This post is mainly about giving you practical tools that you will help you suffer less and survive confinement.
The world has come to a halt…
Our mettle and nerves are being tested. The social distancing measures are now more necessary than ever. We have to stop a pandemic that is slowly defeating our society.
- 1 The Psychological Consequences of the Quarantine are Real
- 2 Self-respect
- 3 Follow a Routine
- 4 Daily Workout: Intense, Varied, Brief
- 5 Some Supplements that Can Help You
- 6 Live for Today
- 7 Limit the amount of Information
- 8 Meditation, an Antidote against Anxiety
- 9 Conclusions
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 Related Entries
The Psychological Consequences of the Quarantine are Real
This review by Lancet was published just a few days ago and it is spot on. In fact, he talks about a problem that everyone is facing but which only a few are talking about (Brooks et al., 2020).
Quarantine and confinement are necessary.
However, we have to face its consequences, specially the psychological ones.
We need real and everyday strategies to put into practice now.
Let’s forget about the many comparisons we can find on social media lately. Some compare our situation with others who have had to face war.
Let’s be clear.
Waking up, laying on the sofa after breakfast, playing Call of Duty, watching tabloids in the evening and going to bed at three in the morning after watching TV shows is NOT self-respect.
Quite the opposite actually
It is time to be disciplined, which involves:
Dress yourself in the morning as if you were going to work
Do not leave your pyjamas on. Put on some makeup if you do it often. Wear your shoes too.
You are not on holiday
Set a specific time (preferably in the morning) to work.
But if you are already teleworking you know what to do.
However, if you are not teleworking because you have been fired or you are a student, you will have to spend some time doing things that we usually do not like:
- Cleaning the house
- Reading a book
- Tidying up the house
- Helping the kids with the homework
Difference between “work” and “leisure time”
We need to create a contrast between leisure (video games, TV shows, internet) and non-leisure activities.
Do not forget: brevity is the soul of wit.
Follow a Routine
Just like we mentioned previously:
It is time to make our internal discipline shine.
It is internal because most of the time you will not have an external motivation (professor, boss, etc).
Set the alarm in the morning but make sure that you sleep enough, although no more than necessary.
Do not press the postpone button! It is the worst thing you could do right now.
Maintain a routine regarding breakfast, lunch and dinner.
More importantly, it is quite tempting but do NOT go to bed later than usual.
To sum up, your routine should be as similar as possible to what you would usually do.
Daily Workout: Intense, Varied, Brief
But now we could say that it is even MORE important. Your physical and mental health will depend on your daily workout.
Yes, NEAT is no longer an option because it has drastically drop since we cannot go out.
If you used 1200 kcals before thanks to NEAT, now you will probably spend 700. This means that we have to do exercise if we want to preserve our physical and mental health.
- Plan your workouts in the mornings and write them down.
- Do not train on the go.
- Now you are your own coach.
- It is better to go for short, varied and intense workouts.
- There are thousands of different combinations.
- If you need material or accessories, this is the time to get them.
This is all about your health. Do it!
Some Supplements that Can Help You
We are going to be confined for quite a while…
Our vitamin D levels are going to drop. Unless you already had goo levels before, a supplement with 4000 IU daily can be extremely helpful.
In addition, melatonin can also help if you start experiencing sleep problems. These will be more common due to the fact that we will have less sun exposure, less activity, more screens and blue light…
Ideally, take it only those days when you are having a hard time falling asleep. That way, you will not generate any tolerance to the product (which is still not confirmed in the scientific literature).
Live for Today
This is your main purpose: living for today.
- Do not think about tomorrow. Do not think about the business or company.
- Think about today, what you have to do and how you are going to do it.
Do more, think less. Try to do as many things as you can.
But that is your mission and you have to fulfil it.
So, you should limit yourself to living here and now in order to avoid anxiety.
Limit the amount of Information
Perhaps this is the second most important point after physical exercise.
We all want to know what is happening, how bad things are and how many victims are there so far.
That is why we may be tempted to update Twitter, digital newspapers with the latest news.
But we must set a limit.
Personally, I watch the news ONLY before lunch and before dinner, not longer than half an hour each time.
Meditation, an Antidote against Anxiety
If there is an antidote for anxiety as effective as physical exercise, that is meditation.
It does not matter if you have never done it before, it is a good time to start. At least, you cannot say that you do not have enough time!
Moreover, there are apps like Headspace that will guide you in the process of learning how to meditate.
You will be surprised at how quickly your physical and mental state improve.
This fight is not glamorous, but it is still a fight, an internal battle against the clock.
We are being tested and we have to succeed.
See you in the next post. Take care!
- Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet.
- Do you want to know more about the benefits of Oxytocin? Click here.
- Meditation can be a remedy against anxiety. We suggest taking a look at this article.