People across the globe are quarantining out of concern for the virus and, in some cases, due to government mandates, as the coronavirus continues to spread. Over 100,000 people have contracted the virus, at least 3,400 have died, and several countries have imposed states of emergencies.
Quarantines — and general concern about a fast-spreading virus — can have a heavy impact on day-to-day life, but there are certain things you can do to help reduce your anxiety and keep your daily routine chugging along.
Business Insider has rounded up experts’ takes on how to carry on with everyday life during the outbreak, from quarantine-friendly workout routines that don’t require a trip to a crowded gym to strategies on stockpiling healthy foods to how to manage anxiety.
Clear out old food that might go bad and stock up on non-perishable items from major food groups like beans, rice, olive oil, and nuts.
Before stocking up for a quarantine, it can be important to make room in your fridge and cabinets by clearing out any old or expired foods.
After that, make sure to load up on foods from all essential food groups — protein, grains, vegetables, and healthy fats. Get these in the form of fresh foods like vegetables and meats and non-perishable items like canned good.
Dry goods like rice, pasta, beans, and oats are a good foundation, according to Alyssa Pike, registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council.
They have long shelf lives, are easy to store, and can be incorporated into a variety of nutritious meals. Be sure to store them properly — keeping your grains in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to maintain the quality.
Use fresh foods before turning to non-perishable items like canned vegetables and soups.
Before turning to your non-perishables, make sure to incorporate all of your fresh foods like vegetables, fruits, and protein into your meals.
If you’re concerned about a possible quarantine, an easy first step is to assess what you already have in stock, and get rid of things you don’t need, advised Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition.
“First do a quick scan of your pantry and freezer and throw out anything past its expiration date. It’s just taking up space that we need for good stuff,” she said.
Mealprepping fresh meals and freezing them can be a good way of incorporating unprocessed, healthy foods to your quarantine diet.
“When you’re not quarantined and have access to all the food shopping you can handle, prepping some things to put in the freezer will add some diversity, which you’ll need if you’re eating the same stuff for two weeks,” Zeitlin said.
You can make a solid exercise routine out of burpees, push-ups, and squats at home instead of going to the gym, personal trainers say.
As the coronavirus continues to cause concern worldwide, gym-goers have begun to think twice about sharing equipment, locker rooms, and towels. Although the virus doesn’t survive well on highly-sanitized surfaces, fitness professionals and enthusiasts are wary.
Certain at home workouts that employ body weight and everyday surfaces like burpees, squats, and pushups can be helpful in replacing gym equipment and eliminating contact with everyday gym goers.
“You don’t need a gym to be fit unless you’re a hardcore weight-lifter,” certified personal trainer Bryan Goldberg told Business Insider’s Gabby Landsverk. “The average person can get fit and stay fit in the confines of their bunker.”
Limit your media exposure to ease anxiety about the coronavirus during quarantine.
Since the onset of the coronavirus, news headline after news headline has reflected the growing concern about the virus — making it different for people to get away from anxiety related to the virus.
Because panic arises when people overestimate a threat and underestimate their coping abilities, “watching coverage that repeatedly emphasizes both the rapid spread of coronavirus and lack of effective treatment” is a fuel for the anxiety fire, Julie Pike, a clinical psychologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who specializes in anxiety disorders, told Business Insider.
Rather than focusing on the headlines, be on the look out for essential information from health organizations like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, while blocking out sensational news stories.
Keep in touch with people over the phone, video calling, or through online services.
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Loneliness can be a result of the self-isolation required during a quarantine. Not seeing coworkers, friends, and family members for long periods of time can lead to bouts of sadness.
In order to stay connected with people despite having to stay indoors, calling people to stay in touch can be a good way to manage the quarantine blues.
Some services specific to the Quarantine like QuarantineChat have even been developed to help people stay connected across the globe through voice chat with others impacted by the virus.
As anxiety about the coronavirus spreads, artists Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins told Insider they wanted to provide a service to help people build community in spite of it — inspiring them to create QuarantineChat.
“It’s to bring magic and serendipity to a new reality where thousands of people are stuck inside alone for the next month all over the world,” Baskin and Hawkins told Business Insider.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds — and tell your friends to as well.
Crystal Cox/Business Insider
Ultimately, the largest defense against contracting the coronavirus is washing your hands for 20 seconds or longer and do it often, according to the CDC.
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