If you have been in contact with an infected person or have become infected yourself, you may be afraid of symptoms or worsening your health. Many people in this situation can experience emotional stress, sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. Meanwhile, for most people, the period of quarantine and isolation will go well, and psychosocial reactions will be temporary.
When you are at home in isolation, the life of the whole family changes. You cannot go to work, study, take your kids to preschool, or meet other people as you have used to do before. Often, these changes lead to decreased physical activity, irregular eating, increased or decreased sleep duration. It all ends with the fact that people spend a lot of time in front of a TV screen or computer, increasing their emotional stress.
What is emotional stress, and what causes emotional stress? Can emotional stress cause a heart attack, and is emotional stress dangerous? This article will tell you about ways to overcome stress and anxiety during the quarantine. Stay tuned to find out more.
How Does Quarantine Affect Our Mental Health?
An outbreak of Coronavirus infection causes emotional stress and, eventually, panic in people. But stress is always a reaction to some information, a stimulus, in this case, to information about the Coronavirus. Emotional stress is not just caused by something external; we produce anxiety ourselves.
In general, the reaction depends on many personal factors. For example, a person may be predisposed to mental disorders or be a hypochondriac. Also, the reaction depends on background, experienced situations, or trauma. Some people are prone to predicting the terrible consequences of what is happening.
The consequences of emotional stress can be physiological: sleep disturbance, eating disorders; there may be even the connection between emotional stress and heart attack, and emotional imbalance. In addition, hypermentalizing begins – the spinning of negative thoughts about what is happening. Hence, irritability and tearfulness appear.
Recommendations on Adaption to the Current Situation
Read the News, but Be Careful
People are now getting a lot of important information and helpful advice, but excess attention to news is time-consuming and worrying. If you want to stay informed, use reliable sources of information, such as the WHO website or local medical research results. So that you won’t get misinformed.
Create Your New Daily Routine
When you are forced to stay at home, you need to develop a new daily activities system to avoid emotional stress. Try to maintain a normal circadian rhythm (change of day and night). For many people, the routine and meaning of everyday life and a sense of security are provided by working or studying. Find similar support options when working from home. It will be great if you continue to pursue your hobby actively.
Get Yourself a Daily Dose of Physical Activity and Sunlight
An inactive lifestyle is a danger that lies in wait for everyone in quarantine. Physical activity and walking in daylight have positive effects on mental health and sleep. Follow the safety guidelines when planning outdoor activities.
Maintain Social Contacts
Even when you are in quarantine or isolation at home, you can continue to communicate via social media or use the best online dating sites. This will help your body relieve emotional stress. Create a communication schedule that you use to connect with family, friends, colleagues.
Recommendations for Families in Quarantine or Isolation
Children may react differently to the quarantine regime or the need to stay at home. Some parents experience emotional stress in marriage, and children feel sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, or irritation, while others do not have any negative emotions in this situation. Some people may have pain in the stomach, head, or other emotional stress effects on the body, suggesting that they are ill. In addition, people are afraid for the health of their loved ones. All these reactions are understandable. And for the majority, such effects come to naught. When lifestyles change dramatically, the whole family can be challenged by this.
However, when families with children are forced to quarantine, there are many things that can bring pleasure and joy.
Talk to Your Kids
Children need the information to understand why they are being quarantined or isolated and what they can do about it. Kids need to know that by being in quarantine, they help prevent infection of others. Ask your kids what interests them and answer all their questions. Remember, children feel and understand more than they show. Moreover, children may feel guilty about the current situation or become very frightened. Please don’t wait for them to come to you with questions. Ask them what information they have found, what news they have heard, and allow them to ask any questions.
Harmony Starts with You
When parents are confident, children are calm; and if children are scared, they need protection and care. Take a few deep breaths in and out and calm yourself. Support your child’s feelings, create a peaceful atmosphere, and help them cope with emotional stress reactions. At this stage, adults must be patient.
Stick to a Daily Routine
When there is no opportunity to go to preschool or school, it is very useful for kids to follow the same routine: wake up, go to bed and eat at the usual time, do homework, and exercise. Healthy and regular nutrition, sleep patterns, and physical activity can help reduce stress levels in the body of both children and adults.
When children are scared or sick, their sleep patterns can be disrupted. Observe bedtime by maintaining a routine that children are used to. Make sure that they do not spend too much time on their phones and tablets and try to remove all mobile devices an hour before bedtime. If children wake up at night and come to their parents, this is normal. And this will pass.
Engage in Activities that Positively Affect You
Do what you and your family members like: watch movies, read books, listen to music or audiobooks. Try to find an activity you can do together with your family at home. Spending time with family can be very pleasant, but keep in mind that children sometimes need to be alone.
Families may need help in difficult situations. Emotional stress vs depression – do you know the difference? Contact the local government assistance service or call the helpline if you feel lonely and need some support.
The Coronavirus pandemic and the strict quarantine have suddenly changed our lives dramatically and, worse still, indefinitely. For the most part, we are locked in our homes and severely restricted in action, but this does not mean that we are powerless to change anything. You can (and should) try to minimize the potential mental and physical health damage caused by social isolation. You can even make the most of this time for both.
The current crisis is not the only one, not the first and, maybe, not the last in the history of humanity. People somehow got out of the previous crises, and they got out with the lessons learned and new experience.
We hope that our article will help you avoid emotional stress during Covid-19.
Please tell us, how do you deal with stress during a pandemic? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.
Rachael Sullivan is a family lawyer for many years with a sole practice in family law. She met her husband on Dating Ranking and now she enjoys sharing healthy tips for relationships so that it can be as easy and happy as possible because words are powerful and can change everything.