Professor Ian Hickie from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre says surviving quarantine is not for the faint of heart. Picture: Pexels
Professor Ian Hickie from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre says surviving quarantine is not for the faint of heart. Picture: Pexels

How you can survive your stay at a quarantine hotel

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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With many destinations enforcing a mandatory quarantine on arrival, travellers have no choice but to be stuck in their hotel room with nowhere to go.

The quarantine period can take anything from 10 days to two weeks.

According to Professor Ian Hickie from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre, surviving quarantine is not for the faint of heart.

Speaking to CNN Travel, Hickie advised travellers to do something purposeful for at least 6 hours a day.

He said that "engaging in complex activities", which include work activities, helps with the 24 hour day.

"If you've actually exhausted yourself mentally, as well as physically, it will help you sleep," he said.

Hickie notes that extended periods of quarantine can impact one's mental wellbeing.

"I've spoken to a number of people who've been far more challenged by it than they thought they would. They just assumed they would go in, count the days and be out the other end. Then after three or four days in a row, they start to think 'this is really challenging.'

"Those who've been in quarantine more than once came to realise how essential their daily activities are in maintaining their normal moods. When deprived of that, they suddenly become disturbed in ways they wouldn't have predicted at all," he told CNN.

Routine

It's easy for travellers to sleep late and spend most of their day in bed, especially when they cannot do anything. However, travellers should use the morning to read, reflect and watch the sunrise.

Hickie said sunlight was essential for enhancing moods and setting a regular 24-hour cycle and body clock "in terms of brain function and emotion in particular ways".

Staying fit is another factor. Plan some form of exercise, whether it's yoga, cardio or a pace around the room. There are many online tutorials that you can use to plan your workouts.

Depending on your country's quarantine rules, you can often venture within the bounds of the hotel's property.

Go virtual

Travellers can also stay connected to their loved ones by planning virtual games night, virtual cocktail hour or join a few webinars.

Not only does it create a sense of normalcy, but it also keeps your social life balanced. You get to see your loved ones virtually, which does wonders to enhance one's mood. Travellers should monitor their media usage and not get sucked into spending hours scouring the internet or news sites.

Depending on your quarantine days, travellers should take each day at a time. Sure, it can get overwhelming, but small steps are better than focusing on the bigger picture. Before long, you will be out and about.

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