Quarantine Basics: Tips to Protect Your Physical and Mental Health

by | Mar 25, 2020 | Opinion, page 2 | 0 comments

You may be asking yourself, how do we prevent catching the Corona virus? You’ve heard all the tips, but perhaps you still would like some guidance on face touching, disinfecting, and keeping ‘chill’ during quarantine.  

 

Surely you’ve heard not to touch your face, but how exactly do you stop that pesky habit? According to Christine Glissmann, the Prevention Education Coordinator at the University of Redlands, breaking habits is both simple and complex. There are three parts to a habit, she explained. There is a cue, a routine, and a reward. 

 

Because habits are unconscious things, we first must make the action conscious. Noticing how and why you touch your face is the first step to stopping. Some people may do so out of boredom, or perhaps out of anxiety. For example, someone may bite their nails out of anxiety. Once you notice the emotion that cues the habit (in this case anxiety causes the nail biting), it’s possible to change the routine and keep the reward of easing anxiety.

 

Some may touch their face out of boredom, like when someone rests their head in their hands. The emotion, boredom, leads to the face touching routine which may help ease boredom, creating a reward. In order to change the routine and keep the reward, you can combat this by doing something like turning a rubik’s cube, or messing with an accessory you have on. 

 

The change of routine could be anything from squishing a stress ball to clicking a pen, Glissmann pointed out. The reward of easing the emotion should stay the same, just without the unwanted habit. Glissmann pointed out Charles Duhigg, an author on habits and productivity, has a helpful diagram for habit change.

Chart contributed by Christine Glissmann, edited from source material.

 

Going further into what you can do to battle this once in a lifetime contagion, you should remember to clean surfaces around you regularly, even if you don’t think anyone around you is sick. It may seem unnecessary, but germs can last on surfaces for days and you may not even realize you could have an illness for two weeks.

 

It’s a good way to practice good general cleanliness even in a time without a pandemic. Don’t have lysol disinfectant spray or wipes? That’s okay! Vinegar is a good way to rid germs, as well as any alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol. This can be anything from rubbing alcohol to absinthe or moonshine. Some nail polish removers may even have 70%, so try looking at labels within the comfort of your own home. 

 

One last thing to remember, is that keeping yourself physically healthy is just about as important as keeping yourself mentally healthy. Here are a few tips to keep your stress down and positivity up.

 

  1. Stay focused on the present and on what you can control. Do we know what the future holds further than today? No. But that’s okay. Focus on what you do know. Cook some delicious food, watch some movies, get that homework done. Do all you can do and try not to worry about aspects you can’t control. 
  2. Treat your body like it’s a temple and it will have its rewards. Remember that eating healthful foods, drinking water, getting enough quality sleep, and exercising are things that your body loves even if you may not immediately notice it. The best thing you can do for stress is simply to keep your body in homeostasis, a stable and quality condition. 
  3. Finally, don’t be shy to ask for help and to vent your frustrations. It’s a scary time, but that doesn’t mean you’re going through it alone. Perhaps call a friend, or talk to a trusted family member. Everyone is most likely sharing the same concerns as you so it’s okay to reach out and tackle the emotions collectively. Just remember, we’re all in it together. 


Header Photo by congerdesign.

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