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Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine: What it Means for Mental Health and Well-being

What weird times we live in.

In all my almost 30 years, I never thought a super bug like the Coronavirus (COVID-19) would leave most of the world homebound.

Growing up and living in Southern California, I have to admit that I'm currently loving the virtually clear roads and quick commute; but after day 5 of self-quarantine/social distancing, I'm missing the hustle and bustle I'm used to.

I also have to admit that this uncertainty has my stress and feelings of anxiety ramped up.

Since I'm an introvert and prone to keeping my emotions in, lately I've noticed my heart pounding through my chest, hands shaking, and difficulty sleeping-- my tell-tale signs of feelings of anxiety creeping in.

I tell myself everything will work out the way it's meant to and everything will be fine. Don't worry. That's the same stuff I tell my patients and loved ones when they ask me my opinions on the virus and what will happen when this is all over.

There's no doubt anxiety and stress increased in many of the world's population because of this super virus. If you look at the trending topics today, you'll notice "toilet paper shortage" at the top or close to the top of the list-- this tells me people are literally shitting their pants over the Coronavirus news!

For extroverts, social distancing is something new! I, for one, love the idea! But again, that's because I'm an introvert and social situations drain my energy. For my extrovert friends, social settings give them energy; so no-doubt they're utilizing FaceTime and Skype, and other social media outlets to keep up their social appearances.

Whether you fall into the introvert camp or extrovert camp, or somewhere in between, you may be experiencing some sort of stress, feelings of anxiety, or uncertainty surrounding this worldwide pandemic.

Here are my self-care tips for maintaining your emotional well-being:

  • Wake up early, journal, meditate, pray-- do whatever it is in the morning that will help you center your emotions and have you focus on your goals for the day.

  • If you cannot work from home, now is the time for innovation! Renew old hobbies that you may have forgotten about or put aside because of not having enough time; take this time to declutter your home; use this time to spend more time with your family and friends; do those tasks you've been wanting to do (like write and publish an e-book (🙋🏻‍♀️), catch up on reading those books that have been collecting dust, etc).

  • If you are working from home, take the time you have in the morning to schedule out your day. Make sure there is enough structure in your day to accomplish all your needed work without procrastinating.

  • Make sure you're nourishing your body with healthy food (homemade or take out), exercise, and walks outside. Nutrients, movement, and nature: the trifecta in decreasing stress and anxiety.

  • Do not rely on staying on the couch eating junk food and turning to alcohol. Not only will being a couch potato and drinking alcohol increase your susceptibility of getting sick, but it will also increase stress levels. Remember, move as much as possible and eat good food.

  • Surround yourself with people you love and those who support you. I know, it's not likely you'll be going to social outings anytime soon, but that does not mean you can't socialize virtually! In this day and age, we are able to connect with people from across the globe, just make sure your connections are positive and leave you feeling great!

  • Breathe, smile, laugh. Look for things that bring positivity to your life and in the world.

Remember, this will all pass, and when it does, we will be stronger, more resilient, and better than when this started.

We have to work together to make sure COVID-19 does not spread any further. Yes, the uncertainty can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, but what's 2, 3, 4 weeks, or even months of this inconvenience if it means keeping our fellow humans safe and healthy.

We're in this together!

I love you all and I wish you great health and safety during this time.

Oh! And if you can, support your local small businesses! Buy a gift card, tag them on social media, and leave generous tips, if you can, when you're taking food out or calling delivery.

*Disclaimer:  Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor.  The information contained within the pages of this site are for educational and informational purposes only and should not to be used to treat conditions.  Please consult with your doctor before implementing any of the treatments, diets, supplements, etc. mentioned in this blog.*

If you'd like to work with me, you can visit to book an appointment with me!

I look forward to working with you!

In love and health,

Dr. Francesca Medina, ND



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