Over the past few days I’ve had several conversations with people who are either in self-isolation already, or are preparing for it. For the introverts it seems like heaven, a couple of weeks of working from home and not having to go out! For the extroverts it’s their worst nightmare! Those with young children are wondering how they’ll manage to do everything, while others are wondering how they will fill their time.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 5 ideas I hope will help you through this season.
1 – Get Moving! Whether you’re a gym addict or normally struggle to run for a bus, the chances are being at home for 2 weeks means you’re less like to move or raise your heart rate. So to thrive instead of simply surviving, be intentional about finding a way to exercise that works for you.
Prompts: You could follow along to an online workout, have a dance party to your childhood favourites, or do some simple exercises while waiting for the kettle to boil!
Kids At Home? Why not invent a Scavenger Hunt around the house, getting the kids to find things of beginning with different letters from each room? Or start a pillow fight?
Added Extra: Building some form of movement into each day during this period will help boost your mood as well as your health. Look for ways to start new habits that will continue long after this season.
2 – Learn Something New Once the novelty of an enforced change to routine wears off, boredom can quickly set in. So instead of binge watching another TV series why not learn something new? Your physical world may have got smaller but your world can still be growing bigger. Follow a line of curiosity and see where it leads. Discover something new each day or work on developing an existing skill.
Prompts: Listen to a discussion on the radio and learn to see each side of the debate. Go online and watch a tutorial for something you’ve always wanted to learn. Watch a documentary about a subject that interests you.
Kids at Home? Allow your children to take the lead and follow their lines of curiosity. Help them find out more about their current interests – you’ll be surprised how you learn along the way!
Added Extra: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are free online courses that anyone can sign up to. They give you access to teaching and training from many universities around the world and you can study at your own speed. You won’t necessarily gain a qualification at the end but what you learn can still enhance your career.
3 – Get Creative Humans are creative beings. From developing languages to creating tools and works of art, we have a rich history of being innovative and creating. Making time to get creative develops problem solving skills as well as being proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
Prompts: Take photos, draw pictures, follow a new recipe and bake something, invent a dance routine to your favourite song on the radio, or dig out your old instrument and learn a new tune.
Kids at Home? Use a variety of skills to put on a play! It could just be for fun in the moment or film it to share with family you can’t visit at the moment.
Added Extra: Find others that share your preferred type of creativity. Not only will they help you develop your skills, it could also start some great friendships.
4 – Plan Ahead With extra time on your hands this is a great time to get organised! Planning ahead reduces stress and can create an element of certainty in the middle of lots of unknowns. Thinking about future events also acts as a reminder that this situation is temporary!
Prompts: Decide what meals you’re having for the week, work out whose birthdays are coming up and plan how you’ll celebrate them, pick a room and plan how you want to redecorate it.
Kids at home? Plan a party together! Depending on the age of your children it might be later that day or when the isolation is over. Write invites, plan the food, create a playlist, pick your outfits and plan the entertainment.
Added Extra: Start planning for how you want life to be in 5 years time. What do you want for your family, career, friendships, hobbies, finances? Work out the steps you need to start taking to achieve those goals.
5 – Support Your Network Although this is a season of being physically isolated, it is important you don’t become emotionally isolated. It takes extra effort to stay connected when you don’t see people in the office, at the school gate or at family gatherings but we’re stronger together. The people in your network need you to stay in touch as much as you need them.
Prompt: Thankfully modern technology means we’re the most connected generation of all time so use it to your full advantage! Where possible choose video calls over text messages. Laugh together and share what you’ve been up too. Remember to listen more than you speak, and find out how they’re doing!
Kids at home? It’s harder for children to stay in touch with their friends so they need you to help them. Arrange times for them to video call their friends or help them send ecards to their class friends.
Added Extra Take time to think about all those in your network that have really supported you and find a personal way to thank each of them.