The internet has been blasted with tips on how to adjust our lives with the current self-isolation set to help stop the spread of Covid-19. And yet I have decided to go ahead and share my 10 tips for life in self-quarantine in this article, as I understand that unlike myself, many people are having trouble adjusting to self-quarantine.
Isolation vs solitude
To me, this has not been much of an issue as not much has changed in my life. I enjoy staying inside my little cozy bubble and the least I need to exit it, the better. I’ve not always been like this, however, over time, I began to appreciate my bubble more and more. It’s my haven and it’s where I thrive the most, probably because I made sure to make it meet my comfort.
Isolation is a way to know ourselves.
Before I begin, I think it is important to note that the biggest issue that may be re-current in the psychological aspect of self-quarantine for both adults and children, is the fact that we really don’t know what to do with our time in a fixed space. Let’s try to fix that by seeing the many options you can opt for to make your time valuable.
For those who are having trouble, here are my 10 tips that may help you see this as less of a punishment and more of an opportunity for self-growth and self-discovery.
10 Tips for self-quarantine
1. Make the physical space work for you
This may seem obvious to some, but one of the primary reasons you may feel discomfort in your current circumstance is not because you can’t go where you please and when you please, but because you find yourself in a physical space that isn’t comfortable. You will probably be spending a lot more time in this space, so if there ever was a time to make it comfortable for yourself, it is now.
Before the self-quarantine order, you barely spent time in your house, apartment or room. Today, you are spending all your time in this space. There may be things that never bothered you before but now have become bothersome. Fix it. Make your space become a cozy space that you WANT to spend time in. Whether it is shifting a painting on the wall or moving furniture around. Do it.
2. Early Spring cleaning
We live in a consumer society and chances are we own a lot we don’t actually need or will never need. If there was ever a time to undergo a serious spring-cleaning session, that is now. I myself try to declutter my life pretty regularly, but even so, I can honestly say that there are still things I have laying around which I can surely get rid of or pass on to someone who can make better use of them.
Going through items and separating things you know you need and things you don’t isn’t only helpful in the physical decluttering aspect. It helps you evaluate the necessity of something even mentally. When you see the pile of things you don’t actually need and can give away to someone who does need them, or simply get rid of them if they are not fit for anyone, you will feel a certain order in your mind and life. This is also a positive means of helping others in need, should you be giving items away to the less fortunate, given that they are in good condition.
3. Spotless clean
Ok, this one is for those who want to take the physical space and decluttering steps a little further. Cleaning is not only great for the obvious reasons but also mentally. As they say, a clean space, clear mind. I am a believer that when I find myself in an environment of order, my mind corresponds to that and I find it easier to organize thoughts and tasks in my mind.
But taking a step back to the obvious cleaning aspect, keep in mind that you are currently spending all your time in this one environment. You also can’t have the cleaner come in and clean it for you. Cleaning, given all the time spent on it, may need to be more regular than before. The upside is that it will certainly kill off some of that chunk of time you may find a hard time killing off in self-isolation.
4. Self care
Let the natural beauty shine. That is technically all I want to say but I will go ahead and go into a few details on this one. In the meantime, and in the unknown future, we are all in self-quarantine. This obviously means that none essential activities such as getting your hair and nails done and many other beauty-related procedures are all at a stop.
My suggestion is to first minimize the upkeep and secondly, if you are experimental, to depend on yourself for some basics. In no way do I suggest playing hairdresser or nail technician, unless that is what you did before or have the knowledge of doing. I am referring to a few safe basics you certainly can learn. Simple basic beauty routines that can be done safely by yourself. This can give you a sense of achievement and lessen the pressure about how you feel about yourself and your life, now that you do not have access to certain services you are used to.
5. Do nothing, and enjoy it
I see how this point is the absolute opposite of what was said at the beginning of this article about keeping busy. However, sometimes just laying down, looking out of your window, or simply listening to music is all you need to settle your busy mind and some of that anxiety building up. You certainly don’t need to run off to work, pick up the kids, meet friends for drinks, run errands, or any other countless things we normally fill our daily lives with. You are now in a position to take a minute and do nothing and not feel bad about it.
