Keeping connected by phone or video chat, fostering animals can help during self-quarantine

Coping with COVID-19 Quarantine

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Across the country, many are facing a new way of life with more hours being spent alone and at home.

For some, this alone time can cause anxiety or other mental health concerns.

Keeping your mind busy and off of negative thoughts are recommendations from Montgomery Prescod, an LPC-A at the Center for Counseling and Wellness.

He said activities can be as simple as keeping a journal or playing card games. The biggest thing, however, is keeping up with connections.

Prescod said quarantining and social distancing doesn’t mean people have to social isolate. Keeping up with friends and family, whether it be via a phone call or video chat, can help.

He said isolation comes about when people aren’t feeling connected to someone or something, which can trigger things like depression. So, calling up an old friend or pulling out a notebook can help.

“COVID-19 has brought about new realities between all of us, so we have to make an adjustment, what I call behavioral activation," Prescod said. "We have to make an adjustment to the way we interact, the way we communicate with everyone. We have to also be gentle to ourselves during this time; we got to be able to manage our stress.”

Prescod said the center is still available to speak with clients during this time.

Another way to cope is with what some call a “quarantine buddy.” At All 4 Paws, individuals can still foster an animal to give them love, but also help themselves during this difficult time.

Everything one would need to care for the animal comes with it. Right now, they have a few dogs left and several cats. Individuals can find their application online and they’ll set up a FaceTime or Zoom call with a person to see the animals.

“Any time an animal can get out of a shelter and into a home, we get to see a whole different great behavior from them," operations and founding director Allison Gillespie said. "It’s stressful here, it’s loud. As nice as we try to make it, it’s still stress for the animals so any time they can get into a home, it makes such a difference for them and possibly a difference for you too.”

Normally a person can foster for two weeks, but it’s been extended it to “as long as you want” during COVID-19.

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