What does it take to emerge through quarantine a happy, healthy and relatively unscathed human being (if a bit lighter in your bank balance)? Here are some of our best Hong Kong quarantine survival tips for prioritising your wellness while you’re passing the time in isolation.
Good sleep habits
Sleep is the bedrock of wellness, and it’s important to maintain good sleep hygiene. That means sticking to a normal bedtime routine and sleep cycle (avoid sleeping in too late, for example). Local mental health charity MIND recommends restricting your bed to sleeping and relaxing only, and working from somewhere else in your living space, if possible. And of course, limit your screen time before bed!
“Do something creative every day that gives you an outlet,” suggests Peggy Chan, from ReSource Counselling Practice in Wan Chai. Everything from drawing, writing, knitting, playing an instrument (assuming it’s not a piano or tuba) – anything that inspires you. This is also a great time to start something new; treat quarantine like the gift of time to finally pick up that new hobby or passion project.
Structure in social time
Physical separation doesn’t have to be the same as social isolation. Make it a priority to stay connected to your loved ones, through texts, calls, video chats, and social media. This is one of the rare occasions where you can overuse your phone, guilt-free! Some hotels also offer online happy hours, where you can virtually gather with other people quarantining at the same time as you and commiserate over a beverage.
Move your body
It’s no secret that exercise produces the “feel good” chemicals needed to lift our moods and see the light at the end of the quarantine tunnel more readily. Pro tip: if you don’t already have one, a smartwatch is a great idea. Not only does it give you an accurate idea of how physically active you’re being each day, you can pass the time by setting little challenges for yourself, like hitting a certain number of steps or a heart rate target.
Be patient with yourself
Let yourself feel the roller coaster of emotions that comes with isolation. Former quarantinee Aimee Hinksman said that she found great solace in watching cheesy Netflix Christmas movies and just letting herself cry. She would also give herself small rewards for completing each day, from treats and magazines to a glass of well-deserved wine.
Keep the faith
As lengthy as 21 days might seem, time is but a construct. ReSource’s Chan says to remind yourself that the situation is not forever. If you’re feeling especially lonely, make a list of some of the things you’re most excited to do when you’re finally out, and visualise yourself doing them with friends. Go one step further and just make some plans to look forward to, like booking a reservation at a restaurant you love, or buying tickets for a film you can’t wait to see.
For more mental health resources while in quarantine, visit: mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/covid-19/quarantine-tips/
Also on Liv: 19 Socially Distant Activities To Do in Hong Kong