Hong Kong has seen a resurgence in the number of daily Covid-19 cases, causing the government to bring back strict social distancing rules right after the new year and leading up to the Chinese New Year.
For many, this disruption in the sense of normalcy that people have tried to live with during the pandemic has once again caused stress. With a rise in cases, business closures and dinner dine-in bans, this also means a lot of people are quarantined which itself is a challenge given how long we’ve all been tackling the pandemic.
Tatler sought the help of Odile Thiang, a clinical advisor at Mind Hong Kong, a mental health charity. Currently finishing her fourth 21-day hotel quarantine, Thiang gives us her expert tips—based on her own experience—on how to manage our mental well-being during quarantine.
1. Have a routine
Odile Thiang: A good routine is key. Quarantine can feel like a time-black hole, where hours and days blend together. With regards to the pandemic in general—the frequent changes in our daily lives, due to changes in safety measures—can disrupt our daily routines. All of these disruptions to our routine can negatively impact our mental health.
Routines help us create structure and stability as well as give us a sense of accomplishment throughout the day. Routines have been shown to reduce stress levels and contribute to improved sleep, both of which are central to positive mental health.
The way I’ve managed my routine through quarantine has been to be diligent with my daily routine. I wake up at the same time, every day and include two exercise sessions (morning and afternoon) each of which signals the beginning and end of my day.
I keep to my normal working hours during the day and have some downtime before bedtime. Over the weekend, I’m a little more flexible but generally keep to my structure, ensuring I schedule movement into my day through walking and yoga.