Quarantined but not Isolated





APRIL 4, 2020



The gentle flutter of the breeze, the only lingering sound where once raucous laughter reigned supreme. The warmth of the sun, the only remaining heat where once the rush of busyness furrowed brows. The dormant buildings, reaching into the sky, once titans of industry, now breathless with anticipation of visitation. Dust sits triumphant, where once there rested mounds of grocery store stock, nestled in tightly together. Never before has a serene silence had such an enigmatic effect.





The cacophonous clutter of activity of children running, stir crazy, through the house, where once there was the occasion for rest amidst the playfulness. At the same time, parents try to accomplish work - or find new forms of work to bring in money for the family. On the other hand, stillness sits as the hands of the clock ticks, where once a vibrant apartment hosted guests and glee. Never before has an environment shifted its function and vibe.


How does the Great Quarantine of 2020 find you?


Never before have we been less able to distract ourselves from ourselves. What do you find when you look in the mirror after a few weeks of geographical isolation?


Isolation is often a form of punishment or has been used for "advanced interrogation methods" to break down an adversary to gain intelligence. The difference between this form of isolation and a mass public health quarantine is the loss of self in torment and punishment.


However, tormenting isolation is not just a geographically based isolation, as the tormentors are present with the punished. This form of isolation is a psychological one. Geographical isolation is the physical separation from others.


Psychological isolation is a sense of separation from others, loneliness, low self-esteem, yearning for connection, regardless of who you find yourself around. Loneliness can occur amongst throngs of friends. It is an internal state of being.


How you manage your internal self in geographical isolation, despite the external surroundings, will depend on how well you survive the time.


Obviously, this is not easy. If human suffering were easy, we would not have the psychological fields. You can help yourself through this tough time by managing what you can control, accepting what you can't, and moving through this time with greater self-awareness.


TOP 20 WAYS TO SURVIVE THE QUARANTINE

1. Here are a few things you can do to help during the Quarantine:

2. Slow down and be mindful, intentional, and reflective

3. Wake up on time, go to bed on time, eat and sleep well

4. Take any medications prescribed as they are prescribed

5. Develop a new routine, do what helps you and add new things that are helpful

6. Maintain your hygiene (it will help you feel better and accomplished)

7. Be proactive rather than reactive, plan out your days and weeks

7. Find creative ways to be social (REACH OUT!)

8. Get outside whenever you can, feel the warmth of the sun, listen to the birds, see the beauty that exists

9. Stay active

10. Don’t bite the hype - prepare for what you need to do, plan for the worst, expect the best, but live in the truth of your current environment

11. Organize your environment to reflect your current needs (chaos breeds chaos)

12. Segment your environment into different functions, only do those functions in those areas (e.g., your desk is only where you do work, your bed is only where you sleep, your living room is only where you relax, etc.)

13. GET OUT OF YOUR ROOM AND GET OFF YOUR PHONE!

14. Recognize that you don't have control of what is going on outside your home, but you do have control over what goes on inside your home.

15. Focus on what positive things you have around you - practice gratitude and hope

16. Be wary of maladaptive coping mechanisms, as they may be more tempting - DO something else!

17. Journal, meditate, practice relaxation techniques or other things to help you stay grounded in what is true in YOUR environment and address what YOU need now.

18. Reevaluate your priorities in life. Who do you say you are? What do you stand for? Are you normally living a life that reflects these? How can you adjust or continue these goals?

19. Take this OPPORTUNITY to sit with yourself long enough to gain some traction in who you are becoming during your regularly scheduled life.

20. HOLD ON TO HOPE. This is temporary. Hope is eternal. You can get through this.


If you find that these things still do not help, reach out for professional support. We have sessions available via our Virtual Office. There are many others in the helping field that have virtual supports and telehealth. There is someone ready to help you. You just have to take the first step.


Never before have we been less able to distract ourselves from ourselves. Who will you find looking back at you when you look in the mirror, AFTER The Great Isolation?