Getting Out of the Quarantine Slump
By: Silva Depanian, MA, AMFT, CAMC
Have you noticed your energy flagging lately? How about feeling low motivation and poor mental health? Over the last few weeks in quarantine, I myself have had to make some mental shifts and reassess my needs due to this new change of pace while staying at home. Here are three tips that have helped me get out of my quarantine slump, and that I hope you will try out to help yourself too:
- Have stimulating conversations. We are social creatures accustomed to having dynamic days filled with a variety of stimuli. We used to interact with people at the office, while taking a walk outside, while going shopping at the mall. Please note, an interaction doesn’t necessarily mean having a full conversation. Simply making eye contact, smiling and nodding at someone walking by, or saying a quick hello can stimulate the mind and counts as human interaction. Without the constant stimulation, our mental energy flags from the monotony experienced during quarantine. To break this monotony, shake it up with conversations! Keep in touch with friends, family, partners, and colleagues, whether via video conferencing, making a phone call, or shooting a text message. Create your own opportunity for interaction.
- Activate your creative mind. This shift to a more monotonous, repetitive lifestyle can be stressful and depressing. Create a mental shift by actually doing something creative! Try working with your hands and make fun new things, whether it’s art, food, or attempting a funky hair or makeup style. Focusing on a creative activity helps to keep you in the present instead of thinking about how you wish things could be different. If you are finding it difficult to relax and do this, I do know friends have turned to medical marijuana as their anxiety has been through the roof. Checking out San Diego dispensaries, or dispensaries near where you are, may be able to help and give you that peace of mind to bring out the creativity.
- Give yourself a break. Now that many of us are at home, there is an odd pressure to “make the most of your free time.” Really, this is a time to reset, not necessarily a time to conquer the world. It is important to be kind to yourself through this stressful global event. As your mind slows and is no longer bombarded by constant stimuli, all those triggers and difficult emotions you’ve been avoiding have the chance to resurface. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the perceived need to keep pushing yourself, slow down. Reflect. Rest.
This change in daily structure has been rough on so many. As such, it is vital that we create our own structure. I call on you to discover your own, possibly shifted needs during this new time, while living this new lifestyle. Just remember to be kind to yourself as both your body and mind adjust.
Silva Depanian is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist offering therapy for individuals and couples in Glendale, Pasadena, and Hollywood. She specializes in helping individuals with anger management, chronic pain management, and codependent relationship issues. She is offering 30% off for new clients through the end of May.