Coronavirus disease COVID-19: Recommendations for persons in isolation or quarantine

What to do when we are in quarantine or isolation? What helps? 

It depends on the conditions of quarantine: where and with whom we spend it (whether alone, with the family, a close person, how big is the flat/house), what possibilities we have to fill in time, whether we have the possibility to work from home, whether we have the Internet connection, what are the relationships and constellations in the family, what is the individuality of the person concerned.

Factors supporting resilience include: optimism, flexibility, creativity, social skills, good relationships with others, good coping strategies to resist stress.

Fear and uncertainty are a normal response to strain. When we realize this and consciously focus on other aspects and activities, we gain control over them. It is normal to ventilate emotions for example through crying, communicating with others, or creating. It is normal to help others and people in need.
 

Briefly

  1. Adequate information. Media burden reduction.
  2. Plan and structure, rational focus.
  3. Activity (work, routine activities).
  4. Relaxation.
  5. Positive thinking and calming down.
  6. Communication and contact with others.
  7. Promoting good interpersonal relationships.
  8. Compliance with hygiene and health recommendations.
  9. Healthy lifestyle.
  10. Helping others and solidarity.

  1. Select trustful official sources of information (e.g. particular Ministries´ websites). Stay up to date, keep track of information updates. However, avoid excessive information on the coronavirus, do not get overwhelmed.
     
  2. Make your plan for the time of quarantine or isolation (daily/weekly, individual/family plan, write down the main points). Structuring your time helps. Plan even for after the quarantine period.
     
  3. Be active, keep both your mind and body busy (work from home, housework, cooking, arranging documents/photos, relaxing, you can also turn your attention to spiritual aspects, learning with children, playing games).
     
  4. Relax (having a bath, music, good food, reading, movies, hobbies, exercise at home, etc. Everyone has their own habits.).
     
  5. Consciously maintain good spirits, optimism and peace of mind (do not surrender to scepticism, focus on positive activities and aspects, do not exaggerate with introspection, do not let the situation scare you).
     
  6. Communicate, stay in touch with loved ones (at home, on the phone, Skype, social networking, you can also use Helpline, toll-free line for children or seniors). Do not forget to communicate with seniors in the family, with distant relatives and people who may be worried about us.
     
  7. Maintain good interpersonal relationships (postpone conflict resolution and the like until later, take time for others as well as a moment for yourself).
     
  8. Follow hygiene and health recommendations (cleaning, hand washing, maintaining cleanliness, disinfecting surfaces, taking a telephone contact with the doctor if necessary).
     
  9. Focus on a healthy lifestyle (enough sleep, healthy diet, exercise, do not overdo it with alcohol or other addictive substances).
     
  10. Help each other and help others in need. Helping others is helpful to ourselves. The crisis is an opportunity to improve relationships, for mutual cohesion in the family and community, and expression of solidarity.

     

PhDr. Štěpán Vymětal, Ph.D.
Security Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic - Psychology Section
ICP 2020 The Crises, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Working Group Chair
EFPA - Standing Committee on Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology

Version as of March 19, 2020


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