In this post I am sharing tips and ideas on how you can manage self-isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Some of us have already been encouraged to stay at home – while others are still going out to work and shop. Here in the UK it’s only a matter of days, when there will be a total lock down. For many people the thought of having to stay at home for a long period of time is a daunting prospect – especially for those, who are very socially active and extrovert.
As an introvert person, who is used to working from home, being isolated and alone for long periods of time (mainly day-time) I find myself in a better position to adapt to this situation and thought I can pass on some tips for you.
My current daily routine during self-isolation.
At the time of writing I am not yet self-isolating completely, as I still go to the shops. I have been working part-time since November 2019 for a local church and have been asked this week to work from home, as there won’t be any services or community activities for the time being, but church members still need a lot of support. I treat this pretty much the same as if I would go to my office. I start work on time and finish on time with some leeway to get work finished that is urgent – yesterday it took me most of the day to sort out an urgent mailing.
I can listen to my favourite music, cuddle my cat and still get my work done. I tend to have lunch at 1 pm and watch YouTube videos to keep up to date with news and opinions you won’t find in the mainstream media. For the rest of the day I work for my own business. Our cat loves having me around and craves a lot of attention as she is now a senior cat, but that means I take short breaks too. At 4 pm I tend to have my coffee break and watch a bit of telly. I tend to exercise at 6 pm, as I don’t walk much now ( I usually walk to work) but want to have an exercise routine.
Like most people who run a small business – mine has been affected too. My one and only student (I teach German) this year had to cancel as his working pattern changed. However, I can give Skype lessons and have offered this option. At a time when most people are extremely worried about losing their jobs or getting sick, buying gifts and nice things is really not on their minds, which means I am currently not really selling much at all. However, I keep my online shop open – just in case. And I am happy to ship orders – though I haven’t checked, if our local post office/cornershop is still open.
This quiet time though means that I have to find other things to do. And there are plenty of things to do! Things like stock taking, updating the website, developing new designs, keep making videos for YouTube, learn a new jewellery technique, learn lino cutting and Origami and improving my painting skills. I also can use this time to read more books too.
So, what about you? Think about all the things you have had no time for and can do now and create your own list. Here are some ideas for you.
For people working from home: Establish a routine and boundaries.
If you are asked to work from home, you will find yourself surrounded by distractions – kids, your pets, social media. While working from home has its bonuses – you don’t have to get dressed and get ready and you can manage your own time – it’s a little bit different if you are working from home for an employer. So, make sure you establish boundaries and times when you are available for your family -and also for your employer.
Things to do at home for families with and without children
If you have children, establish a routine and find activities you can do together as a family. Here are just some ideas, and most work also for families with no children.
- Play board games together (such as Pandemic – it’s a co-operative game where you have to prevent an epidemic – you either win or lose as a team ) or invent your own board game. Who knows you might be able to market and sell it once this has all blown over.
- Read stories together.
- Use the time to binge watch your favourite drama or comedy series. I can recommend The Wire, Boston Legal, Bosch and Breaking Bad.
- Write and perform a play together.
- You always wanted to write a novel or non-fiction book? Start writing one now.
- Discover new crafts (not just for children) – as it’s Easter in a few weeks you could create your own Easter decorations. There are tons of free tutorials on YouTube for all sorts of crafts. You can check out mine (which is mostly about polymer clay at the time of writing)
- Enjoy some quiet time too.
- If you have a much neglected musical instrument – learn how to play it. My ukulele and guitar have gathered a lot of dust and I keep meaning to play both.
- If you always wanted to have a go at painting or drawing – now is a time to improve your art skills. This is something on my to do list.
- If you miss your friends and relatives – stay in touch via Skype or other video messaging systems.
- Join online groups to keep in touch with people who have the same interests as you, but avoid negative people.
- Spring clean and de-clutter your home. If you have lots of neglected DIY projects – now is a good time to get stuck in.
- Learn a new language – language tuition can be done via Skype. If German is your cup of tea I am happy to teach you. You find more info here.
- This is for couples: Reconnect with your spouse/partner and refresh your sexlife. Often the daily grind gets in the way and you are too tired for anything else in the evening. Now you finally have time and really no excuses!
I am sure I can think of even more things to do when you have to stay at home.
Final thoughts: A few things to keep you sane during this time.
Avoid negative people who complain a lot! Seriously – people who moan a lot can bring you down.
Don’t lose your sense of humor. Dark humor is my coping mechanism – it works. Laughing is good for the soul, which is why I share a lot of funny memes and videos on my Facebook pages.
Avoid the daily news. The BBC, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and other mainstream outlets are pumping out news 24/7 to keep you informed about every detail of this pandemic. This is really not helping your mental health. Mainstream media is also incredibly biased and sensationalist. Headlines sell. News travels fast anyway – so it’s highly unlikely you will miss the important information. But really you don’t need an update every five minutes!
If you are healthy and can go out – help your community.
And that’s pretty much it for now.
If you have more tips or ideas you would like to share, let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading – and stay safe.