Managing mental health in quarantine

By Madde Tatum

Coronavirus has greatly impacted the world as we know it. Businesses have been shutting down, schools have moved to online, and now the state of North Carolina enforced a lockdown that started on March 30.

The government has encouraged the United States to stay home and not go into large groups of people. The human race is known to be a social group. Even introverts have their way of socializing with the outside world.

Staying in your home for long periods of time can become hard on one’s mental health, and the lack of physical contact with the outside world becomes very lonely.

We need to reframe social distancing as physical distancing,” said Nicole Davis, the Director of the Wellness Center at William Peace University. “We need to stay socially connected. The term “distant” can be harmful and can lead to feelings of isolation.  Feeling isolated can lead to depression and loneliness.” 

Davis made it a point that distancing ourselves does not mean to cut people off completely as this will lead to feeling lonely. Anxiety is something that most people are facing during the quarantine because of anticipation of the future.

No one knows how long this will last and what the future holds during this time. The most important thing is to stay connected with people in positive ways.

Things to watch out for while in social distancing or in isolation are: staying in bed all day, not maintaining good hygiene, having a short temper, feeling irrationally hopeless about the future, and somatic symptoms. These symptoms coincide with depression and can be harmful.

“It is an extremely stressful time for me because I had to move out and reorganize my entire life. On top of that, I have to distance myself from my friends and family,” said WPU freshman Mackenzie Bryan.

There are many ways to stay mentally and physically healthy. Daily exercises are good for the body and mind. Intentionally stay off electronics and social media. Just because we are distancing does not mean you have to stop communicating with positive people. 

Make phone calls to your close friends and family. Instead of being mad that you have to deal with some of these inconveniences, try and stay positive and be grateful for what we do have. We use this time to start improving our habits.

Seek help if you notice that your symptoms are affecting your everyday life and make it difficult to finish your tasks. The counseling center at WPU is offering counseling services to in state students.

For students out of state, the Wellness Center will work with locals for referrals. During this time we may feel alone, but there are resources that we can use to feel less lonely. 

For more information or if you need someone to talk to, contact Nicole Davis in the Wellness Center at ndavis@peace.edu or 919-508-2163.

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