Self care essentials

8 ways to prevent pandemic insanity


Margaret Debenport

As the weeks of quarantine continue, self care becomes more important.

Story by Ruth Heinemann, Staff Writer

The world is currently facing the biggest challenge of the 21st century. The COVID-19 outbreak has turned our lives upside down and everyday there seems to be more devastating news about the increasing number of infections, cancelled events and stressed out hospital workers. Not being able to see friends and having to stay at home is a stressful situation for many. Living in this uncertain time, we can be overwhelmed with fear. This can result in changes in sleeping and eating patterns and the worsening of preexisting health conditions. This is why trying to find ways to cope with the stress to take care of our mental health is important for everyone. 

Being at home is a good time to practice self care, so that eventually, we can turn this time of fear into a time of hope. Below is a list of eight self care tips to help prevent insanity. 

Take a break from the news

While it is important to stay informed and to know about the current situation in this pandemic, constantly reading news about this uncertain time will eventually get you in a negative mindset. Living in times like these might cause a thirst for information because it gives a feeling of being in control. However, constantly being confronted with this kind of negativity only adds to the fear. Therefore, it is beneficial for your mental health to find time in your day to disconnect from social media and the news. Distract yourself with watching a movie, playing board games with your family, or doing workouts.


Meditation is a great way to deal with the fear that comes along with the COVID-19 pandemic because it helps to quiet the thoughts running through your mind. The goal is to focus on your thoughts and how to redirect them in order to reduce stress . It is easy because you can meditate at any time and any place. There are different options to start your meditation. You can design your own meditation doing research online before you start, or you could follow a podcast that guides you through the process of reflection. Especially for beginners, podcasts or YouTube videos are  a great option because it is like an introduction to the world of meditation. Podcasts that have been recommended for beginners are “Meditation Minis” by Chel Hamilton and the guided meditations by “The Honest Guys” on YouTube.

Call someone you’ve lost connection with

In our normal daily schedule, we don’t find time to call friends or family that you don’t see everyday. Now is the perfect time to catch up with those people to see how they are doing during this pandemic. Since our physical contact to others is limited, it is important to have conversations so that we can remind each other that no one is alone in this. 

Create a new playlist

Whether you want to study, calm down or have a dance party in the middle of the night, there is music for every mood. Listening to new music and creating your personal quarantine playlist can take your mind off of things and lets you dive into a different world for a few hours. Youtube, Spotify and Apple Music also offer a big variety of playlists put together for whatever mood you are in.

Get dressed up

For many students, not having to leave the house is a perfect opportunity to wear sweatpants all day long. Clothing has an effect on how we feel mentally which is why it makes a difference if you wear the same three outfits every week or if you put thought into your outfit. While it is nice to wear comfortable clothes, getting dressed up will make you feel better about yourself. After a while, wearing pajamas can put you in a bad mood because it emphasizes a feeling of being stuck at home. Dressing up for birthdays or other events that would have happened at this time helps to maintain a sense of normality while boosting one’s confidence. 


Writing down your thoughts and feelings is always a good idea when you are feeling overwhelmed. Due to the events we are currently experiencing, keeping a journal is a way to remind ourselves, and one day the next generation, what it was like to live in this pandemic. The great thing about journaling is that there are no rules. It is not something you have to share with anyone, rather it is something to help organize your thoughts in order to find a way to deal with this situation.

Make plans for after quarantine

No one knows how long we will have to practice social distancing, but we do know that we can return to our normal lives eventually. Instead of focusing on all the things that we can’t do right now, you could start making plans for your next vacation or your next time seeing your friends. Shifting your focus on all the fun after quarantine helps to get into a more positive mindset. A fun way to visualize those plans are vision boards. A vision board is a collage of images representing one’s dreams in order to provide a source of inspiration to pursue these goals.

Declutter your room

Now that everyone is spending more time than usual at home, you may realize that a messy closet or overfilled drawers can lead to anxiety. Getting rid of the stuff that we don’t need organizes your room and mind. A famous technique for decluttering is the “Konmari Method” by Marie Kondo. The method is based on getting rid of everything “that doesn’t spark joy.” She even has a Netflix show called “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”

At the end of day, the most important thing during this time of social distancing is to stay busy. Maintaining a normal schedule is not easy, but getting into a positive mindset and not getting lost in negative news is only possible if we try to distract ourselves with activities that make us happy. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, try to think positively and try out new activities.