As universities close, workers telecommute and social events are cancelled, the prospect of being confined to your home because of quarantine can be daunting. The mental health of many will be adversely affected during this period.
Most of our ‘outlets’ are gone, be it weekly brunches, table tennis, routine spa days and fine dining, all of which would previously have served as opportunities for us to unwind. On top of this, there’s the constant flow of sad news shared on social media. This unprecedented situation is overwhelming for many people. Thus, to aid law students and the rest of the community, I’ve suggested various ways to self-care and look after your mental health.
While quarantine may be only temporary, even brief periods of isolation and loneliness can negatively affect a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Thus, it’s important to stay occupied during this time.
Now’s the time to indulge in those novels you were gifted for Christmas but never got around to reading or finally make that TikTok account your friends have been bothering you about. This short-form video app seems to be providing an escape during this distressing time and ultimately bringing families together while they’re stuck at home.
Alternatively, if you’re someone who usually goes to the gym, there are plenty of home workout videos on YouTube to keep you occupied. While quarantine may be daunting, staying occupied and active may help you to feel better and maintain your fitness levels.
Check-in with others
Due to the spread of covid-19, face-to-face lectures and tutorials have ceased. Universities have moved everything online, which will impact the average law student’s mental health as they are likely to experience isolation, loneliness, and a loss of structure to their studies. Be kind, check-in with your classmates – especially because some may not be tech-savvy and so might be finding this period particularly stressful. During these strange times, we must find creative ways to sustain the student community and look out for one another.
Staying in contact with others on your course not only staves off boredom, but it is also critical to minimise the sense of isolation. Stay in touch with friends and family via phone calls, text messages or video calls. Reach out to other students on social media; talking to others who are going through the same thing can provide a sense of community and empowerment.
Take a breather
Repeatedly hearing about the pandemic can be upsetting. So, it’s important to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Take care and listen to your body; try to eat well-balanced meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Schedule in time to unwind by doing activities you enjoy.
Remember why you’re doing this
When you are feeling frustrated or cooped up, it can be helpful to remember why you’re doing this. If you have been potentially exposed to coronavirus, avoiding others helps to minimise the chance that you might unknowingly spread the illness. By doing your part to prevent the spread of the virus, you are protecting others and making sure that those who are sick can have greater access to available health resources. Reminding yourself of these reasons can sometimes make your days in quarantine easier to bear.