How to stay mentally well during the quarantine


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Dante Sasso, 807 Editor

The current quarantine we are all enduring due to COVID-19 is by no means what any of us asked for. Students and teachers alike would prefer to have classes in person, and I’m sure that we would all prefer not to be stuck in our homes for months at a time. Staying inside all day and watching computer lectures can become depressing and irritating quickly; all of us being away from home most of the time means that adjusting back to home life will be difficult. Even with this being the case, there are some healthy habits we can make and unhealthy ones we can break to make sure that we make it through this as mentally well as possible.

With the large amount of time now open in all of our days, it can become easy to lose motivation. To combat this, Dr. Marcus Hotaling of the Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center states that we should try to set a healthy schedule, setting up a time for class, work, and other healthy activities. Try to keep up a healthy lifestyle by “eating right, sleeping 7-8 hours per night, and getting 30 minutes of exercise per day.” In addition to this, keep the isolation only to the physical; we humans are extremely social beings. We thrive on socialization and are genetically programmed to be sensitive to social exclusion. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends! One of the great things about this new age of technology and social media is the ability for us to talk to others across the globe. Use apps on your phone to call your friends or shoot them a text. If you don’t get a response, don’t fret. According to Hotaling, “if you do not hear from them, that does not mean that they are ignoring you – they might be struggling and you reaching out will be the best thing for them.” Be sure to check in on people you haven’t heard from in a while––it might be just what they need.

There are other habits that we should avoid during the quarantine as well to keep our mental health in check, according to Hotaling. You may feel that due to stress, you need to cope in any way possible. This is natural for humans, but you absolutely should not turn to “using alcohol and other drugs to cope.” Turning to unhealthy habits such as these are especially bad when done alone, as drinking and using drugs on your own can lead to unforeseen consequences in a time where we need to stay level headed. In addition to this, the news can also be a source of potential stress. Though it is good to stay informed in the time of COVID-19, “spending too much time watching distressing news coverage is not going to help.” Do not worry about things you cannot control; yes, there will be people who decide to ignore the self-quarantine and we don’t know how long this will go on for. Yes, there will be people hoarding toilet paper and other commodities. Even with all of this in perspective, focus on what you can control. Your schedule and health are more important than the craziness outside. 

As Union students, the Wicker Wellness Center and Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center are offering services to help students make it through this term. If you want to set up an appointment with the counseling center, you can email the following addresses:  [email protected], or [email protected]. The webpage as well will be constantly updating to grant virtual resources to students, along with Wicker Wellness’ Instagram and Facebook pages. Remember, we aren’t alone in this. You can make it through this situation; it will end eventually and we will manage. Be healthy in these trying times; we need to all support each other.