How to Cope with Stress and Stir-Craziness
In the midst of social distancing, it is vital for all individuals to put recommended coping mechanisms to use in handling their newfound stressful environments.
“Quarantining yourself at home can play an important role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. But this doesn’t mean that coping with the disruption in your normal routine is easy. Taking care of your mental health is essential, even if your time in quarantine is relatively brief in the grand scheme of things,” said Kendra Cherry.
It is so important to be conscious of the welfare of others while quarantining in the COVID-19 pandemic, but individuals must also find ways to cope with their newfound stress, boredom and stir-craziness. Losing structure in one’s day is difficult and not all people manage having significant free time well.
“Just because you’re socially distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t connect,” said Cory Stieg. “Research has shown that social support can make you more resilient to stress.”
While individuals can call, text or FaceTime their friends and family to stay connected for fun, they are also lucky to live in an age of technology where they are able to have virtual classes for students and meetings for those in the workforce. This creates some structure, but what do they do with the rest of their days?
“Puzzles are a hot ticket in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. With this renewed interest, puzzles have entered the mainstream with stylish makeovers and a new reputation as a wholesome self-care activity,” said AJ Willingham.
Puzzles offer quality time for those who have a quarantine mate or serve as a great way to pass the time alone, piece-by-piece in an act of self-care. Jigsaw puzzles come in different levels of expertise that take varying amounts of time.
“The simple act of coloring a picture can be quite beneficial in relieving stress and anxiety” said Cathy Wong. “One popular way to do this is to color mandalas and use it as a form of meditation. This form of art therapy has become popular among adults as well as children because it is a relaxing exercise that can take your mind off of other things.”
Mandalas are considered to be the most beneficial among coloring books in facilitating meditation through centering the mind and body. Mandalas are made up of varying geometric shapes and symbols that are repeated in symmetrical patterns and have historically been used in Indian and Tibetan spiritual practices. Pair this quarantine activity with listening to music that makes one feel good in order to reduce anxiety and lift one’s mood.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “If you’re going to take a nap, stick to ten to twenty minutes to avoid feeling groggy or messing with your sleep-wake cycle.”
While individuals should avoid over-doing it with naps, one of the most important quarantine activities that can help them cope is getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation can make people more susceptible to contracting viruses and make it more difficult for one’s body to fight them off.