Memos from Asia

How to Stay Sane During Quarantine – A Complete Guide for Hongkongers

It takes about 11 minute(s) to read this content.

Although Hong Kong residents are strongly advised not to travel abroad, some people have the need to fly in the middle of the pandemic for various reasons. While Hong Kong shuts its borders to foreign visitors, local residents are still allowed to travel and return back to Hong Kong. However, most overseas returnees are subject to 14-day compulsory home quarantine when they are back.

While the quarantine period is essential to public health, 14 days are not short at all. The prospect of two weeks confined to your tiny apartment or a hotel room in Hong Kong may seem torturing, but if you plan well, it can be a good opportunity for you to calm your mind and take a nice break during a difficult and uncertain time. In this article, we’ll share some useful tips for you to brave your two-week isolation period!

Plan ahead

Jet aircraft landing at Hong Kong, China 3D rendering illustration. Arrival in the city with the glass airport terminal and reflection of the plane. Travel, business, tourism and transport concept.

Everything starts with a great plan! You need to give yourself a structure as much as you can. Getting food can be a headache when you are not allowed to leave your apartment. Luckily, there are loads of delivery options available in Hong Kong. But some delivery companies do not send food to people who are in their 14-day quarantine. Therefore, you need to plan ahead. Hong Kong is a convenient city, but you can’t expect everything as normal in this uncertain time. You can also reach out to your friends if they are willing to drop by and deliver food for you. Again, plan ahead as your friends are not always available for you. Keeping things in control can keep you sane.

Given Hong Kong is a tiny city, two-week isolation in your flat can be daunting. The good thing is you can turn this period into a staycation! Ovolo Hotel is offering quarantine packages which allow you to stay in their boutique hotel for 2 weeks. Their quarantine concierge will take care of everything for you – from breakfast to night snacks. In-room fitness gear and mindfulness guide are provided to keep your body and mind healthy. The good thing is 5% from every direct booking will go towards supporting Ovolvo’s staff who are being furloughed. The situation is tough for all of us, why don’t we take this opportunity to support local businesses and make our quarantine life easier?

Get support from others

Loneliness could be more deadly than COVID itself. So it’s important to gain emotional support from others. Hong Kong Quarantine Support Group is here to help. Currently the group itself has over 17000 members. It was created by Farah Siddiqi and Kuni Gandhi, when they saw a need to support Hong Kong residents returning to Hong Kong.

If you have questions about the arrival and quarantine process, the group members are willing to help. The group has become a place to ensure all overseas returnees get the help they need, whether it’s physical or emotional. Check out the group and get yourself prepared!

Don’t forget to exercise

Movement is important to maintain your mental and physical health. Even though you are not a fitness pro, you can always check out free fitness videos online and get sweat. We’ll introduce 2 fitness superstars in Hong Kong for you. They offer a wide variety of exercises which are suitable for all fitness levels. If you really don’t like workouts, make sure to set up some time in a day to do some stretches, walking, burpees or anything. Moving can keep the blood flowing and improve metabolism, which is crucial at this time.

Emi Wong

Emi is a Youtube fitness star with 548k followers on Instagram. She faced battles with bulimia, alcoholism, insecurity but she’s always come out on top. Fitness has been an important part of her life and she is always honest about her struggles. Her bilingual fitness channel on Youtube caters the needs of both Cantonese and English speakers. She is a personal trainer and offers different styles of fitness programs. Set up your fitness goal during quarantine and train with her!

Coffee Lam

Coffee Lam is a well-known face in Hong Kong. She is a former TV actress and a certified yoga instructor. Her personal weight loss journey is an inspiring one. Her Instagram feed offers helpful fitness and yoga tips, and her day-to-day interaction with her lovely son. For anyone in need of a little fitspiration, prepare your yoga mat and check out her channel!

If watching youtube isn’t for you, you can also book an online session with personal trainers, yoga teachers and fitness instructors. Again, do your research and plan ahead.

Eat well is important too

There are some great meal delivery options in Hong Kong, but cooking can be fun and entertaining. HKTVmall is an online shopping mall which sells anything from fresh ingredients to instant food. Remember to check their latest delivery policy and call their hotline to ask if you have any doubt.

Green Common is a plant-based dining and grocery shop in Hong Kong. Various studies show going vegan can improve your mood and mental health. So plan ahead and stock your kitchen with healthy food. This is the time to brush up your cooking!

Entertain and educate yourself

Keeping yourself occupied is the best way to stay sane. Dancing, cooking and reading are good activities. You can also see the two uninterrupted weeks at home as a positive than a negative: more alone time to do your own things! Enrolling an online course is a good way to improve yourself and optimize your downtime. Coursera and Udemy are some very good platforms where you can basically find anything to learn!

Stay positive

We all agree that the time is challenging. Therefore staying positive is important. You can take a meditation course or start a journal to keep your mind calm. Giving back is also a good way to make you feel good. Do you know you can do virtual volunteering online? HandsOn Hong Kong offers virtual opportunities for people to volunteer from home safely. You can read books to hospitalized children or provide phone support to the elderly. Check out for more information. What can be more meaningful to spend your gift of time than this?

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