Surviving Self Isolation
So if you find yourself having to self isolate and are worried that you will lose your mind, here are some practical tips that might help you get through with a little less stress for you and those that you love.
So in no particular order………………………...
#1 - this is not “normal” as we know it, so don’t restrict yourself by rules you “normally” would. Whether you have rules around what you eat, how often you go to the gym or the number of coffee catch up with friends some of these things just won’t be possible in the normal way.
LET GO OF HOW YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE AND EMBRACE HOW IT ACTUALLY IS
So create a new "normal for now" - can’t go to the gym? - check out the awesome workouts that are all free online - a personal favourite is Yoga with Adriene. Whatever your workout style there will be something for you - go explore. Have a virtual coffee catch up with friends - for extra fun create a theme like “in your PJ’s” - something you couldn’t do going to one of the local cafes. Make yourself a cuppa and jump online to catch up with friends using app’s like Messenger.
#2 - you aren’t in this alone - lean into your friends, neighbours and colleagues
We are made up of communities and it's time like this to celebrate community and help each other out. If you are the one in self isolation don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, neighbours or colleagues to help you out. Don’t want to burden anyone? You're not!!!! Think how bad you would feel if you found out you could have helped someone but they didn’t ask because they felt nervous, rude, whatever the reason that you are hesitating.
#3 - Learn a new skill. Always wanted to draw but think you suck? Who cares when you are stuck at home with no one to see the results. Again head online and check out the vast array of tutorials. Challenge yourself to do one drawing a day (or whatever it is that you are learning). Or start learning that language you always wanted to. Duolingo is full of amazing languages so while we are restricted where we can go at the moment, that doesn’t stop us upskilling for when travel once again becomes a reality.
#4 - Have a financial overhaul. Yep not the sexiest of options but I promise you will feel awesome once you’ve completed a clean up. Review insurance policies, check your savings goals, check direct debits you have going out - do you know what they are all for. Are you in control of your money? If this exercise fills you with dread check out sites like Get Sorted
#5 - Give afternoon napping a go. There is plenty of research that suggests a nap during the afternoon is beneficial. Check out The Mayo Clients tips for Do’s and Don’ts of Napping
#6 - Remind yourself of all the things you do have - make sure that each day you have written down three things you are thankful for and pop it into a jar. At the end of your isolation period you will have at least 42 awesome reminders of why life is wonderful - even in the hard times.
#7 - Organise all those photos. Whether you have them all online or have a pile of physical photos use this time to get them organised, create albums or photo books if you want. Use this time to reflect on the awesome experience, people and places you’ve been.
#8 - Have a guilt free Netflix splurge - no explanation needed here.
#9 - Get clear on the life you want to create. We all have the ability to create lives that we actively participate and thrive in. What this looks like will look different to each of us. Use a day to get clear on what you want your future to look like. What would you do, acquire, experience if you couldn’t fail? Check out how to create a vision here. This 10 year vision can be daunting to start but I guarantee that at the end of it you will be buzzing with excitement and anticipation.
#10 - Spring clean. Doesn’t matter what the actual season is, attack that cupboard/room/attic and sort all the stuff that has been weighing you down mentally. Put things that can be donated or sold into piles to deal with after you are out of the clear. (If it transpires someone in your household gets infected refer to health guidelines for cleaning).
#11 - Games Day. Pull out those board games that haven’t seen the light of day for a while. Are you brave enough to try a game of Monopoly when you can’t escape? If that too confrontational for your home situation maybe try single player patience instead.
#12 - At home Spa Day. Pull out those face masks and treatments that haven’t seen the light of day in your bathroom cabinets and drawers. Give yourself a manicure, pedicure, full works. You can even give yourself a massage - pamper away! If you're lucky enough to have a bath run yourself one and just soak with your favourite music.
#13 - Get back in touch with your inner child. Build a fort in your lounge. Remember as a kid how fun it was to grab some sheets and rearrange the furniture and make yourself a snuggle fort to hide away in to read a book or just chill or if you are not a fort kinda person why not make play dough and then spend some time making creations. Is there anything more satisfying having the warm dough in your hands? There are so many recipes online, check out one that suits your cupboard contents.
#14 - Go exploring in Spotify - discover an unknown artist you haven’t heard of before and download/play the shite out of all their music. Music is such a great way to boost our mood in a positive way. And if you can’t find anything “new” nothing wrong with cranking out some oldie but goodies.
Our emotional resilience will be tested over the coming weeks and months as this pandemic continues. We each have a choice how we react. It’s okay to be fearful - fear is a valid emotion. It's not ok to use that fear to justify horrible behaviour. We need to ensure each of us consciously take actions that are centred in kindness and compassion. Reach out for help if you need. Together we will be able to get through.
Note - this is a high level, fun, not scientifically backed opinion on some activities and mindsets to minimise boredom and fear. As with anything we are all individuals with different needs, desires and values - do what works for you.