Quarantine burnout is real. The current crisis has changed the way we live, work, shop, and socialize. Here are some tips that may help you reduce mental and physical burn out and learn how to navigate this "new normal".
Tips for maintaining balance
- Create a routine and stick to it. Schedule your day to include work, self care, home life, eating, and connecting. If you normally work 8 hours a day, stick to that. Just because you and your computer are at home does not mean you need to be checking in with work during all of your waking hours.
- Get ready as if you have somewhere to be. Each morning shower, get dressed, and brush your teeth.
- Go outside! Get some fresh air, vitamin D, and move your body. Take a walk, do yoga on your front lawn, play with your kids... anything to move your body.
- Reach out to others. Call an old friend, FaceTime or Skype and text people to get social interaction. Set up a virtual playdate for your kids to get them some socialization too!
- Eat well and stay hydrated. If you're a stress eater, make sure you have healthy snacks. Set an alarm on your phone to get up and refill your water bottle. Make some healthy lunches and dinners and store them in your refrigerator to help reduce "what should I eat?" stress.
- Find a retreat space for everyone in the home. Even if you live in a small space, everyone should find a space just for them. Help the kids make a fort in the corner of the living room with blankets and pillows. Use your space daily to collect your thoughts and breathe.
- Give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself. Accept your current situation and identify the things you are doing well. There is no roadmap, you're doing the best you can.
- Schedule your social media and news viewing times to only a few times a day. This age of constant communication and information can be overwhelming so limit the exposure. Hearing the same dire information over and over can be frightening.
- Engage in repetitive movements and left right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, coloring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping, etc) especially left right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self soothing and maintaining self regulation in moments of distress.
- Find lightness and humor in each day. Watch a cat video on YouTube or a comedy on Netflix.
- Reach out for help. Keep up with medications and therapy, if relevant. If you have difficulty coping, seek help from a friend, a relative, a colleague, or a mental health professional.
- "Chunk" your time. Focus on a 'bite sized' issue that seems more manageable or doable.
- Find something to control! Organize your pantry, rearrange the furniture, make something 'yours.'
- Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems that it will never end. Remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, we will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.
- Remember that no one is a pandemic quarantine expert. You're not "doing it wrong". You are not "failing". We all need to find what works for ourselves, our family, our work, and our community. "You do you". Your focus is to stay safe, stay sanitized, and stay true.
Does it feel like too much?
CareATC is committed to improving lives through clinical care and health and wellness initiatives. If you are a CareATC patient who needs support, please contact your Wellness Center to schedule an appointment with your provider or speak with a Health Coach.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health National Hotline at 800-662-HELP (4357) or the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255)