Self-isolation can have a negative impact on your mental health

Coronavirus

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — While people practicing self-isolation are doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, their mental health could take a hit.

“It’s been kind of sad and depressing,” said Rebecca Auten, a graduate student at East Carolina University.

Auten hasn’t left her apartment in four days.

“It was kind of a nice break to just sit there and do nothing. The past two days its been a little more like, okay, I need to do something,” said Auten.

She’s began self-isolating after a recent mission trip to Honduras with the ECU Occupational Therapy program.

“The past couple days its been more about disappointment because I’m not able to go home and do what I want to do,” said Auten.

Auten’s feelings about social distancing and self-isolation aren’t unusual.

“It is normal. There’s going to be some anxiety. There’s going to be some worry or fear,” said Keith Hamm, a community liaison with Integrated Family Services.

Hamm said doing things that bring you joy is helpful.

“Being able to talk with someone over the phone and just exchanging the positive aspects of life,” said Hamm.

Activities like journaling are also helpful for working through one’s emotions during a time like this.

“You’re not alone,” said Hamm.

Speaking with a friend, family member, or someone you trust is also a healthy activity during self-isolation.

“One thing we can do is make sure that we are reaching out through whatever means we can reach out,” said Hamm.

Auten said it’s also helpful to remember who may benefit from this.

“I always pin it back to my family, so, remembering I’m staying here for a purpose and that’s good because it’s not infecting my family in case I have it,” said Auten.

For now, it’s puzzles, reading and playing Wii a safe distance away from her roommates.

If you’re interested in chatting with a qualified mental health professional from Integrated Family Services: click here.

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