The coronavirus pandemic can seem overwhelming, but through self-isolation, everyone can do their part in reducing its overall impact. For COVID-19 patients or individuals at risk, self-quarantine means you must stay at home for 14 days to fully recover without infecting anyone else. Recent government-imposed lockdowns all over the world have required even non-patients to stay home, in most cases for longer than two weeks depending on the needs of the community.
Unfortunately, home isolation is easier said than done. Here are five practical tips on how to stay sane and healthy during self-quarantine.
Stock up on essentials
First of all, do not step out of the house unless it’s for urgent medical care. Avoid public places including schools, workplaces, supermarkets, or public transportation. As much as possible, ask someone to do your errands or deliver food or supplies as necessary. Stock up on basic necessities including food, medicine, face masks, and toiletries that can last you at least 2-3 weeks.
For food supplies, make sure to purchase non-perishables, long-lasting perishables, frozen fruits and canned vegetables. Minimise any waste by consuming fresh produce first. If available, select only low-sodium canned goods for a healthier option.
Shop for your pets, too
Having a pet is like caring for another human being in the house. Remember to purchase extra animal supplies, including food, medications, and absorbent pads. Little treats can also come in handy once your furry friend starts to feel the effects of isolation and boredom.
Keep yourself busy
Prolonged isolation can take a toll on your mental health. Spend your time at home relaxing your mind and body. Read books, listen to podcasts, or catch up on your favorite TV series. Now’s the best time to do the things you never had time for.
Try a new hobby like journaling or meditation. You can also use this time to organise your shelves or declutter. Make self-quarantine more pleasant by keeping yourself entertained and your mind busy.
Exercise and eat a balanced diet
As of this writing, there is no known food or supplements scientifically proven to prevent or reduce the effects of COVID-19. It is widely recognised that following a well-balanced diet can boost your immune system and supply your body with the necessary nutrients. Healthy food can also improve your mood, energy levels, and concentration. Since self-quarantine can cause you to be less active, make sure you pay attention to food portions and nutritional content.
Try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Practice yoga or follow a workout class on YouTube. There are plenty of online resources that can give you some much needed exercise.
Practice proper hygiene and sanitation
Most of us know by now that COVID-19 is usually transmitted through respiratory droplets. Even when you’re pretty sure you don’t have the virus, keep the fluids from your coughs and sneezes out of the air or off surfaces. Always sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow or on a piece of tissue. Make sure you dispose of used tissue immediately.
Washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds also prevents further infection. If you don’t have soap and water, a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol is your best alternative.
Self-quarantine requires discipline, dedication, and a positive mindset. While boredom and lack of contact with the outside world can make your days seem longer, remember that doing your part can make a big difference to your health and to the rest of the community.