IF YOU ARE LIKE me, the hardest part of managing the current pandemic is to stay at home and not go completely bonkers! We are a nation that has always been an on-the-go-and-get-stuff-done society, so hunkering down for several weeks can be a huge challenge — not just to our physical well-being and economy but to our mental and emotional balance as well.
The good news is that social distancing and other mitigation measures are starting to work and we are about to turn the corner. So it is important to remember that if we stay vigilant and follow the rules, this is temporary and it will get better soon. In the meantime, I am including in this article some good ideas to help you weather the storm, stay home and safe, and deal with the “cabin fever” of self-quarantine.
Here are a couple of ideas I read in a great article posted on March 12, 2020 in the Wall Street Journal by author Ruth Margolis.
First, Ruth suggests dividing your home into zones to maintain the peace when adults are trying to get work done at home and still educate, enrich, and raise their kids. She says make sure to establish a work zone/room, a quiet or rest zone/room, and lastly to zone off a play and recreation area or room. Then figure out a schedule for when different family members are in each respective zone. Enforce penalties and offer rewards for compliance. Oh yes, this is important too: one adult monitors the kids and the other does their work, then switch.
Second, right now, screens are your friend. So keep iPads and phones charged and don’t worry about excessive screen time for now if it keeps the peace. We’ll wean ourselves off of them once quarantines are lifted.
In most situations, as long as we follow social distancing rules, we can still go outside and avail ourselves of the wonderful spring weather. For me, exercise (primarily walking with family members) has been the best release for cabin fever. Plus it offers the double benefit of improving your physical health and immunity while lifting spirits — and importantly, you get to wave at the neighbors, feel less isolated, and realize we are all in this together.
Another way to stay sane is to engage in your hobbies or start new ones, watch all those documentaries you shelved when there wasn’t enough time, or do some catch-up reading. This is all about making lemonade out of lemons right now; don’t feel guilty about it or that you should be working on something. Life is a balance of work, rest, and play. Some extra rest and play right now won’t hurt and will sure help a lot in getting through this and maintaining your sanity!