No matter where you are in the world it is likely that you are having to self-isolate, or at most practice social distancing as the dreaded coronavirus spreads. I am required to remain at work (let’s not even get into that!) so am probably one of the few non-key workers not in isolation at the moment. However my weekends are spent doing my best to self-isolate with my partner, not going anywhere crowded and just trying to keep calm and carry on amongst all of this madness.
I imagine that people are very nervous, and anxious, and above all things – bored. I always loved the idea of being able to stay inside for two weeks and not have to see anyone or do anything, but the reality of that is actually pretty naff. Also coupled with the order to stay inside as much as possible, it means that I can’t even spend my days lazily wandering around shops or people watching in a cafe. This has meant that I have had to find other ways to entertain myself. And in an attempt to spread some good vibes, I am sharing a few of my new finds with you!
Down Dog (app) – a yoga/barre/Pilates/meditation. The classes are easy to follow and they range in levels from beginner to intermediate. I find yoga and barre has always been a great time for me to refocus, as I have never been good at sitting still. The classes also vary enough that I have yet to repeat a routine.
Headspace (app) – One of the best meditation apps on the market. Personally, I do not get on too well with meditation, but again that is because I don’t do well sitting still. I do find that it helps me with sleep though, as the little classes are long enough to help me relax without being so long that I just fall asleep half way through it!
Journalling – I would be lost without my journal. Or just any old notebook in which to write down whatever thoughts are going around in my head. I have kept a journal since I was old enough to write, and over the years my journal has been a constant source of reflection, self-expression and a creative outlet. I do not keep my journals once they are completely full, so for me I find it very relaxing to write down my thoughts and then forget all about them. I do not write every single day, but knowing that the outlet is there whenever needed has helped me through some real dark moments.
Animal Crossing – Ok this one is very precise, but if you have never played an Animal Crossing game, you should! The game is stupidly wholesome and simple, and because of that it is the best form of escapism going. I can run around, doing menial chores at my own pace and not have to think about any real world issues during that time. That being said, I find that ANY game can have this effect – especially a really juicy RPG where you can easily sink hours into it and build a unique story and experience. A few favourites include: Divinity Original Sins II, The Sims, Skyrim…you get the idea! Do some exploring and find what works best for you.
Audible – As someone who cannot sit still for too long unless needed (such as on a train or a long car journey) I find it very hard to sit with a book and just…sit and enjoy the book. So now I use audible to listen to books while I’m journalling or doing chores or just going for a long walk. Currently I am listening to a reading of Anna Karenina and – somewhat surprisingly – I am loving the story!
Learn a new craft – I have recently taken up learning how to crochet and so far I have only manage to make headbands. But it is nice to have something to keep my hands busy that is, for the most part, rather repetitive and does not require too much excursion. Depending on how things continue to progress, I may end up with an entire outfit finished!
Learn a new language – I’ve always used Duolingo, mainly because it is all very simply laid out and teaches you the language in easy to remember bite size chunks. However, I know that there are many other options available on the market. If you are forced to stay inside while this Covid-19 runs its course, then you might as well come out of it the other side with a nice new skill added to your belt.
NaNoWriMo – This organisation is primarily for National Novel Writing Month, which actually takes place in November. They do however run Camp WriMos in April and June, and their website has endless advice on how to begin writing your story. The community is also super encouraging and welcoming, and every idea is a welcome idea. If you have ever wanted to try and write a story – no matter how long or how detailed – this community will help you through each stage, from planning to writing to editing and onwards!
Stay connected – Above all else though, self-isolation does not mean that you should be isolated completed. Thankfully we live in an age where everyone is less than a click away, and staying connected to one another will keep us all sane and help us all through this mad time. Arrange weekly phone calls with friends and families, set up skype parties or Netflix parties with people that allow you to be social without actually being face to face. Reach out to people and not feel guilty about talking to them for hours on end, because at the end of the day, you might as well make the most of this situation to wallow around your house on the phone all day! The only way we will get through this is if we are all in this together.
I hope these help give you some ideas of how to spend your time, and please know that no matter how much everything sucks right now, and how scary the world seems to be, things will be alright in the end. Maybe not right away, and maybe not before things get a whole lot worse, but things will right themselves and we all need remain calm and look after each other if any of us hope to get through this sanely.
Stay safe out there, look after each other, and remember to wash your hands!