Quarantine Coping Skills: Managing Social Isolation and Wellbeing

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Coming back to school this year comes with its pros and cons. On the one hand, our kids have the opportunity for face-fo-face instruction and interaction with their peers. On the other hand, due to recent surges of the Delta variant, quarantine is a real possibility. 

Similar to going back to school, quarantining itself comes with its pros and cons. Quarantine can help the community by minimizing the spread of COVID-19, and it allows symptomatic individuals to engage in proper self-care.

However, it can be tough to cope with social isolation, especially for our children who thrive on social interaction. When we are socially isolated, there can be negative effects on our mental and physical health. 

Here are some things parents can do to help their kids cope with quarantine:

  1. Check in with your child often. This lets your child know that they are in a safe space and you still love and care for them. Make sure they have all the food and water they need and that they’re taking any needed medications. Monitor their symptoms and don’t hesitate to contact a licensed health care provider if you need assistance.
  2. Do something special. Being quarantined is tough. Let your child know you’re thinking about them and their wellness by doing something nice and special for them. This may include making their favorite meal, renting their favorite movie, or snagging a copy of their favorite magazine.
  3. Keep their minds active. Once your child is feeling a little better, encourage them to do something mentally stimulating and engaging. The possibilities here are endless, but some options include getting your child a fun book or puzzle.  
  4. Notify your child’s school, class, and other close contacts. In addition to your child’s safety, it’s important to keep in mind the safety of others who may have been exposed. Contact your child’s school, class, and other close contacts (e.g., neighborhood friends) to inform them your child tested positive. This helps keep the community healthy and safe, let others know they can trust your family, and gives others notice to seek medical attention as they see fit. 
  5. Video calls with friends and family. Despite the negative effects of the pandemic, most of us probably have more skills with digital communication. Set up a videoconference with your child and family members or friends. You can use applications including Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and FaceTime. This can help keep your child socially engaged, especially when they’re feeling lonely.
  6. Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene! If your child and/or family are quarantined, still keep hygiene at the forefront of your mind. Wash your hands, cough into your sleeve, and avoid unnecessarily touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

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