Leverage Technology to Make Quarantine Easier
Whether you’re physical distancing or isolating at home, the coronavirus pandemic has likely changed the way you connect with others. Social isolation can take a toll on emotional and physical well-being. To counteract the adverse effects of spending too much time alone, it’s crucial to find ways to continue working, learning and exploring each day.
10 ways to use technology to improve life during a quarantine
The silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic is the plethora of available technologies that can help lessen the emotional and physical effects of quarantine. These ten strategies can help you use technology to survive (even thrive) during isolation:
Now, more than ever, people feel the need to commune, pray and connect. Religious institutions have made it easy for you to stay in touch with your congregation through livestreaming or posted sermons.
The ability to make eye contact is critical to humans: Eye contact promotes a strong connection between two people. While it isn’t safe to visit your friends or loved ones in person right now, you can still connect over a face-to-face call. Get creative in how you interact with people, for example:
- Dinner dates and happy hours
- Interactive game nights
- Story time
You need to eat to survive, but it’s important to skip the stores as much as possible to reduce risks of COVID-19. Thanks to meal and grocery delivery services, you can have food delivered to your front door with the convenience of a phone call or a few taps on an app. Plan ahead and shop to have two weeks’ worth of groceries delivered each time to minimize contact.
Though it can be tough to find the motivation to exercise, it’s important to keep moving. Exercise helps your immune system stay in peak form so you can fight off infection. Thanks to technology, it’s easy to work out at home during the pandemic.
It’s vital you minimize trips outside the home, especially if you’re age 65 and older or have compromised immunity. But you don’t need to sacrifice when it comes to medical care. Most health systems have or are ramping up telehealth services where you can connect with a provider from virtually anywhere.
Using video visits, your provider can meet with you on an Internet-connected phone, tablet or computer. Use these visits to discuss existing health concerns or to decide if you have a need that warrants an in-person visit.
Now is a great time to learn something new, whether you’re enriching the lives of your newly homeschooled children or yourself. An online search will bring up an array of opportunities, many for free, for learners of all ages:
- Take a course: The LA Public Library offers a range of free online learning resources
- Learn a second (or third) language
- Enroll in an art or cooking class
- Study a musical instrument
- Help your kids brush up on spelling or math
- Prepare for your next career move: Search the online classes from UCLA Extension
Mental Health and Wellness
Isolation can be stressful, and stress can make you more prone to illness. Focused breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation can decrease anxiety and help you stay calm. It can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure and help you get better sleep. Look for apps or online guided meditations to get you started — even five minutes a day can make a difference and improve your state of mind.
For more coping skills, check out our comprehensive guide to reducing anxiety and fear from COVID-19 .
Curling up with a good book is another great way to escape the four walls around you. While a visit to the local library is out of the question, you can dial up a new book for free thanks to many libraries offering no-cost ebooks during the pandemic.
Amusement parks large and small have closed down to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Many amusement parks now offer virtual experiences of their most popular rides. No, it’s not the same as being in the theme park, but it does provide a momentary escape from the ordinary.
Museums and zoos are doing their part to flatten the curve by being closed to visitors. Many, though, have started to offer virtual experiences, including the California Science Museum, Getty Museum, Hammer Museum and more. Go online and search for other zoos or museums that offer virtual visits. The best part is you have access to tours in other cities, states or countries.
Stay up to date with coronavirus information from UCLA Health. Our new chatbot is available to answer your questions or link you with a provider. Also, help us stop COVID-19 by completing a 5-minute online survery about exposure and symptoms.