Keeping Calm and Carrying On In Isolation
Well, what strange world we’re living in. As the coronavirus situation changes daily, here are some tips on navigation social distancing and working from home, from someone whose been doing it for longer than he’d care to admit. Introverts unite! It’s our time to shine!
Especially when you’re working from home, a simple routine can help you achieve the balance. So get up, get dressed, do your thing, do your work. Take breaks. Have lunch. Stop at the time you usually would then put it all away for the rest if the evening. I find it particularly useful to work in a designated “work space”, even if it’s just the other side of your living room. Creating that space helps set boundaries and avoids the urge too over or under work. That being said, I am writing this blog from the comfort of my bed, so you do you.
Stay in for coffee
Are you a social butterfly? Do you go out for coffee or meet up with friends several times a week? You still can, just from the comfort of your own home! So set up a time, make yourself a coffee (or tea, or wine or whatever you usually do) and crack open that video call. “But it’s not the same,” I hear some of you whine, but consider this - you can do it in your PJs.
You can still go outside. So wether you’re walking your dog, going for a run, or walking on the beach, just be mindful to keep your distance from others (2 metres is advised) and avoid gatherings of people.
Meditation and Yoga
If you can’t connect with the world, reconnect with yourself! There are lots of great podcasts and youtube videos with guided meditations or instructional yoga.
Check up on your neighbours
Do you know your neighbours? Maybe they’re elderly. Maybe they’re at an increased medical risk and need to self isolate. Maybe they’re a single parent and can’t go to the supermarket without their kids.
Supermarket deliveries and doorstep drop offs, may be able to keep them going, but what if they’re not as tech savvy as you? Wash your hands, knock their door and take a few steps back. When they answer, ask them if they need anything.
We’re in this together.
Check up and check in
Vulnerable relatives? Have a friend who lives alone? Give them a call. Drop them a text. Videocall. It’ll make them (and you) feel less alone.
Learn something new
It’s fair to say we’re all gonna have a little more time on our hands than we used to. If you want to spend that time catching up on some well needed “me time”, or binge watching that series on Netflix, go for it. If you begin to feel the twitch of restlessness, the internet is chocked full of tutorials and courses. I might finally learn to play the ukulele, or finish that British Sign Language Course I started.
If you’re at a loss of things to do, universities around the world offer a massive variety of free online courses, known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. From Computer Programming to Art and Language, they’re self paced and.pretty cool
Remember To Support Your Local Businesses
I wrote about this last week, but as the situation develops, it’s more important than ever to support your favourite independents. So remember that your favourite local gift shop may have their own online store. Your local restaurant may be offering takeaways. Your local corner shop may have more other shelves than your local supermarket.
Don’t get absorbed in Social Media
Social media has some great perks. You can keep in touch with friends and family on the other side of the world (or street, as the case may be).
But bear in mind, any type of crisis can bring out the worst in people, as well as the best. It doesn’t take long to find threads on your local community group where tempers flare at the mere mention of toilet paper. It’s easy to get absorbed in the negativity. It’s easy to join in and start judging. It’s easy to become so mindful of being judged that you avoid doing what you need.
So remember it’s ok to take a step back.
Don’t Panic Buy
We’re lucky to live in a country where food and necessities are easily accessible. “Lockdown” doesn’t mean you won’t have access to what you need. The only way people will go without is if we stockpile necessities. Don’t stockpile. Don’t be that guy. Don’t create a needless shortage of pasta. It’s easy to panic buy when you walk through the supermarket and are met by rows and rows of empty shelves.
Social distancing and isolation are intended to protect the medically vulnerable. Buying a year’s worth bread because you’re afraid there won’t be any in a week will hurt the economically vulnerable.
Don’t let this crisis bring out the worst in you.
Maintain Social Distancing
If you take one thing away from this blog, it’s this: Take social distancing seriously! No one likes being told what they can and can’t do, but in times like these, it’s so important to follow the guidance. You may be young and healthy and feel completely fine, but there are people out there who aren’t. Remember, we’re fighting the spread of the virus.
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face
- Avoid contact with those displaying symptoms
- Avoid non-essential public transport
- Work from home if you can.
- Avoid gatherings
- When you do have to go out, keep at least 2 metres away from others