because of my faith and the way it anchors me. These are uncertain times with unknowns of how and when this will end. There is so much out of our control. I feel extreme peace when I lean on Jesus, the One who does know how and when this all ends and who has all the control. I don’t have everything figured out, but I can lean on the One who does to help get me through.
If this season of uncertainty has impacted you, make sure you reach out for help, either to a loved one or for therapy to help you walk through ways to cope. This is not easy and you don’t have to suffer alone.