Self-quarantining is no easy feat. At first its sounds like something you’ve always wanted to do, but after the third or fourth day has passed, the cabin fever sets in. If you, like many other South Africans out there, are struggling to stay sane while doing your part to stop coronavirus from spreading, here are a few tips to help you along.

1. Maximise your online communication

One of the biggest struggles of isolation is not being able to talk to other people or experience social interaction as much.

Combat your need for socialising with online tools like Skype, Discord or Google Hangouts.

These tools are easy to use and can help you stay in contact with family and friends without needing to leave home.

2. Don’t forget to exercise

The first thing we neglect while in self-isolation is exercise.

Whether its a simple stretch everyday or an online yoga class, don’t forget to let your body move around when it needs to.

As more and more companies let their staff work from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of doing work in bed and neglecting your back health.

Remember to stand at least once an hour and work in a position that is good for your spine. Frequent exercise also helps with your mental state so you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.

3. Foster an animal in need

This one is particularly helpful for those of us who live alone.

Animals help to fight depression or a general feeling of being lonely, so make your time spent at home count and foster an animal in need from your local adoption agency.

You’re not only helping out your local animal care centre but allowing yourself a distraction from the lonely household you may have become accustomed to. This step has to be done with social distancing and hygiene in mind.

4. Get stuff done

Take this time spent at home to do all the things you’ve been meaning to do for years now.

You know what they are, that light you haven’t fixed, that cupboard you were supposed to clean out. Put your time at home to good use and make a list of all the things you need to get done at home and start ticking it off.

5. Tick off your watch list

There’s probably a huge list of movies and series you’ve been promising you’ll watch after someone recommended them to you.

Take some downtime and tick a few classics off the list or even start watching a new series. This helps pass the time and may even give you something to chat to friends about while in isolation.

6. Don’t rely on technology

While binging series and googling coronavirus news has its place, this is not all you should be doing.

Don’t rely too heavily on technology and make sure you do other things in the meanwhile too.

Read books, get some self care in, organise a messy area of your house or get creative with a new crafty project.

Don’t let your time on the inside force you into a stagnant schedule of doing nothing. Something as simple as still getting ready for the day in the morning and changing out of your pyjamas can go a long way.

7. Relax, reassure and recuperate

It may not be the most ideal thing ever to be stuck indoors until further notice, but it offers the perfect chance for relaxation and recuperation.

Let yourself get an early night’s sleep more often than not, plan your meals better, give yourself the extra TLC you can afford now that you’re not stuck in traffic most days and most important of all, don’t panic.

The coronavirus outbreak in South Africa is a serious situation but worrying about it won’t make it easier, so don’t let the isolation get you down and hang in there, Cape Town.


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