One quarantined Italian described the experience of quarantine being like as “a boring vacation” and the whole self-isolation process comes with a lot of the same risks and challenges: it is easy to let go of usual routines of self-care, such as having a schedule, showering, dressing well and eating structured meals at regular times. While not all these patterns are risk factors for depression, they may affect your motivation and energy levels.
Similarly, sleep patterns can become dysregulated, with either excess sleep or sleeping out of sync with the usual daily routine - going to sleep early morning and waking around lunch or later. Such sleeping issues are associated with risk factors for depression.
Ensure you are engaging in as many pleasant and rewarding activities as you can and reward yourself for accomplishing unpleasant activities in relation to how difficult they were to accomplish - getting up out of bed can be a real challenge, for some.
Studies are not in and of themselves motivating, and it can be even more difficult to keep going in the context of being outside of school, in a completely different atmosphere, away from classmates and the school building.
Some of the most important things to bear in mind are:
Using mindfulness - a state of mind and form of non-spiritual meditation practice – can also be very helpful in managing your mood and emotions.
A mindful state of mind involves awareness of the presen moment in a curious, “as if you were experiencing something for the first time” , non-judgmental and compassionate manner.
There are many applications (Headspace; Calm; “Petit Bambou” in French) that can help you learn this skill, and you can also practice it in daily life by “tuning in and being aware of your surroundings”, as if you had suddenly witnessed a beautiful sunset and wanted to take it in.
Mentally run through the day before, or a specific day which represents your schedule well.
Write down any activity or transition (Getting up, Showering, Preparing breakfast, Eating breakfast in the living room, Moving to your “work area”, setting up your desk, etc., with a good degree of granularity).
Then go back of the list and run through it step-by-step, visualizing each activity and noticing how it affects you, how you feel doing it, as if it were the first time you were doing it. Is it more of an energy source or booster, a resource (mark it with an up arrow Þ), or is it a drag or drain on your resources (mark it with a down arrow à)?
Step back and look at the pattern of Þ and à: are certain times a real drag on your energy? Are others real boosters? Are there times when you would need a booster that isn’t there? Consider how to improve or change your schedule as a result.
You can also make use of the excellent advice already available from the following websites: