Top tips for surviving self isolation: You
Ok, there’s no more school. S**t just got real.
My family and I been self isolating this week. Not out of choice but because the baby was displaying two of the three symptoms of the coronavirus and I would never forgive myself for infecting the older couple next door or the rest of the school. More importantly, they would never forgive me!
I have been at home with all three children (and my husband) in the house all the time. It’s frustrating and, admittedly, stressful at times. But I’m trying to be pragmatic and approach this time in the same way I would approach the school holidays. With structure, fun, support and…iPads!
We’re learning fast so I wanted to share my top tips for surviving self isolation. We asked our communities for their top tips on how to work effectively and keep children entertained and you came back with so much that we decided to do a mini series themed Work, Family and You. Here is the ‘Surviving Self Isolation – You’ instalment.
It is most important that you look after you during this unusual time. There will be many “look on the bright side” memes related to spending time with family or “drink gin to survive” messages (guilty!) but the reality is that we have a new normal to get used to.
Not being one we chose makes that difficult!
Whether you relax with friends, by sharing a bottle of wine, doing yoga or eating fresh food, these activities all look different in this new world we find ourselves in. Sure, we can FaceTime our friends, pop corks on the sofa and squeeze a yoga mat in the hall, but that’s not the “get away from it all” feeling we are used to.
So we need to find new ways to achieve that.
I cannot stress this one enough. Do some exercise. There’s science behind it. Exercise produces endorphins which make us feel happy.
Find something you can do that you enjoy. My local Pilates teacher is running all her classes over Zoom – can you join something like this? If not there are countless videos online, you just need to find one you like.
Lots of personal trainers will be finding new ways of working by phone and video – I have suggested to some that they do street classes we can take part in at the window!
Or just get out and run! There’s never been a better time to couch to 5k. It’s something you can do on your own and if you come across another human you have a great excuse to run away from them!
Once the hobby of hippies and yogis, mindfulness is now common practice. Apps such as Headspace, Calm and Breathe have made it easy.
I got into it when I was practicing hypnobirthing during pregnancy and now I cannot get to sleep without a mindfulness exercise beforehand. If I do pass out without having done it, I’m always awake again an hour or two later often worrying about IT development!
Resetting your mind is as important as resetting the body. It’s a way to shush the noise and totally relax. Now is the time to try. It drowns out the noise and relaxes the mind!
Read a Book
Has anyone noticed that their podcast content has dried up a bit recently?! Nothing happening other than coronavirus means nothing to talk about! So go old school! Read a book! It might not be easy bearing in mind you’ll have everyone at home but try to carve out a bit of time for reading. Broaden your horizons, read the book you always meant to read. Listen to it or read it, digest it in a way that suits you. I listen to audiobooks while I’m doing “house stuff” whether that’s sorting washing or loading the dishwasher .
If you haven’t read in a while, pick something you know you’ll like. If you like fiction, choose a good author in your chosen genre. If you prefer non-fiction, choose something that will hold your interest. An autobiography of someone you like, Fearne Cotton’s Happy and Calm books or learn a whole new subject.
Connect with friends
Now is the time you are allowed on social media! Just avoid the fake news.
Speak to your friends. Talk about the things that are driving you crazy. Share your tips for things that are working. Get a group going of people that can make you laugh. Meet for a virtual glass of wine one night. You could even set up a video call so you can see each other!
Have a bath
If that’s something you enjoy doing! If you would normally, like me, go to pilates on a saturday morning then stop for a solo cup of tea, find something to replace it. Do an online pilates class then have a bath away from everyone else. If you have a partner, give each other the gift of time alone. It’s so important!
Finally, don’t watch too much news
Last night we had the news on in the background from Trump’s 4pm announcement through the World Health Organisation at 4.30pm, Boris’ at 5pm and general news until after 6pm. Two and a half hours later I had heard the same reports over and over again along with awful stories about the number of mortuary vans that had stopped at one particular care home in Italy over the course of two days. Nineteen. I did the children’s bedtime in tears.
Keeping on top of updates is good. Watching obsessively to see who’s dead now is not.
We’ve agreed to watch a summary in the morning, key updates via radio throughout the day and then the 5pm announcements if something significant is happening. It’s not healthy to watch all those people dying or people’s businesses closing constantly so we’re not going to do it.
Positivity and working with what we have available to us will be what gets us through this tricky time. We need to keep in a good, calm frame of mind and be the best person we can be for the sake of our partners, friends, family and colleagues.
Let’s try not to come out the other side divorced, sick or depressed. Read our Work and Family instalments that accompany this mini series on Surviving Self Isolation.
Good luck friends. We’re here for you.
Bio: Trusha Patel
Trusha is a consultant lawyer with an entrepreneurial background, she works to give small businesses and freelancers peace of mind that they are legally protected and GDPR compliant, with her commercially pragmatic and easy to understand legal advice and contracts.
With 11 years experience spent between a top 3 magic circle (aka leading!) London law firm and international investment banks, Trusha went on to become an entrepreneur for several years before bringing the wealth of insight and a solid business mind back to her legal practice. She founded an organic spice company in Canada where she was living at the time – and then brought it to the UK. Gaining real-world experience across multiple disciplines in international trade with her small business has enabled Trusha to bring a unique legal approach and perspective when helping her clients across a variety of industry sectors.