Forced quarantine has its ups – more family time, a slower pace, a better environment.  But like all things, it  has its downside.
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How to keep your sanity during quarantine: Psychologist gives tips
Maridol Ranoa-Bismark ( - March 27, 2020 - 5:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Luzon lockdown has thrown our lives upside down. Because we can no longer leave our homes to work and play, we have more idle time at home.  

Our daily routine — taking a shower, having breakfast and beating traffic to go to work — is gone. Instead of officemates, we have  loved ones to talk to the whole day long.

Forced quarantine has its ups – more family time, a slower pace, a better environment.  But like all things, it  has its downside.

In a recent YouTube interview with former PBB ("Pinoy Big Brother") housemate Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, noted psychologist Randy Dellosa likened forced quarantine to cabin fever. We’re stuck in our homes and our rooms, without a any source of  stimulation. The pandemic leaves us no choice but to stay home.

Dellosa added that there’s a lot of uncertainty and fear, including that of mortality. So some people get sick — physically and mentally.  Boredom, anxiety, even depression set in.

Because we have extra emotions and we don’t censor our feelings around them, Dellosa said we get irritable with our loved ones – our spouse, children and others. This could even lead to shouting matches.

Loss of control over what’s happening leads to fear.  

“Cough due to allergy is mistaken for COVID-19. So is warm body temperature due to fatigue. The fear of getting sick makes us sick,” warned Dellosa.

What do we do to keep our sanity?

Dellosa offers the following tips:

1. Choose the kind of news to believe in. Learn to tell the fake ones from the real. COVID-19 updates from the World Health Organization  (WHO) and he Department of Health (DOH) are the most reliable.

2. Be socially connected to fight isolation, but remember that computers and social media gadgets have their limits.

3. Be proactive. Do something productive, like spring cleaning your room, exercising, thinking of ways to save on food and other necessities, instead of worrying needlessly. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

4. Nurture your spirituality. 

Hopefully,  you’ll emerge a better, wiser person when the quarantine is over.

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