Got “quarantine brain”? You’re not alone.


Kelly Wang, Features Editor

Quarantine not only causes gatherings and social interactions to pose dangers to the physical well-being of many, but it also places heavy burdens of stress on psychological health. As Fremd students continue to push through e-learning, it’s understandable that the fatigue of being stuck at home may negatively affect their states of mind.

Whether the weight of quarantine comes in the form of rolling out of bed at 7:29 AM and inhaling breakfast during the first Zoom class of the day or the feeling of everyday being repetitive, students are not the only ones feeling dragged down by the continuous days spent cooped up at home.

AP Psychology teacher Amanda Ganas has found quarantine weighing on her spirits as well and reflects on her own deviations in her mental state of mind during the past months of quarantine.

“I started having a lot more anxiety and I started turning more inwards,” Ganas said. “I also struggle with control, and in this situation I don’t think anyone’s ever felt so out of control.”

Being isolated from family and friends may spur on negative emotions that can cause many to tumble down a rabbit hole of upsetting thoughts. Working on turning that negative energy into something more positive and applying it to other aspects of life has served as an effective coping mechanism for Ganas.

“If I became really anxious, I would try to do something that I’d feel a sense of accomplishment [for] instead of just sitting in my own anxiety,” Ganas said. “Because I was sad and lonely, I was thinking of all the sad and lonely times in my life. It took me the ability to understand what I was doing and turn it around so I didn’t find myself going down the same negative rabbit hole day after day.”

Dealing with the potential mess of emotions upfront and finding a new norm can bring a sense of stability to one’s daily life as to avoid repetitive absorbance into the negatives. Ganas has worked on helping her daughter Layla adjust to the new view of the everyday by setting up a routine to maintain a sense of structure on a daily basis. Even writing down the most simplistic of things can help with preventing the loss of one’s routine.

Additionally, strategies to combat other mental obstacles may be less out-of-reach than expected. With the shorter days and colder temperatures, some may feel the onset of seasonal depression, and Ganas encourages students to still go outside and stay active even as the weather gets colder.

“You literally need that Vitamin D to keep you happy,” Ganas said. “If you think you’ve been feeling more blue than you before, or you can correlate it with the weather, make sure you do something about it so you don’t just wallow in the depressive state and stay active. It keeps your endorphins going and it keeps your serotonin high so you can combat it as best as possible.”

When thinking of what she wished students would always keep in mind, Ganas highlights how to remain more positive in the bleak days of quarantine.

“There are a lot of things that are out of our control, but you need to focus on what you can control – your physical [well-being], your emotions, and how you handle them,” Ganas said. “If you focus on those aspects of yourself and you try to be as good as you can be in those realms, with everything else you have to let the chips fall.”