Author: Skylar Hom

During such unprecedented times, it can be challenging to become accustomed to new routines. Many may find the need to stay at home to be rigorous, draining, and unfamiliar. Tokyo Mental Health would like to share some advice on self-care during quarantine.

A poster that reads "Self care during self-quarantine: Tokyo Mental Health is accepting on-site and online appointments."

Keep a stable routine

Most notably, the need to stay inside has vastly disrupted daily schedules. It may be very easy to let habits slip as timeliness becomes less of a priority. Keeping a routine can help keep you motivated, active, and improve your emotional state.

One prime example is your sleep schedule. For those suddenly finding themselves without time commitments, sleeping late and waking late might become normal. While sleeping in is not inherently bad, it is encouraged to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Sleep comprises a vital block of your daily routine — keeping it will help promote good structure for the rest of your day.

Maintain a positive work-life balance

Many workplaces have asked their employees to remain at home and do work remotely. Maintaining a positive work-life balance can be challenging for those unused to working at home. Such individuals are used to working in one place and relaxing at home. However, with the introduction of remote work, the home has also become the workplace.

It may be helpful to establish a certain area and time to do work. For example, working at one desk during a certain time each day can make an “office space” of sorts within your home.

Mentally, continuing work can be a struggle. Self-discipline, especially during this time, may be poor. Be forgiving — for many of us, this is one of the most challenging and turbulent times that we have experienced.

If your work requires you to continue travelling outside, self-compassion is equally important. 

Stay in touch with friends, family, and loved ones

One of the most drastic changes during this time is the inability to visit friends and family. Reaching out to loved ones each day can be very soothing. We are all going through the same struggles with feelings of isolation — finding company in others can be emotionally gratifying. Although in-person visits are not possible at the moment, phone and video calls can ease feelings of uncertainty.

Care for your body

Eating regularly is important during all times. However, with the closing and restricted service of many dining establishments and grocery stores, maintaining a healthy diet can be more difficult. Keeping up a regular and nutritious diet is important for maintaining your physical health.

Exercise is also vital. Even at-home exercise, such as yoga, pilates, and calisthenics, is physically enriching. Physical activity is also linked to benefits with emotional and mental health. It is recommended to do around 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Limit checking the news

It is easy to feel anxious during uncertain times. While checking the news is an important part of staying conscious with the current state of affairs, checking the news too often can be harmful. It is recommended to set up a limit for time spent checking the news.

Spending too much time reading the news can cause feelings of fear, anxiety, and unease. This is because mass consumption of the news can inspire a feeling of powerlessness. For the sake of emotional calm, it is better to dedicate more time and mental energy towards activities that one enjoys.

Do emotionally soothing activities

The type of activity that promotes positive emotions will vary for each person. It could be anything. Hobbies such as drawing, music, reading, games, and crafting may be emotionally calming for some. Others may find enjoyment in starting new projects or learning new skills.

Importantly, try to not expect radical progress in new and old endeavors. During times of mass uncertainty, it is completely understandable to have difficulty achieving goals. Self-compassion is crucial.

Seek professional assistance

Finally, Tokyo Mental Health suggests visiting one of our providers to discuss any concerns you may have. We are here for you.

Our offices are open from 9AM-8PM all 7 days of the week for both on-site and online appointments. We have also started an online COVID-19 support group (more information here).

As a parting word — in such times, compassion and altruism are paramount. Take care of yourself and those around you.