6. Something old or try something new
You certainly now have the time and no distractions to spend some time towards a hobby, craft, or skill you once invested time in. You can even give a shot at learning something new. Even tasks like cooking will be experienced completely differently if you haven’t been around the kitchen for some time! It can not only be an interesting learning experience for you but even for the entire family. Keep in mind that whatever you invest your time in, is also an investment into yourself.
With today’s technology, many individuals have been adjusting their methods and giving the rest of the world a chance to share their knowledge and skills online. There are plenty of online virtual cooking classes, workouts, and other interesting tutorials and live feeds given by experts that, should you wish to experiment and learn something, it’s there, at your fingertip.
7. Experiment with your daily routine
If you feel like your daily routine is beginning to feel like Groundhog Day (same thing, different day), then you may want to consider amending your routine slightly. This can be either that your routine is not fitting well for you, or you simply need a little change. Try switching your daily routine even a little, and you may feel that one day will begin to stand out from the rest.
Even a simple change of maybe sitting on the balcony for 20 minutes before beginning your day and taking in that peaceful silence (which we luckily have many of these days), may help you calm your mind and focus your attention on the day ahead. Remember that even though it may seem like you are stuck in one place, you are actually in the centre of your own bubble. You are in charge of making yourself comfortable in your own space.
8. Organize your tasks outside your home
Depending on your current situation, if you are the person to run for supplies then it is essential for you to organize your tasks and mind for this. Find a system to keep note of the essentials you need, where you need to go, and to try and minimize your presence with other people while getting supplies.
Don’t rely on your memory to keep track of any supplies you will need when you get to go to the pharmacy or store. Keep track of everything you will need, as going outside, in the presence of other people is currently a luxury. You want to make sure you need to go once and get everything you need. This point is even more important if you live under the same roof with several individuals who may have different needs, or if you happen to be helping someone with their supplies, such as a lonely elderly neighbour. Make sure to rely on lists, rather than your memory.
9. Remote working
If you find yourself now being a remote worker, welcome to the club. At the moment I not only work remotely but even study. Businesses that didn’t directly get affected by the self-quarantine order, had to quickly adjust to remote working. For me, it’s nothing new. I love working remotely. It allows me to concentrate, no distractions around me, and definitely no unnecessary interruptions.
If you are now a remote worker, these few tips should help you get some grounding:
- Definitely make your workspace work for you.
- Organize your workload.
- Use tools that work for you (even if it is just a pen and paper).
This point is probably the easiest for people to conceive as let’s be honest, prior to the self-quarantine, we all went out and about, but the majority had their noses glued to their screens anyways.
Whether you desperately need that socializing element in your life or need to keep in touch with work, there are countless tools out there to help you achieve both. Social media is probably on the boom for those who miss their social life (I am happily social media free), Zoom and Google Hangouts work great for businesses and the numerous amounts of social apps help people keep in touch. If there was ever a time to make use of these tools, it’s now.
Make the most of self-quarantine
The truth of the matter is, we currently have a choice; we can either complain about the current restrictions to the life we had, or we can look at self-quarantine as a time of solitude and view it as an opportunity to focus on ourselves, as well as giving back to everyone else by minimizing the spread of the virus.
Self-quarantine may be seen as something difficult now, but in reality, the life and reality that awaits us after this period are over is totally unknown. This time of solitude and isolation will change each of us in ways we are unable to predict. It will change how we see life, what we value, and with every day, increases the chances of the change that will affect everything around us. Is it a bad thing? I don’t see it that way. If we are to wake up to a new reality, then that means we have surpassed the reality we had and are now ready to start something new. It also means that the systems we thought were imperishable, weren’t all that sturdy or great.
On a little global note; if you are healthy, have a roof over your head and your loved ones are safe, consider yourself lucky. Self-quarantine is not a punishment. It is there to keep you, your loved ones, and all humanity (literally) safe.
So as much as self-isolation seems to have affected so many people, I can’t say it affected me negatively. There may be many different aspects I have not thought of covering in this article, however, if you have any specific questions, feel free to email me or comment below.