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Food, Health & Fitness

SURVIVAL KIT: COPING IN THE TIME OF COVID

Iba talaga ang panahon ngayon ‘no? Because of the pandemic, even just being exposed to someone who might have COVID-19 requires us to self-quarantine or isolate to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

For some of us, isolation may be difficult. “Bakit? Uuwi ka lang naman ah. Wala ka lang namang makitang iba. Sandali lang naman ‘yan.” When asked to isolate, these are the first thoughts that came to my mind and I felt it very heavily. I felt that I shouldn’t be feeling these things. I thought that I was complaining too much about something silly. But we are inherently social beings, and part of what makes us human is that we have this sense of collective and community.

A recent study observed if humans feel or crave social interaction the same way we think and crave hunger. According to this study, the participants started to feel substantial increased social craving after only 10 hours of isolation, along with discomfort and decreased happiness due to the deprivation – similar to the effects of fasting. 

Keeping in touch using video calls to cope with isolation.
Image Description: A cropped photo of a person talking to someone on their laptop, with a book open. The person on the laptop is smiling. Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

Stay connected.

Another impact of isolation is the feeling of losing control over yourself. There’s something about not being able to go out or meet with the people you love because you can’t, and not because you didn’t feel like it or didn’t want to. It stopped being a choice. At the subconscious level, this loss of autonomy is stressful. To battle loneliness brought by isolation, there are many apps that you can use to keep in touch with the people who make you feel good and safe and talk to them in real-time. You can also do activities together like playing online games like Skribbl.io or have a watch party. And while this might not feel the same as being with them in person, reaching out and doing something together, albeit online, can ease the loneliness even a little bit. Sometimes, it can even bring you closer.

Establish a routine.

When in isolation, it’s easy to lose track of time and days. It becomes easy to lose motivation and momentum. Establishing a routine gives you habits and moments to look forward to. You don’t have to be rigid or super serious with it! You can add activities you enjoy and those you’ve always wanted to start or try, so you’re not just waiting for your isolation period to pass. 

Image Description: A photo of a person doing sit-ups on an exercise mat. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Exercise.

Keep moving! Exercising can help boost your mood and relieve stress and anxiety. In addition, physical exercise gives you an outlet for any frustrations and other negative emotions about the isolation that you need to release. Mental exercise like reading or doing problem-solving activities can also keep you occupied.

Listen to yourself.

Isolation is the perfect time for you to reconnect with yourself, do some soul-searching, figure out where you want to go and what you want to be after isolation. However, being forced into isolation can be highly frustrating. It may have caused problems and inconvenience to you more than you have the capacity for. Sometimes, you need to feel all of these emotions and letting them pass on their own. Pay attention to how you feel about things, behaviors, patterns, even people. Sometimes, you need this solace and removing yourself from the influence of others to get to know yourself better.

There are a lot of other things you can do to help yourself during isolation, and these are just some of them. You have to remember that coping is unique to you and that you have to try different things to know what helps you and what doesn’t. When you’re feeling exceptionally down, you don’t have to hesitate to reach out to your family or friends. You know, you’re only really as alone as you allow yourself to be.

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