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Quarantine has serious impact on mental health. Here's how to support yourself and others

Quarantine and mental health

Limiting social contact is the best way to reduce the spread of the new virus. But this doesn't make the whole process easier.
Recent research found that quarantine is linked with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, confusion, and anger, with some specialists suggesting these effects are long-lasting.

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Quarantine has serious impact on mental health. Here's how to support yourself and others

Quarantine has serious impact on mental health. Here's how to support yourself and others

https://qz.com/1818798/coronavirus-quarantine-has-serious-mental-health-implications/

qz.com

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Key Ideas

Quarantine and mental health

Limiting social contact is the best way to reduce the spread of the new virus. But this doesn't make the whole process easier.
Recent research found that quarantine is linked with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, confusion, and anger, with some specialists suggesting these effects are long-lasting.

Fighting the confusion

It is crucial to have access to reliable, consistent information and updates so that people can understand what we know, what we don’t know and how we are trying to close this gap.
Public health and government services should provide detailed information about the symptoms of the new virus, its typical course, how many are being cared for at hospitals, and for how long.

Coping mechanisms

  • Create a sense of community and connection with others: talk often to your friends and your family members.
  • Create a sense of effectiveness: assign yourself work, exercise indoors or immerse yourself in creative activities.
  • Create a sense of purpose: offering to help others from a distance can help create a sense of purpose and community. Also, take care of your household; consider rearranging the furniture or cleaning the house.

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Stay informed by trusted sources

Facts will minimize your fear. There are two sources to use for managing fear in the new virus response: The World Health Organization and your national authority.

With all the...

Always return to yourself

Many consultants have headaches and nausea when they deal with stress and emotion. There are also times when there is nothing they can do, for example, provide beds, masks, and other needed supplies.

A psychological consultant advises that you should be aware of yourself, and distinguish which emotions are yours, which are the patients, and which are your empathy.

The effects of being isolated

Consider unexpected risks associated with the response to the outbreak, for example, poor mental health that is related to social isolation. Steps to take into account:

  • Staying connected with your social and family networks via technology
  • Keeping your daily routines as much as possible
  • Exercising regularly and practicing habits that you enjoy and find relaxing
  • Seeking practical, credible information at specific times of the day.

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Redefining love

The current global epidemic has transformed relationships, dating, and sex. 

Lovers and family members are suffering aching separations as borders have closed. Weddings have been post...

Redefining communities

  • The pandemic is influencing and changing the way we define a community, with people across the world gathering every day on balconies to applaud medical workers, perform music and even run marathons.
  • Millions of single people stuck indoors have turned to the internet to go on virtual yoga dates, attend karaoke parties or blow out candles at WhatsApp birthday get-togethers.

The shortness of life

Lockdowns around the globe are giving rise to a new togetherness for some and amplifying friction and conflict for others.
The external global context makes you realize that life is short. So if someone is in a bad relationship, they're probably going to decide to leave while they still can. Or the total opposite, decide that they might as well get married and have kids.

Self-isolation and parenting

Parenting while practicing self-isolation is not about doing everything a hundred percent all the time. It's about doing as much as you possibly can.

Something is better than nothing,...

It's really, really hard

It's hard to work from home and parent. Working from home full time during regular workday hours, care for your children, and sprinkle in a mix of homeschooling, is essentially asking parents to do multiple full-time jobs simultaneously.

  • Many parents relax screen time rules for now.
  • Get on a schedule if you find it helpful, or refuse to feel guilty for lack of a schedule.
  • Set up many FaceTime and Zoom dates with your friends and your kid's friends, and grandparents.
  • Understanding the situation of working-from-home-parents will go a long way by not holding their diminished productivity against them.
  • If you're a manager, there's no harm in announcing at the beginning of your conference call that it's OK if there are little voices from time to time.

Explaining the unsure future to children.

  • It is best to be honest when you have to talk about when a child will be going back to school or reschedule their birthday party when you don't know yourself.
  • You can say that some scientists think it would be a few months, but you don't really know yet. Then ask them how they feel about that and if they have questions. See what information you can find together.

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