The physical and social isolation and uncertainty that accompanies self-quarantine can bring about new challenges to managing a mental illness. Self-quarantine can disrupt the routines, activities, and social interactions that provide you with stability and fulfillment. A future of unknowns, whether it be about health, finances, housing, or work, can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and depression. Less time spent outdoors engaged in physical activities can negatively impact physical and mental health.

While self-quarantine may have negative impacts, there are many strategies you can use to support your mental health during self-quarantine.

Engage in Satisfying Leisure Occupations

An occupation is any activity that you spend your time doing. Leisure occupations are the activities you do simply for the enjoyment of doing them. Leisure occupations include hobbies, sports, and other creative activities like painting, playing an instrument, doing yoga, or baking. Regularly engaging in leisure occupations is not only enjoyable and satisfying but can also provide stability when other life routines have been disrupted by self-quarantine. 

According to research, “leisure activities impose their mental health benefits through increasing individuals’ perception of spending their time effectively.”

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Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way for you to take care of your mind and thoughts. It is a type of meditation that utilizes breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other practices in order to bring your focus back to the present moment and away from rumination and unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Research shows that mindfulness can help make meditation more effective for a variety of mental health symptoms, including stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Your mind and body are intimately connected, as are your mental and physical health. Taking care of yourself physically can help you support yourself mentally. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, eating well-balanced meals, and avoiding unhealthy habits can provide you with more energy, less stress, and increased life satisfaction.

Use Digital Resources and Telehealth

While it may be difficult to make in-person medical appointments, many medical professionals are offering telehealth services so that you can still get the support you need during self-quarantine.

During self-quarantine, try to maintain your medical routine by switching to telehealth appointments. You can also find further support by attending free online support groups, such as those that Painted Brain offers. Such groups provide social interaction and equip you with a variety of strategies to support your health.

[Related: Protect Your Mental Health During Quarantine]