Frustrated from Social Distancing

Frustrated from social distancing? Being under self imposed quarantine is tough no matter where you live. But if you live in the city and share a smaller space with your family or roommates, it can be particularly challenging. If you have kids who have no real way of getting their energy out other than climbing the walls or making you their human jungle gym, I feel for you. Right now I’m thinking about the homes we didn’t buy in Long Island…the ones with a proper back yard. The ones we passed over for our cozy apartment in Brooklyn. Why did we make that decision? I don’t know but I’m pretty sure it’s my husband’s fault.

I recently hosted a webinar on Managing Your Mind – Overcoming Negativity Bias, and was asked “What tips can you recommend for feeling frustrated with being stuck indoors with family/roommates?”

I assume this is an issue many of us are facing, so I thought I’d share some suggestions.

Here are 5 tips for overcoming those negative feelings while in quarantine:

1. Meditate

The great thing about meditating is that it’s something you can do at any given moment. And, it is especially helpful while in quarantine. Even if you’re not particularly practiced at meditation, it’s okay. There’s no pressure to achieve a certain outcome. Your main goal is to calm your nervous system. Focusing on your breath is a great place to start. Try inhaling, holding and then breathing out slowly for the same number of beats. This is called equal breathing, and you can change the cadence to whatever feels right for you.

2. Move Your Body

You don’t have to do a hard workout to reap the benefits of movement. While you may not be able to match the intensity of a spin class from the confines of your home, you surely have enough room to stretch and work some muscles. Not into that? Put on some of your favorite tunes and dance. Yes, I said dance. If you’re alone, you’ve got nothing to be embarrassed about, and you don’t have to tell anyone about it either. If your family members or roommates have already made fun of you for making the suggestion, you’ve got nothing to lose. Or, if you prefer, just put on your headphones, lock the bathroom door and rock out for as long as you need. Even if it doesn’t overcome all of your frustrations, you will at least get to enjoy some exercise and good music while quarantined.

3. Do a Re-Group Activity

Under these circumstances, you may find that being in the constant presence of other people without the opportunity for real separation is unnerving. The presence of people however doesn’t mean you’re experiencing connection. Plan time for group activities like family game night, cooking dinner together or a group spring cleaning effort if you’re feeling frustrated from social distancing.

4. Give Each Other Space

Everyone you’re quarantined with is juggling work, home and possibly schoolwork from one shared space. It can be helpful to designate times when certain communal spaces, like a living/dining area, are off-limits to everyone else other than one individual. Doing all your work from your bedroom will make you feel more confined. Find different ways to make use of your space so you can accommodate the changing needs of your household. Those needs may change on a daily basis, so flexibility is key.

5. Get Your ZZZs

A good night’s sleep is the key to improving just about everything. If you don’t have a good sleep routine set up, this is the best time to put one into practice. Sleep has the ability to positively impact stress and reduces the risk of depression. It helps boost your mood. The current circumstance we’re in lends itself to endlessly reading news articles before bed or binge-watching anything all night long as a means of escape. But, it’s important not to let those things prevent you from getting the rest that allows you to recharge. You need the benefits of sleep now more than ever.

We are all a little frustrated from social distancing and doing our best to manage COVID-19 stress positively. If you have anything to add, email me at mmavi@atriumstaff.com. The good news is that when this is all over, we’ll be ready to take on the world!