In these uncertain times it is difficult not to worry. The information on this pandemic changes on a daily basis but one thing that affects all our lives is imposed self isolation. We all cope with stress in different ways and not everyone is a homebird by nature. As this dramatic change to our lives is as new to me as it is to you, here are my initial thoughts on coping strategies when self isolating.
Only look or listen to the news once a day.
Boris’ daily update is enough to keep you up to date with developments and the very latest advice on safeguarding yourself, your family and vunerable neighbours. Absorbing the same (or slightly re-hashed) news throughout the day just raises our anxiety levels.
Concentrate on what you can do, not what you can’t.
If you are fit and well, you might be able to offer community support by dropping a note to neighbours or offering help via your local online bulletin board. For example, Nextdoor is a social networking service which is currently available in 11 countries. Download the app here. I use it and have found it a worthwhile source of local information.
Connect with people. Social interaction is a vital part of our daily lives. Self isolation is going to be, at best, boring – even if you enjoy your own company. Close physical contact is discouraged but luckily we have phones, email, Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and several other digital ways to communicate. So get in touch with people… every day. A friendly chat is beneficial to you, and it’s beneficial to them.
Last night I sat and watched a drama and a comedy. I intentionally avoided anything to do with coronavirus and – guess what – I went to bed happy and relaxed (might have also been something to do with the two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and a large helping of Häagen-Dazs). Check out Annabel’s top picks here.
Museum virtual tours – did you know that you can enjoy virtual visits of top museums around the world? Experience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home. More info.
Listen to A&G’s You’re Never Too Old To… podcasts. Lighthearted and interesting recordings featuring some fascinating guests. Perfect to while away half an hour while you’re having a cup of tea with your feet up! Click here
Be creative – you can ‘lose’ hours when you are concentrating on a drawing or painting. There are so many ways to be creative. Now you have some free time, it’s a great time to enjoy using the left side of your brain.
Try new recipes. There are over 700 tried and tasted recipes on this website. Many of them using storecupboard ingredients. And, when you’re ready to serve, why not eat outside in the sunshine if it’s a mild day, looking at the blue sky and listening to the birds singing their hearts out.
Pamper yourself. Now’s the time to luxuriate in a hot bath filled to the brim with fragrant bubbles. Perhaps by candlelight, clutching a G&T! Or try that face mask that’s been in your bathroom cupboard for ages.
Keep your brain in gear – go online and learn another language or play brain games. Or buy yourself a crossword book.
I can’t help but liken this pandemic to a war. Frightening, stressful and full of uncertainty – but, as in the past, we will pull together and it will pass.
Take care everyone.
More ways to keep yourself occupied when self isolating coming soon… including our new yoga video for absolute beginners and much more.