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10 Ways To Cope With Isolation, Quarantines, and Extended Power Outages

In this day and age, we are used to being able to go anywhere and be entertained. Even as adults, we struggle to deal with our downtime. We fantasize about being home for a whole week with nowhere to go and nothing to do but don't know what to do when it happens.

When you are told that you cannot go anywhere for a week or longer, the first thing you may want to do is panic. (Unless you are a prepper and then you are ready for this!) However, panicking will not get you anywhere except to create more chaos and confusion. You need to be calm and focused.

First of all, if you are in a quarantine whether it is self-quarantine or a mandated quarantine, you should plan to be home for a minimum of two weeks. Most people will only plan to be home for one week, but you should at least double that time. To be safe, I would plan for four weeks just to err on the side of caution. If you or your family ends up sick, you will need to be home for as long as it takes to recover and recoup.

Next, you need to try to make this time less stressful for everyone. When we had an ice storm hit my hometown when I was 8 years old, I remember my parents making the best of the situation. We had a wood stove that kept the living room and kitchen warm. We still ate good meals and we set up in the living room to sleep and hang out. Even though my brother and I ended up coming down with the chickenpox during this time too, we still had fun and played. If I remember right, the power was out for over a week.

Attitude is everything when dealing with a situation like this. Everyone will need to keep their attitudes in check which will be difficult at times. Teenagers can be somewhat unpredictable at this time, but reminding them to keep their emotions in check will be worth your while. However, some adults have bad attitudes and outlooks also that can make the situation more difficult. When this situation starts or becomes apparent will be going on for a while, you would be wise to have a house meeting and discuss what is expected out of everyone there.

10 Ways To Cope With Isolation, Quarantines, and Extended Power Outages

1. Make lists. This will be the most important item in this article. You should be making lists of things to do inside your home. Cleaning lists, project lists, and more lists will help give you a focus to your day while you are unable to leave the home. Every morning (or every night before bed), you should be making a to-do list for the day to keep your mind off the isolation and keep yourself productive. 

2. Make a meal plan. You know exactly how much food in your home. If you don't, you need to make an inventory of that food. Just like having a list to plan out your day, you need to plan your meals to make this time a lot less stressful for you. Knowing exactly what food you have on hand and what you will be making at any mealtime will be one less decision you have to make when times are stressful. 

3. Give everyone assigned tasks to do if they are not sick. You will not be the only one struggling with your sudden free time. The people you live with will also be struggling. Make sure everyone has assigned chores to do every day and that they do them. If you have kids at home, I would keep the tasks age-appropriate. Keeping your home clean, tidy, and uncluttered will be very important during this time. You will not be the only one making messes (more than likely). Everyone can help keep it clean and sanitized.

I will say this: This is a lot easier to implement if you already have your kids doing chores and they know they are naturally expected to help out around the house. If you harbor some fantasy that your kids will just automatically help in a crisis situation and they don't do anything now, you are sadly mistaken. They will not know what to do. You should be getting them used to helping around the house now. 

4. Make sure you have things to do at home. Books, cards, board games, word puzzles, small projects, drawing supplies, dress-up clothes for the littles, and more will help everyone entertain themselves much easier. While most kids and people can entertain themselves, having a few options or some new-to-them things to play with can definitely boost the morale around the house.

5. Stick to your routines and create some new routines. Routines are actually sanity savers. You should be still going to bed and waking up at the same time. You should still be taking a shower and getting ready for the day every day. Mealtimes and snacks should still be about the same time every day. By keeping daily life fairly normal for everyone, you can create a sense of normalcy that usually every one craves.

6. Make time for fun. If you can, intentionally set time aside every day for a fun time. If you can go outside in the yard, play a game of TAG or something physical to burn off energy. If you can't go outside, have a dance party inside or play hide or seek in the house. Doing something physical will help everyone's moods in the house as well as keep the morale up.

7. Play music throughout the day. The silence can be deafening and somewhat distracting, but yet you might not want the television on all day. Playing some music all day can be soothing. Even having a radio going can help give you some peacefulness. If you are not able to play music during a power outage, I would keep some cheap MP3 players loaded with music and use headphones or an auxiliary cord and a battery-powered speaker for music.

8. Keep in contact with the outside world, but don't spend the whole day on social media. Checking in with loved ones and keeping up with the world outside your home can certainly help your peace of mind. However, I will warn you about the danger of being on social media too much during the day. Being bombarded with that much information and misinformation can quickly lead to some destructive emotions like paranoia and fear. You need to keep your mind clear during these situations.

9. Take notes during this time. Journaling through this time can be really beneficial for you. You can get your feelings down on paper and take notes of what happened when it happened. You can make notes of what is working and not working. You might be too distracted to remember what happened yesterday and keeping notes will definitely help you to remember. Also, by doing this, you can remember this time for the next time it happens or to give yourself an accurate account of what happened to help someone else.

10. Give everyone some alone time including yourself. While there are people who thrive on being around other people, most people need some alone time to recharge their batteries and to clear their minds. If someone in your home seems to be getting crabby or stressed out, giving them some alone time to think and be by themselves may help their attitudes immensely. You also cannot be offended if someone asks to be left alone for a bit. They will be happier afterward and you will be too.

You may want to keep everyone with you at all times, but that is not healthy for everyone. If you have people (especially teenagers) who are used to being alone for a few hours every day, you can not expect everyone to feel the same way as you. I know the "suck it up, buttercup" mentality is strong in these situations, but crabby people in your home will create more stressful situations.

While my focus in this article has been calm, actionable ideas to implement during this time as well as ideas to keep good attitudes and morale, you can do other things too before this even happens. You can make your home relaxing and calm so it seems like a place of refuge. You can light candles, diffuse calming essential oils, and more to keep the inside of your home a place that you want to be home for. Keeping your home uncluttered and tidy will help give you some calm before the storm.

You should also be stockpiling for this and being ready for anything that can happen like this. Being preppers, I'm sure you have thought about these situations just a little bit. However, having food, water, and a source of heat is at the top of your lists. Keeping cold/flu medicines as well as first-aid supplies is also something you have taken care of to have stocked.

Being prepared is the ultimate peace of mind, but we should be thinking about the mental aspects of these situations also. Many bad things have happened because someone couldn't handle themselves mentally or emotionally. Take care to not let that happen in your home too.

Thanks for reading,

(Notice: I am an affiliate for Amazon LLC. It doesn't cost you anything, but it certainly helps to bring a little extra income into my home. Thanks in advance for any links you use!)

Check out these books also to help you be more prepared for the future! 


  1. Thanks Erica. Excellent thoughts and things to plan out in the event we stay in. More than likely we will self-quarantine or it will be mandatory if stuff get's nasty.


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