Miss your friends? Us too. This week we'll be talking across all of our platforms about how to stay connected with your friends when you're stuck in quarantine!
The US may be "opening up" but with peaks of COVID cases popping up all across the country *ahem Texas ahem*, people are still actively going back into quarantine and feeling the pain of social distancing. While many of us are able to go out and see our friends for coffee or dinner - this week we're going to focus on those who are still fully quarantined due to exposure or high-risk factors. Angela, one of our co-founders is both high risk and has been exposed to COVID over the last few weeks and has been in full quarantine for some time.
Let's not get it twisted - even for introverts, quarantine is difficult. It's not just staying away from other people - it's the lack of options to even leave your home to do the essentials! For extroverts, it can be even more difficult - our need for social interaction can create a new dynamic within ourselves that can be emotional and difficult to deal with. And well for Ambiverts - it's a little bit of everything. For the record - Angela is an Ambivert.
So how do you continue to maintain your friendships while you're in full quarantine? And how do you keep your mental health in check when everyone around you is returning to semi-normalcy?
Staying Mentally Healthy During Quarantine
*We are not mental health experts, but practice many of these habits in our day to day lives to keep our mental health, well healthy! We always recommend seeking professional help if you find that more support is needed.
- Keep a normal routine - especially when you are WFH. This is probably one of the easiest yet more difficult things to do. But at least give it a go - Make your bed when you get up, take a shower and put your makeup on, GET DRESSED! Meal prep for the week and create a schedule for your week. It's super easy to roll out of bed and hop right on your computer to start working - or if you're unemployed - fall down into the black hole of Netflix binging. But maintaining a routine gives your mind something to focus on that isn't isolation or quarantine.
- Keep your home clean and organized. What's the phrase? A chaotic home leads to a chaotic mind? Mess everywhere can cause just another layer of stress in an already stressful time. When you're stuck at home keeping your space tidy and clean can bring a sense of peace to your mind!
- Find a way to get out of the house (safely of course). Whether it be taking a walk in the neighborhood, sitting outside on your patio, or taking a long drive. Getting some fresh air and time away from home can be helpful and a good change of environment. Just remember to wear a mask if your local government mandates it and maintain your 6ft of social distancing!
- Focus on the present and practice gratitude. When you're stressing about how long this will last or how long it's been since you've been out in the world it's a distraction from what's happening right now in this exact moment - focusing on the moment can help you to drop any worry or obsession of the future and the past. Remind yourself daily or even hourly to focus on what is happening in this very moment and practice gratitude. When you're practicing gratitude consistently you may notice a change in your mood and your mindset! Here at The B Hive Apiary, we're big advocates for practicing gratitude.
- Seek out outside help. If you really can't manage the stress, anxiety and depression that comes along with isolation and quarantine - seek out professional help. Telemedicine has been around for quite some time but has become a new standard for care - both for physical health but mental health as well! Ask your employer or check with your insurance provider (if you have one) about whether or not mental health is covered - talking to someone outside of your normal circle can often times ground you and help you see things in a new light.
Staying Connected to Your Friends during Quarantine
One piece of mental health advice not listed above is to stay connected with your friends and family. Even for introverts, it can be important to have human interaction (even it is virtually). Here are a few tips to making sure you stay connected!
- Call your friends! We live in a time where most prefer a text than a call - but push aside the awkwardness and uncomfortable feelings and give your friends a call!
- Make an effort to reach out to friends you haven't spoken to in awhile to catch up. We've definitely made an effort recently to catch up with old friends from across the country. It doesn't have to be a 3 hour phone call - but a quick text asking how have you been I miss you can make a difference in someone's mental well being!
- Plan friend dates, virtually of course! If you're lucky enough to be able to leave your home and get out and about - we encourage you to connect with friends in person (it's always our preferred way to connect). But if you can't because you're under strict quarantine orders - plan a virtual date with a friend! Game nights or group movie parties are a great way to connect. We've even hosted a makeup lesson with our friend group! Get creative and find something different to do over Zoom or FaceTime!
- Keep the humor alive with a meme group text. We all need a good laugh now and again. And we know you've probably got this running deep within your friend circle - but if you don't. Start a meme chat where you share the most hilarious memes on the internet! Not into memes but love inspirational quotes - try that instead! Just keep it positive and uplifting!
- Include your friends in quarantine on group gatherings. If you're not stuck in quarantine but have a friend who is...include them! Have someone set up a Zoom or FaceTime them in so they can feel a part of the group again! It gives them a break from the monotony of quarantine and it's a fun way to get someone to the party without being physically present!
We may have begun a new normal with facemasks, quarantine and local restrictions but it doesn't mean that this won't lift. Quarantine won't last forever and while things might be a little different for sometime it doesn't mean we can't enjoy our lives!
Do you have any other suggestions for mental well being and staying connected to your friends? Post them in the comments!