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Seven approaches to self-isolation


With the evolving situation around COVID-19, more people may be facing the prospect of self-isolating or being in self-quarantine to help limit possible spread of the virus. It can be a challenging time, but Dr. Peggy Richter, head of the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre at Sunnybrook, says there are several approaches that can help.

Prepare, but don’t hoard

Have a reasonable amount of food, supplies and medications on hand to cover the period of time you may need to be home.

Keep a routine

Being at home for weeks at a time will no doubt change the course of your normal daily activities, but establish a new daily routine as quickly as possible. Allotting specific tasks for various moments in your day can offer a sense of control, and can help pass the time more quickly.

Basics matter

Exercise and good nutrition are always important, but especially during periods of heightened stress. If there are certain self-care practices that you enjoy, like mediation, try to incorporate those into your new routine.

Redirect your focus

Listen to upbeat music, read a good book or watch a funny movie. There are many activities that can help provide some respite from stress and anxiety.

Stay connected

Digitally, we are more equipped than ever to stay connected remotely with loves ones and friends. Reach out to share experiences, and check in with those who may be more vulnerable to ensure they are doing well. When it comes to staying informed about COVID-19, turn to reliable and trusted sources of information. Visit for links to trusted sources.

New tricks

Use your time at home constructively to complete a project, sign up for a remote course or take up a new hobby.

Take care

If you are living with a pre-existing health condition, keep up with your care. You will likely need to call ahead of appointment, as many health care providers are making provisions to either still see patients in person or to provide care remotely when appropriate. Your health care team can provide you with specific direction. Importantly, if you develop symptoms that require immediate attention, seek emergency care right away.

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