We always crave for some “Me time” but now that we finally have some time to ourselves, we find our bodies and minds restless. Instead of being able to focus and be productive, it is likely that you are going to feel suffocated being surrounded by the same four walls. Wondering what happens to your body when you are quarantined?
Well, the answers are quite extensive. Being quarantined or self isolating does impact both your physical as well as mental health. Not only are you stuck thinking of the worse things possible, it is likely that you will see a plethora of physical changes in your appearance too.
Here, we have sorted out some of the things that happen to your body when you are quarantined.
What happens when you are quarantined?
Apart from the fact that all that you want is to step out of the house because of the boredom, you know that it is your social responsibility not to do so.
But, a sudden captivity inside the same four walls of your home does end up taking a toll on your mental and physical health.
As much as you would like to not experience that, it is likely that you will end up experiencing a lot of changes that you didn’t expect.
All that aside, it is actually very important for one to ensure that you do keep a check on the changes that your body and mind is going through to be able to mitigate those changes better.
Some of the changes that you are likely going to experience include:
1. Stress eating could take a frontseat
So, you are stressed and you have access to snacks at home.
Do you what that means?
Disaster in the form of stress eating.
It is very common for one to stress eat during quarantine, especially because of the easy accessibility of the snacks at home.
The combination of constant fear, anxiety and stress piles up and triggers stress eating. The worst of this is the fact that you won’t even realise that you are stress eating.
Majority of the people who are in self quarantine, trying to get through these tough times have said that eating serves as a distraction for them during these tough times.
Additionally, eating helps replenish your energy levels and recharge your body which is something you will likely need to power you through the lockdown.
The proximity or the easy availability of the food surrounding you is also one of the reasons why you are likely going to crave more of the unhealthy foods for yourself while self quarantine.
2. Affects your mind for the worse
It is not just your physical being that is likely going to undergo change, it is also your mind.
Since humans thrive on social life and constant interaction with other humans (even introverts), the complete stop to that is likely going to impact one’s mind.
While quarantine might seem very easy and a good option in the beginning, things do take a turn for the worse as the days increase. The more you are trapped inside your house, it starts taking a toll on your mind.
Manifesting sadness, fear and stress are common signs that you are likely going to experience.
3. Loss of appetite for some people
Much like how many people take to a habit of stress eating, anxious people tend to experience signs of loss of appetite during the quarantine days.
Since your body and mind is in a constant overdrive of stress and anxiety, it is likely that you will experience symptoms of constant lack of appetite accompanied with nausea and muscle tightness.
These are some of the side effects of high cortisol level in the blood which happens because of stress.
Not just that, the combination of anxiety and stress triggered high cortisol levels can even make your stomach produce more acid, resulting in ulcers.
If you find yourself creating an aversion towards food, it is important that you compensate for the same by getting enough sleep to get your cortisol levels back on track.
Don’t force yourself to eat anything heavy as the same can end up doing worse than you can even imagine. Instead, stick to lighter foods like soup and such.
4. Possible signs of muscle atrophy
Now, this is not one of those things that happen to every single person who is quarantining.
But, if you are someone who doesn’t have a work from home order and have completely free days, it is likely that the same will contribute to muscle atrophy.
According to a study (R) conducted, it was found that just two weeks of no work or a sedentary lifestyle can end up impacting your heart and muscle mass and make them more inactive.
Not just that, it was also found in another study that being subjected to sudden inactivity contributes to the signs of high cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity in the body.
5. Possible signs of weight gain
Not many would realise this, the combination of stress eating and the lack of activity contributes to weight gain.
If you come out of the quarantine gaining a few extra pounds, don’t be surprised. Additionally, don’t be stressed because you are not the only one experiencing that.
Several reports have suggested that it takes 2 weeks of inactivity for your body to get out of shape.
Since it is likely that you can’t hit the gym, start doing something at home to cope with the lack of cardio or resistance training.
Along with that, since inactivity also contributes to high cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity, the same also impacts your weight at the end of the day.
This is one of the reasons why it is important that you keep a check on your eating habits and your daily physical activity during self quarantine.
6. Long lasting and scarring impacts on mental health
Quarantine is one of the drastic measures that is imposed when things get out of hand.
This creates a situation of panic for a lot of people and if you are someone who already struggles with mental health disorders, it is likely that the quarantine phase can leave behind lasting impacts on your mental health.
Even a preliminary study (R) conducted recently found that quarantine during a disease outbreak can result in post traumatic stress disorder, depression and similar drastic impacts on one’s mental health for the long term.
How can you overcome the impacts of quarantine on your mind and body?
Now that you are in complete isolation and practicing social distancing to fight the issues of the coronavirus spread, it is likely that you will start experiencing the impacts of the same in the long run.
But, while we now know what happens to your body when you are quarantined, there are a few ways that you can opt for to get rid of the signs.
Let us take a look at few.
1. Address the changes
One of the biggest mistakes that you are likely going to do during these quarantine days is not accept that things are changing.
This is common because humans are very restrictive about changes, especially something as drastic as this one.
But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything that happens is for the worse.
Once you accept that things are changing for your mind and body, it does become a lot easier for you to mitigate the changes accordingly.
If you feel extra stressed or anxious, accept it instead of suppressing it.
2. Practice some yoga
Now, for the individuals who have had a complete change to their level of activity, yoga is an amazing way to get your body back in shape.
Not only does it help stretch your body and muscles, it also helps improve your blood circulation and help calm down your mind.
The combination of all this has been found to have amazing impacts in helping improve your energy levels and at the end of the day, make you feel a lot better than you could even imagine.
Start with normal stretches and if possible, do it in the balcony of your house where there is sunlight and natural breeze.
3. Open the curtains and doors
When you are quarantined in your own home for a long stretch of time, it is likely that you will start seeing the impacts of those on your mental health.
It is a lot more common than what you can even imagine.
Since you are trapped inside your home, feeling depressed is common.
Opening the curtains, doors and windows helps the natural sunlight seep into the room, thereby letting you soak in some natural Vitamin D.
This energises your mind and body and at the same time, help improve the overall state of mind and make you feel more positivity.
If your room is constant in a shadow of dark, it is likely that the same will end up making you feel depressed and tired.
Having the natural sunlight seeping into the room helps combat that.
4. Switch to healthier alternatives
During quarantine, one of the most common complaints that people have is binge eating to distract themselves from negative thoughts.
This is where you need to introduce changes.
Instead of eating something unhealthy 24×7, stock up on healthier foods.
It could be fruits, vegetables, or even nuts.
It is how you snack that makes a difference. If you snack on unhealthy items, it will end up taking a toll on your physical weight and cause you to gain weight.
5. Reconnect with people
Quarantine is the time where you have the spare time to reconnect with people, talk to them and spend time with them.
This is an amazing way to keep your sanity in check, especially when you are either alone or surrounded by the same people day after day.
Talk to someone over the phone. Video chat with someone, it all comes down to the approaches that you personally feel comfortable with.
Take small steps to keep your mind distracted because that is the only way you will get out of this phase of quarantine, sane.
If you have been wondering what happens to your body when you are quarantined, we have touched on a few. Make sure to prioritise your mental and physical health because that is very important. If you don’t want things to get worse than it already is, try and look into creative ways to get through this phase. Remember that everything bad ends and the sun shines the next day. Much like how the pandemic has started and spread, it will come to an eventual end and things will get better.