You know what homesickness feels like, right? Well, the quarantine blues are exactly the opposite—you’re sick of home instead.
If you’re experiencing the quarantine blues because you’re in self-isolation or following stay-at-home orders, first of all, thank you. You are helping to flatten the curve of the coronavirus while keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
If you haven’t been, shame on you. But, if you have been, you are probably getting a bit restless, agitated, and maybe even depressed.
What are the quarantine blues?
The quarantine blues are the exact opposite of homesickness. You aren’t missing home, you are missing everything but your home. Being home in the same place with the same people, no matter how much you love them, is severely draining.
People weren’t meant to be on lockdown, but we are doing it for the good of the world. Our bodies are craving fresh air, our minds are craving socialization, and our tummies are craving sushi!
It is actually exhausting to be somewhere I wished I was every day before quarantine started. Energy levels have plummeted. Keeping to a healthy sleep schedule is becoming further and further out of reach. How do you deal with the emotional, physical, and mental drain of quarantine?
How to beat the quarantine blues
Before I offer you tips on getting motivated and perked up while being stuck *safe* at home, let’s focus on something even more important.
It is okay to be bummed and anxious. It is totally normal to feel stuck and lack energy right now.
If you don’t do anything else from this list promise me you’ll at least do this… Do not feel ashamed for how you are facing this time. There is no right or wrong way to deal with quarantine. We have never dealt with anyone like this before.
While some people fall into their work and others start home renovation projects, many of us are eating snacks in bed while binging another Netflix series. And all of these methods of survival during quarantine are perfectly normal.
With that being said, I get the emotional toll doing nothing can take. Although you should not feel bad about lounging around, sometimes doing nothing can be more draining than doing something.
Now, if you are being a couch potato and loving every second of it, by all means, continue. Do what you need to feel comfortable and calm.
But, if you’re anything like me, more than three days of constant Netflix and frozen pizza feels like you’re stuck in some sort of time warp. Deal with those quarantine blues and perk yourself up.
#1 Be realistic. Perhaps you saw someone on Facebook posting about how they retiled their bathroom floor during quarantine. That’s great. However, if you know your home renovation abilities end at plugging in a fan, then don’t attempt something too far out of reach.
I tried to sand down and stain my bedroom furniture last week. I made a mess, destroyed the top of my nightstand. And I will now have unfinished furniture for the unforeseen future.
#2 Eat something healthy. I know I sound like your health teacher from middle school. But, even if you eat an apple or a few baby carrots after vegging on chips and pizza for days or weeks, it will help your energy.
Fruits and vegetables really do have the power to perk you up and remind your body it is meant for function.
#3 Get some fresh air. Cheesy, I know, but fresh air is good for the soul. Go outside if you can. Go for a walk while following social distancing. Even sit outside on your balcony if you have one. When I’m working, just having the window open helps me feel a lot more refreshed and awake.
#4 Video chat with an old friend. Sure, we are all trying to keep in touch with family and friends. On top of that, reach out to an old friend and check in! It will boost your spirits.
It is always so nice to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in a while, especially right now. Not only will it make you feel better but will put a smile on their face to hear from you.
#5 Do something for others. So many people are in need right now, and there are so many ways to help them. You are already helping by staying home. But if you can, start a little soup kitchen for your neighborhood. Have everyone donate non-perishables in a sealed cooler or container on your front lawn so anyone who needs something can take it.
You can switch that to books or DVDs too. You can make meals for the homeless or donate meals to healthcare workers. Even donating to one of the many charities in need right now is something you can do from your couch and still make a meaningful difference.
#6 Try something new. You know how receiving something in the mail is exciting, even if it is a magazine? Well, anchor off of that feeling. Order a meal kit, try a new craft, or even a new workout if that’s your style.
#7 Watch that thing you always meant to watch. I know this seems boring. But I’m sure out of all the TV you’ve been watching you still haven’t watched that one show or movie you’ve been meaning to for years. For me, that was Lord of the Rings. I never saw it and finally did. It felt like a weight was lifted. It’s shocking how watching a movie can actually feel like you accomplished something.
#8 Accomplish something small. The quarantine blues can get to you in all sorts of ways. The good thing is you can do all sorts of things to get rid of them, and they don’t have to be major.
Drink more water every day. Have an extra serving of fruit daily. Make your bed when you get up. Or leave a nice thank you note for your mail carrier. These small things can really boost your mood.
#9 Clean your bathroom. I know we are all wiping down door handles and light switches, but doing a nice deep clean of the bathroom that probably needs a good scrubbing will breathe new life into you. There is nothing like scrubbing the toilet and the shower to really make you feel like you did some hard work and are ready to take on the day. I know I sound like I’m kidding, but I’m not.
Every time I clean my bathroom from top to bottom, I feel so much better. Just remember to open the window so your good feelings are coming from you and not the cleaning fumes.
#10 Sing. Have a virtual karaoke night with friends or just sing around the house. Whether you have the voice of an angel or the opposite, music and singing have a way of bringing out our best moods, even in the toughest of times.
When stuck at home, it is tough to beat the quarantine blues. With some effort and a lot of desire, you can feel good about doing the bare minimum.