Author: VicHealth works with health promotion experts to create a Victoria where everyone can enjoy better health and wellbeing. Last updated: 13 Jan, 2021

Quarantining for 14 days can be tough, so how can you look after your mental and physical health during this time?

Any coronavirus information mentioned is accurate at the time this article was ‘Last updated’ (see above). For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus restrictions, please visit the source: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

With recent coronavirus cases in Victoria and other states, some people have been asked to get tested and quarantine for 14 days if they’ve been at coronavirus exposure sites.

Time in quarantine can be challenging, but it’s also vital to keep Victorians safe. In this article we look at:

  • Ways to help you stay positive and mentally stimulated during quarantine
  • What external supports are available to people in isolation

Be Healthy was created by VicHealth to provide helpful tips and advice on how you and your family can stay healthy. You can read more Be Healthy articles here.

Quarantining at home or in a hotel can be very challenging. Not being able to go to places you normally would or see people is hard, and not following your usual daily routine can be frustrating.

But this time spent isolating can be used productively. Here are VicHealth’s top tips for making the most of home or hotel quarantine, which will help your mental and physical health.

 

How to stay positive and mentally stimulated during quarantine

1. Stay active if you can

Try and set aside some time throughout the day for physical activity. Our This Girl Can – Victoria Get Active @ Home page has lots of videos you can follow, many of which can be done indoors or in confined spaces. Get Active Victoria also has lots of home-based exercise ideas for people to try. Getting some physical activity done not only helps your physical health but will also leaving you feeling good mentally as well. If you have a backyard or exercise equipment which is accessible only to you, try to use this as much as possible.

2. Structure your day

It’s important to try and maintain a routine as much as you can. If you’re working or studying from home during quarantine, try to do this in the hours you normally would and keep to your usual schedule (or as close to it as possible). Even putting some structure around your downtime can be helpful to keep you feeling positive and productive through the course of a day.

3. Branch out into some hobbies

If you’re not working, it might be a great time to pick up some old hobbies or start new ones. Are there books you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t found the time? Is there a recipe you’ve wanted to try in the kitchen? Some of these activities you might even want to make part of your normal routine once you finish quarantine.

4. Prioritise sleep

Whether quarantining at home or in a hotel, getting enough quality, restful sleep is still vital for your mental and physical health. Setting up your bedroom for maximum comfort and establishing a nightly routine before bed are great ways to help you to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio has some handy sleep tips which can help.

5. Avoid drinking alcohol and prioritise a healthy diet

Avoiding alcohol products and unhealthy food options can make a huge difference to how you feel mentally and physically. If you’re quarantining at home, try to have alcohol-free days and cook delicious, healthy food when you can.  To help with this, see if a friend, family member or neighbour can drop off groceries (in a  COVIDSafe way) or order online. Remember to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and drink plenty of water throughout the day - Sandro also has some ideas on how to eat healthy foods at home.

6. Stay connected to loved ones

If you or someone you know is in quarantine, it’s important to stay connected as much as possible. This might be through phone or video calls, texting or even playing online games together. Communicating how you’re feeling day to day can make a big difference and allows you to lighten the mental load. If you’re quarantining with other people, ask how they are coping and share your experiences with each other.

 

Seeking support during your quarantine

The Department of Health and Human Services has a range of mental health supports and resources available for people completing quarantine or isolation. You can read more about these on the DHHS website.

You can also contact the organisations below, which are able to provide assistance over the phone.

KEY CONTACTS: Phone Lifeline: 13 11 14, Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or Headspace: 1800 650 890

 

Quarantining can be tough, but it’s important to remember that every person who completes quarantine is helping to keep our community safe.