The whole world is experiencing a different way of life to what we usually do. Rules and boundaries are being forced upon them.
If you’re not used to it, this can be quite disrupting to your life.
To make things easier and more fun, we’ve put together a list of things to do for when you are in isolation.
This is not just for when you’re in global lockdown, but can be used for whenever you find yourself flying solo.
Even if you are an introvert and are quite comfortable with your own space, after a long period of time, this could be quite confronting.
Whether you are pregnant, breastfeeding or with young children at home, here are some useful tips to get you not only through the days, but through the weeks.
1. Keep a routine
Don’t stay up too late, even though it’s tempting because you don’t have to wake up early.
- Try and keep a good routine going for when everything is back to normal.
- Write down your schedule and put it on the fridge to keep yourself accountable.
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner when you usually would.
- Try not to snack so much during the day as you’re not using as much energy.
- If you find yourself going into the kitchen a lot, put up some string so it’s an out-of-bounds area unless at the appropriate times.
2. Keep moving
All you need is your body and a little bit of floor, so no excuses here.
If you don’t dig the whole at home Instagram workout vibe, throw on some music and dance for at least half an hour.
Set your watch to buzz every hour, get up and walk around the house or do a 5 minute stretch.
It’s amazing what blood flowing around your body can do for your mindset.
3. Get dressed as usual
Do your hair, put some makeup on.
You can get into your pyjamas earlier in the afternoon, but for a healthy mindset, get ready for the day. Keep pyjamas for a Sunday.
- You could go one step further and get really dressed up – put on that beautiful dress that you have been saving for a special occasion – today is the day to do that.
- Wear some bright colours. Put on that combination that you didn’t have the guts to wear in public.
- Do your hair in a side pony. Try out that inventive braid.
- It’s important for your children to be dressed as well. This will help to develop their positive mindset. They could get into their dress up box or even try on some of your clothes and shoes (if you let them).
4. Get outside if you can
If you’re worried about actual contact with people or live in a busy street, open the windows, and let some light in, blast the fan and get the curtains flowing.
5. Reach out to others
Yell at someone across the street, wave to your neighbour, call an old friend, chat to your mum, skype your boss, salute the garbage truck driver.
6. Do something that you’ve always been meaning to do
- Sort out all of your photos
- Read that book
- Crochet that scarf
- Knit those booties
7. Spring clean
- Kondo your drawers
- Sort out your winter/summer clothes
- Clean the windows
- Scrub your floors
- Disinfect your cupboards
- Get rid of any food that is past its expiry date
Drink a sip or 2 of water every 15 minutes. Set your timer and never have your mouth dry.
This will not only keep you hydrated but also stop any germs from lingering in your mouth.
Make sure your kids have their own water bottle and give them a reward for each time they finish it.
9. Eat good food
Don’t binge on all your snacks.
If you think you might do this, then hide them in a different part of the house (out of bounds). Stress and eating don’t mix well.
Chew your food properly and focus on your food. Try not not watch tv or your screen when eating.
10. Stay smart
Look up some brain teasers or some IQ tests.
Try not to do them all online (hello screen time), print them out and grab a pencil.
If you’re able to sit in the sun, definitely do this.
11. Virtually isolated
Set up virtual playdates for your kids with other mums on social media (supervised of course).
You can even make a playdate for yourself.
Turn the heater on, put on some fake tan, grab your sarong and pretend you’re on holidays.
Make sure you are prepared and stocked (but not hoarding) for the coming days/weeks.
Do you have enough coffee?
Plan your trips out so that you’re not just popping to shops every day.
13. Keep up your vitamins
If you’re unable to get your usual nutrients through food and the sun, your immune system will thank you for taking some supplements through this stage.
Grab some chewables for your kids too.
14. Satisfy your senses
Make a self-care tool box. This can look different for each individual so think about fulfilling your senses.
An example/suggestion of each of these listed below:
Sight: Photographs of holidays, beautiful colours, pinterest moodboards.
Smell: Lavender oil, coconut oil, beach spray, coffee roasting, candle, tea.
Taste: Hot chocolate, red wine, macadamia nuts, Werther’s caramels, mint strips, soda water, icy pole.
Hearing: Meditation wave sounds, your favourite music, silence, children laughing. Try to mix the upbeat with the meditative so you’re elated and grounded at different times.
Motion: Skipping on the spot, knitting or crocheting, colouring in, cooking/stirring, writing, jogging or rocking in a chair.
Comforting pressure: Hugs might be out, so work out where you like pressure on your body.
Grab a tennis ball and roll in on your foot, stretch out your legs or squeeze your shoulder. Weighted blankets are in high demand because they feel like a warm hug.
Where contact is not allowed, give yourself a massage, hold your own hands and squeeze. Look up some pressure points and acupuncture guides and give them a go. Get your kids involved to do the same, so they know how to make themselves feel comforted when they need it.
Look up some pressure points and acupuncture guides and give them a go. Get your kids involved to do the same, so they know how to make themselves feel comforted when they need it.
If you’re not into spring cleaning, try rearranging a room to see things from a new perspective.
You can always change it back if you decide you don’t like it.
Put new sheets on your bed and try a different order for the panty or your wardrobe.
Get your kids involved to do the same to their room.
16. Spend extra time playing with your children
If they are not focussed on learning, reading or doing anything academically minded, this is okay, considering the circumstances.
They express their feelings differently and will sometimes play-up if they need attention.
Even if they are only watching tv, just sit with them and engage with them; make comments about their show, or ask questions.
Ask them what they think of certain parts of the show.
17. Respond gently
Take deep breaths. Count to 10.
If you do lose your temper, explain and apologise.
Please note that your children will also be wanting their own space, and may not know how to ask for it, or think that they need it.
Some solo time will also benefit them, and yourself too.
Set aside different solo tasks that take different amounts of time and reward them when they are finished.
Be kind to yourself during this time too.
Make your own retreat space and make up different spaces within your home for your children to have their own.
You could make a cubby-like space with curtains or sheets to make it extra special.
Set up a tent on your lounge room floor and do some nighttime camping or napping.
19. Limit the media
Stay informed, but limit your social media consumption and control the volume of the news. Little ears and can pick up on stress.
We are all in this together and while we need to be aware of what is happening, we don’t need to obsessively follow the news.
20. It’s not that funny
Try and find some humour in your day.
- Watch a comedian or a YouTube show.
- Put on a funny movie.
- Try and have a laugh.
- Find some funny shows for your kids, give them a tickle or make fun of yourself so they can laugh at you.
These times will make for some interesting memories for sure.
21. Break it down
Break your day into chunks that don’t revolve around food (unless you’re breastfeeding of course).
Divide your day into activities that don’t revolve around time either such as 3 chapters of a book, 1 puzzle, 2 games of Monopoly, etc.
22. This too shall pass
This is only temporary and try to remind yourself of this.
Avoid a count down or marking it off a calendar as this will only make the process feel slower.
23. Pay it forward
Do you know of someone that might not have anyone to talk to? If so, give them a call.
Can you make someone smile in the street by doing something creative? Pull out some chalk and make a mural on your driveway!
Your children learn by seeing how you interact with others, and this can help their development of empathy.
Make sure their needs are met before strangers or others.
Just like being on a plane when the oxygen masks drop, help yourself first, then those around you.
We will get through this together if we can all abide by the rules.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
When we come out the other side, maybe we’ll appreciate all the things that we’ve taken for granted.