Isolation tips: things you can do to keep yourself from going crazy while you have COVID-19

Getting the coronavirus (COVID-19) sucks. There is no doubt about it. But what can be even worse is staying isolated for six days. Speaking of boring, you have to suffer alone for almost a whole week, either in your bedroom or worse, in an isolation room in one of the dormitories on campus. Cabin fever can affect many people. You can start to go a little crazy and long to do something.

I would know; I’ve spent the last week in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Sitting in my isolation room in Dinallo Heights was lonely and boring at first, but I quickly found a few things to keep me busy. Here are some ways you can be productive during your time in isolation:

1. Do schoolwork.

Yes, I know the last thing you probably want to do while sick is schoolwork. But if you’re trapped in your room, this is a perfect opportunity to get some chores off your plate. Start working on the essay due in three weeks. Complete the Spanish homework you missed. If you have a head start, you will have less stress later, believe me.

2. Spend some time on one of your hobbies.

Did you want to improve your chess game? Now is the perfect opportunity. Spend some time doing something you love, whether it’s expanding your knowledge of botany or creating the perfect script for your next Dungeons and Dragons podcast. Or if you don’t have a hobby, try something new. You might be really good at memorizing the elements or something.

3. Use FaceTime with your friends and family.

Being stuck in isolation can certainly be lonely, but thanks to modern technology we can still face each other, albeit virtually. Make a group call with your best friends so they know how you’re doing. Spend so much time with your romantic partner that you don’t want the conversation to end, and so much time with your mother that you wish your conversation with her would. Talking to the people you care about will only boost your spirits and make you feel better mentally.

4. Do mental organization.

As college students, we tend to have so much to do at once that we can let things slip, like a missed meeting with your adviser or a club responsibility you forgot. Use this time to plan for the coming week or month. Plan when to shop or when to do your stats homework. That way you don’t forget to eat or get two hours of sleep a night (both things that are admittedly my fault).

5. Relax.

Take this time to chill. You’ve earned a well-deserved break. Take that nap you’ve been wanting to take for so long. Turn on the PlayStation and switch off for a while. Read that book that’s been on your reading list for months. Find out about the news. Whatever it is, make sure you get your energy replenished when you come out of isolation so you’re ready to get back into the world.

6. Finally, focus on getting better.

Take care. That’s the whole reason you’re isolated in the first place. Make sure you have all the medication you need, from prescription pills to the miracle that is Advil. Cough drops, tissues, thermometers – stock up on everything you need during your isolation period. Monitor your symptoms and make sure someone can bring you more supplies if needed. Getting healthy is the most important thing to focus on in isolation.

Hopefully these tips will help you get through your week alone while recovering from COVID-19. I know they saved me through the mental cough I was having and the subpar delivery meals from Sam’s Place. (Even if you have COVID-19, their burgers still taste like trash). So rest, take care of yourself and make sure you stay happy. You will get through this, mentally and physically. You can do it.

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