Nicole Ciuppa, RDN
Staying Connected During Quarantine
What a chaotic and unsettling time we are in, friends. Am I right?
Local and global news outlets are doing a well enough job of informing all of us about the coronavirus including health statistics, symptoms, panic shopping, national guards...okay, I will stop before we start hyperventilating. In all seriousness, this chapter of life is causing a lot of fear, frustration, unease, anxiety, and negativity to fester. I, too, have been feeling the weight of social distancing and putting some of my life responsibilities on hold until things calm down. Like many of you, I am in a state of self-quarantine and I am spending the majority of my time at home. I, too, understand and empathize with how challenging it is not to be with friends or family, not being able to be in public places past 8 p.m., and not being able to buy some of your staple foods at the grocery store.
Belonging to and having a sense of community is important for humans to function. Having support systems and social outlets during times of crisis can be the difference between spiraling into a mental health breakdown or rationalizing your situation by strategizing ways to problem solve. I am doing my absolute best to stay positive during this time and focus of what we DO have, what we CAN still do, and the things I am grateful for each day no matter how small.
This being said, if you are quarantining and social distancing because of covid-19, here are some things you can do to still feel connected to your friends, family, and communities.
Netflix Party: Google Chrome has a really cool extension that allows you have a virtual movie night with your friends. Along with just watching the show or movie together, a chat bar pops up on the side where you all can share your reactions and fan over what you're watching. I will most definitely be using this one!
FaceTime or video chat with your friends/family to have a sense of face-to-face interaction. Use some of your new free time to catch up on what is going on with your loved ones and be each other's support during this crazy time.
Pick up a new hobby: Ever wanted to try that new dinner recipe or start a TikTok? Have a puzzle you've wanted to put together for weeks and never got around to it? How about that book you haven't had the time to read? Now is the time to explore your creative side and make fun out of things that would have pushed to the side on a normal work or school day. I have always wanted to learn Italian and now is my time to practice- "augurami buona fortuna ragazzi!".
Spend some extra time on self-care: I think we can all use some relaxation and pampering right now. Who agrees with me? Treat yourself to a bubble bath, face mask, self-manicure/pedicure, or meditation. If you always wear makeup or have your hair done up, maybe now is your time to embrace your authentic beauty letting your face breathe and your hair flow naturally.
Moving your body can be a great way to raise your endorphins, distract your mind from the covid-19 news, and get your heart pumping. Getting up to stretch your muscles after a couple of hours of working at home or going for walk around your block are great options. At-home workouts are lifesavers when you are in the mood for that sense of community. There are so many amazing fitness youtube channels that offer free guided workouts, yoga practices, and even kickboxing lessons. Explore all the different types of physical activity and, who knows, maybe you will find a new favorite!
I hope you are all staying safe and doing your best to navigate this uncertain time with grace. Show compassion, be kind, and remember just like everything in life, this too, is temporary.
All the love,