Too Much “Me Time”

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People are always talking about how it is nice to have “me time”… but what happens when we spend a little too much time with ourselves? It might be nice to have a day or two on your own, but when you are your only company, it’s suddenly not so relaxing anymore. Social distancing has led to effects that are quite damaging to a person’s mental and physical health. The American Psychological Association reports that “social isolation carries a number of health risks. Feeling isolated can lead to poor sleep, poor cardiovascular health, lower immunity, depressive symptoms, and impaired executive function”. 

 

When it comes to mental health specifically, whether an introvert or an extrovert, quarantine affects everyone in a different way. For example, I am an introvert and struggle with anxiety, so without the lightheartedness of hanging out with friends and the addition of a lot more time in my own head, I have found that I am more anxious and melancholy than usual. On the other hand, there is my mom who is an extrovert, and she is struggling with isolation because the mundaneness of everyday life and the lack of social time with peers.

 

Physical health is also a struggle to maintain during this time. It can be difficult to eat healthy when you are stuck in a house with food and nothing else to think about. It can also be a struggle to stay motivated to exercise, as gyms are closed and people who play sports do not have that to rely on for their dose of physical activity.

 

So what can we do to maintain a healthy mind and body while in this time of solitude? Some easy to follow recommendations include eating healthy meals, exercising/being active during the day, and meditating. It is also important to maintain a routine so that you can complete whatever work you need to finish and have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. You should occupy yourself with enjoyable activities during your free time; some suggestions are reading a book, drawing or painting, taking a walk, or watching a movie or television show. It is also important to note that one of the most important things to do during quarantine is to stay connected with friends and family. Even though you may not be able to see them in person, it is good to text, call, and FaceTime the important people in your life that you have not been able to see recently.

 

This time of self-isolation takes its toll on everyone in a different way, but while staying safe and staying at home, we have to remember that it only helps in the process of letting us return back to our “normal” lives. It is important to prioritize our health, and if we practice healthy habits now, it will help us to maintain them even when our lives become as busy as they once were.