Okay, so I have made it to week two of my self-isolation journey. Even though I know I am doing what is best for public health; it is still hard not to want to walk outside like everyone else. So for my mental health, I have collated a list of twenty tips while you are in self-isolation.
1- Catching up with people virtually
Using facebook’s messenger, facetime, WhatsApp, zoom, skype or any other device you can set up virtually, organise coffee dates with your friends and family. Yesterday, there were five of us chatting, and it was fabulous! It made me feel like I was outside catching up like normal.
I am looking forward to our evening catch up too. Wine o’clock here we come.
2- Take Care of your mental Health while in isolation
The best thing about Youtube is the number of mediation programs. Taking the time out of your day to check in with yourself is very important for your mental health. Grab a mat, grab your device and head out into the yard or balcony if weather permits. Nobody cares, because everyone is doing it!
3- Dive deep into Social media
Even though we know what a time waster social media can be, then how, can we use it to our advantage? Simple! You are never too old to learn a new platform. Whether you choose to learn how to fine-tune your photos on Instagram or learn the latest dance craze on TikTok, every platform is different.
4-Get active at home during self-isolation
I ordered myself an exercise bike and gym equipment to get myself and my very busy family through self-isolation. Now that the gyms in Sydney are closed, they are already excited to put the equipment to good use. No equipment? No problem! There are plenty of free online workouts to do with very little equipment needed.
5-It is important to keep your mind busy
I am not suggesting watching hours of tv, but I am suggesting that your mind is active by learning something new. Use this time to challenge yourself! Whether it is work-related or hobby-based, it doesn’t matter, keep your mind busy. I am already onto my third course and second webinar.
6- Take Care of your health
While you are in self-isolation, learn some new healthy recipes. There are plenty on the internet that you can use, or if supplies are limited then try and find some healthy recipe or snack ideas via the internet. Taking care of your health by eating healthy and keeping fit will help you stay strong during this critical time.
7-Time is at your advantage when you are in self-isolation
Remember all those things that you have been putting off for months? Whether it is the gardening (yep, no Gardener is allowed around here while I am self-isolating), so I am out weeding, raking, cleaning while the boys are mowing! And the cupboards have never looked in such good shape; even Marie Kondo would be proud.
8-Practice your video skills
Whether you have decided to document your self-isolation journey via a social media stream or for your individual benefit in years to come. It is time to try out new tools to enhance your videoing skills. You are never too old to learn a new trick or two, and if you aren’t sure, then youtube is a great self-learning tool.
9-Find your support network
These are the people who can drop off some food if you are home alone or the people who can walk your dog etc. Whether you are living alone or with family and friends who are also in isolation, then it is time to reach out and give someone a hand. If you are the one in isolation, then you might need to reach out and ask those loved ones if they can help.
10-Share the love
If you have been considering a pet and have been umming and erring about it for some time. Then this is an ideal time to either adopt or foster a pet. There is no more worry about the lack of time to settle a new pet into your home. The shelters are needing all the support they can get right now, with social-distancing being a norm for the distant future, these animals and the vets and workers are requiring urgent help before the closure is imminent. The shelters will arrange to drop the pet at your home, so no need to worry about picking them up.
11- Setting time for work
While there are plenty of things to do to entertain yourself during downtime. We must remember that for many of us, we still need to work and study. Ensuring you have a routine, with alarms going off for break times etc. helps. Also, ensure you are away from distractions!!! Headphones with classical music (when you can) are helpful, isolating yourself in a part of the house with less distraction as well. For those that aren’t working and studying right now then be considerate for the ones around you that are.
12-The need for downtime is important
Whether your downtime is Netflix or reading a book. You need to have that downtime in the day. We have an ongoing jigsaw puzzle that gives us all a break during the day. I find I also have more time to spend just playing with the dog in our backyard or having cuddles (and she loves it). I am also pretty happy at the amount of reading that I am getting through right now.
13-Keeping updated with one source of news
Due to the amount of media coverage at the moment, I was going stir crazy for the first few days. I have now isolated myself to one source of news daily. This way, I feel like I am on top of what is going on without hearing ten different versions of the same thing on repeat.
14- Get some sun and fresh air
Getting sun isn’t always that easy, I know. But if you can, work outside on the balcony as I am doing now. Or sit in the yard to ensure that you get as much fresh air and sunshine to keep you positive. You will be surprised what this little bit of fresh air will do for your mental health.
15- Change your mindset
Changing your mindset isn’t always easy. But if you can adjust the way you look at things, your self-isolation period won’t feel like a prison term. Staying positive, changing your everyday habits to revolve around the house makes the stay more comfortable to manage. If you want to go for a run and can’t then do an aerobic exercise program, if you need to go shopping, then it is time to shop online. There are ways of coping; you need to be creative.
16- Online learning for kids during self-isolation
When you are self-isolating with your kids, this is a little more tricky. Children need routine, so this is the best time to get organised. If they are still at school but are online learning, then a routine is critical, set up the home in a productive way. I have my son’s room organised to ensure little interruption, and I have provided snacks ready for him during break time, and lunch is also prepared ready for his allocated time slot so that I am keeping up with his routine.
17-Appreciate what you have
It is time to focus on what is essential. Start a gratitude diary where each day sees you appreciate what is around you and who is in your life right now. Sometimes we forget to look around us and enjoy what we have, especially when our lives are so hectic! So slow down, and start your journal today.
18-Reintroduce game nights
Whether you choose to introduce game nights at home with your family or virtually for those who can not come into your sanctuary right now, this is a great way to get the family together. We have always been a games type of family, so this isn’t new to us. However, there are games we haven’t touched in years that are now being introduced back into our lives.
19- Learn to have some patience
Living under one roof is always tricky and add isolation into the mix, and yes, patience is going to be needed. It is time to communicate, negotiate and be patient as we are all going to be become frustrated at one time or another.
20- Remember to laugh
We already know that the world is in a strange place right now, self-isolation and social-distancing have become the norm. You only have to open up your laptop, turn on the tv or listen to the radio to hear what is going on in the world. So a little bit of laughter at home will go a long way. Put on a funny movie, play a game of charades or send someone a video to put a smile on their face.