Being a person who is utterly terrified of change, having to relinquish my normal daily routine due to Covid-19 has been a huge strain on my mental health. Here in Malta, we are currently experiencing partial lockdown: all flights have been cancelled, schools, restaurants, pubs, coffeeshops and many other miscellaneous shops are closed and many people (including doctors and nurses) are in quarantine. I guess a total lockdown is inevitable, and while I know it will have detrimental effects on my anxiety, I know it’s ultimately for the best.
Many young and healthy adults are still unwilling to admit the severity of the situation. Maybe they think that this is just like the flu and cannot be bothered about it. However, we need to remember that there are many high risk patients who cannot afford to get sick, and I’m not only talking about older adults. There are people with chronic diseases, people on immunosuppressive therapy or even young healthy adults who like myself have just recovered from pneumonia and getting another infection could send us all straight to hospital. This is a time when more than ever we need to practice empathy and look out for each other. Remember Dumbledore’s words: “we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
Please please listen to what the health authorities are saying: practice good hand hygiene, avoid crowds, self-quarantine if you’re feeling unwell or travelled recently and self-isolate if your work permits it. Also, there’s no need to hoard a truck-load of toilet paper and paracetamol! I think it’s incredibly selfish and it’s not fair on those who are truly in need or can only afford to buy the bare essentials in one go.
If you’re self-distancing or currently in quarantine, how are you spending your days at home? I’m keeping indoors as much as possible, unless I’m working at the clinic, and I thought I’d share with you some activities you could do to keep you occupied.
- Try to set up a daily routine: make the bed and change out of your pyjamas in the morning. It will motivate you to start the day afresh and automatically makes you feel better.
- Stay active as much as possible. Not only does physical activity boosts your immune system but it also makes you feel better both mentally and emotionally. You can find many simple workouts or yoga tutorials on youtube that you can follow.
- Keep in contact with your family and friends. Self-distancing can lead to extreme loneliness and we need to remind ourselves that we’re all in this together. Call your relatives, tell each other jokes, play charades, cook together!
- Learn a new language/subject: I’ve actually bought a book about Greek mythology and I’m looking forward to spend my time learning about the Gods and Olympians!
- Bake and eat all the cakes!
- Try to make that perfect cup of coffee
- Put on your favourite song and dance around the house!
- Clean that closet you’ve been meaning to do for years! I always feel better when I reorganise and declutter my stuff.
- Reread your favourite book or a pick a book over a thousand pages!
- Find time to reflect: what do you want to accomplice when all this is over? And plans for the future? What are you grateful for?
- Watch all the Disney films!
- Support local businesses: Try to shop for goods locally. Chain supermarkets will likely pull through but small business are really suffering right now.
- Take a nap. You deserve it.
Always remember that we shall have brighter days ahead 🙂 Sending you lots of love and positive vibes your way. Stay safe! x