Several of our students may be quarantined or isolated with possible or proven corona infection in the future. Many will live with concern about whether they have infected others or are being infected themselves. When quarantined or isolated, everyday life changes for a student. One cannot study or meet friends and family as before.
During a quarantine period you may experience several stress factors such as boredom, fear, difficulty concentrating, loneliness, sleep difficulties, problems with access to household goods and concern for stigma. Remember that any psychosocial reactions you now will experience will be temporary
Here is some advice on how to handle the psychological strain of quarantine and isolation.
1. Remember that you’re performing an important task for society
By spending time in quarantine or isolation, you demonstrate social responsibility by reducing the possibility of others getting sick. By thinking in this way, one can to a greater extent maintain self-respect and prevent stigma. Write down 5 things you are grateful for!
2. Activities and routines
Structure, activities and regular routines counteract helplessness. They shape the day and help make it predictable. In an uncertain situation structure can provide security. Schedule study periods and other activities for set times throughout the day. Be sure to still take regular breaks.
Maintain physical activity (you may need to change your workout plan for a period of time), personal hygiene and regular meals. There are several free training apps such as Nike Training that are possible to do with limited space and without extensive equipment requirements.
By maintaining regular routines, you contribute to an emotional experience of order during an unclear situation.
3. Online social contact
Now is the time to start using social platforms and digital solutions. Communicate with others via Facetime, Skype and other platforms. During a quarantine period social contact is especially important. Make this a regular part of your daily schedule.
Is there anyone else you know who is in quarantine / isolation? Maybe you can arrange competitions, regular appointments or other activities online. There is a lot of inspiration for things to do on various digital platforms right now.
4. Control your worries
It’s normal to experience thoughts of worry about your own illness or being fearful about how many one may have infected. For some, such thoughts will dominate more space than what is healthy. If this applies to you, do your best to control your thoughts.
Distraction brings down the turmoil. Watch movies or series on tablets or TVs, play video games or talk to other on Facetime/Skype without making virus and illness the main topic.
It is also wise to dedicate a certain time of day to worrying (for example 10-20 minutes). During these minutes, you can worry as much as you want. If the worries show up outside the defined minutes you can say to yourself “I should think about this during my worry period, not now”. If you repeat this sentence often enough, it will become an automatic thought.
Do not set you worry time to right before bed. If your worries show up while you lay in bed, try to accept them and tell yourself calmly that they will have to wait until your worry period. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
5. Only a few news updates each day
Research shows that those who experience difficult things are affected more negatively if they have been exposed to a lot of news. Do yourself a favor and shield from constant media reports about the virus situation. This will reduce your anxiety and worries. One to two updates a day is enough. Remember to get updates from trusted sources.
Remember that articles from readers and “headlines” in newspapers as well as comments in the comment sections and the like are written by people in different situations. Some people have a different view of reality than what is actually the case. Think about who the sender is and put yourself in their shoes to understand their point of view.
6. Do something nice everyday
Drink hot chocolate with cream, watch your favorite show on Netflix, laugh loudly at a bad joke, prepare your supper at the same time as a friend, eat together via Facetime, dance to your favorite song.
(ABBA is highly recommended ;)
You can also chat with us from 9-15 during week days.