Hey, people who are self-isolated, stuck at home, and don’t know how long it will be for. I’ve been there for 3 years. I’ve been social distancing for far longer than that… I call it ‘pacing’ to conserve energy that I really do not have because I have had chronic pain for over two decades. But for 3 years I have had chronic dizziness, vertigo and balance issues on top of that pain that makes it very difficult to function or get out and about.
Oh, I did get out sometimes for short periods of time, because my psychologist told me it was good for my depression and I wanted to keep in contact with the few friends I had left. But I just couldn’t much. And now not at all due to being high risk to this virus… but I am used to being stuck at home for weeks on end or even months.
And, hey, this post is for us all. Some of us who are high risk will be isolating for the long haul and I have some ideas for what to do while you are.
And I do not mean that in ‘hey, welcome to my pity party’ sort of way. I mean this in a sort of, hey, we can all do this in a healthy productive sort of way. Because there are certain risks with staying at home all day without with routine of work you might notice:
- Losing your routine
- Anxiety and stress (due to real things like job loss, financial instability, possible illness, worry about friends and family)
- Stagnation and listlessness as we do less and less
It makes you feel like a motivationless puddle of goo. And it isn’t a good feeling. This lack of productivity. This case of the blahs.
Things I can tell you right now:
- Stick to some sort of routine
- Go to sleep at the same time. Get up at the same time.
- I always recommend getting out of the PJs and into clothes… even if they are just comfy ones… just makes you feel more productive.
- Make goals for the next day or week
- Have a plan for the day
- I recommend 15 minutes of housework a day- more if you’re healthy and want to, of course.
- Keep occupied
First consider these two memes I made about Control. Control is what creates anxiety. And there are things you Can control and there are things you cannot. There are just things we have no power over and we have to let those things go. And there are things we can control and those are the things we want to focus on and put our time and effort into.
So what do you Do with this Time to replace the void of work? Here are some random ideas to get you thinking. Things to keep you occupied and distracted…
- Some random things to do (Check it out- lots of ideas)
- Check out some Podcasts
- Check out this Yoga on Youtube
- Check our some courses to take
- Learn how to Code
- Declutter the house
- Blast some tunes and get your groove on
- Get some exercise Try 7 minute workout app
- Learn to draw as I am
- Do some adult coloring for relaxation
- Try some meditation to deal with anxiety. This app is great to start with.
- Check out some art!
- Try out a new hobby. Maybe a creative writing class? Or Paint-by-numbers
- Watch a play
- Read books! Try Amazon Kindle Unlimted and get a free month! Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans Or check out all my Fantasy books under my pen name Lil Hamilton!
- Spend more time on your existing hobbies
- Go for a short walk every day
- Stay connected with your family and friends via phone, text, and video chat
- Things to do with your kids at home
And also be mindful at this time
- Things run at a slower pace and that is all good. Sometimes learning to do things at a slower pace is a good thing. Sometimes learning meditation or how to de-stress is also a good thing
- You will learn the power of pausing and being still. It can be time for some reflection. You can start a journal even. Or a gratitude journal. Or do scrapbooking of wonderful memories with your family.
- Enjoy the time with your family. Game nights and fun activities. And movie marathons. And enjoy this time.
- Understand the fear of being sick or becoming sick is something that we all have to come to terms with in our life at some point and reflecting on this is normal. Emotions are normal. But we cannot ruminate on these emotions or worries for too long or often as it can lead to depression. We can work through these thoughts, talk them out with someone we trust, write them down… all ways of coping with difficult thoughts and emotions.
- Notice how busy your inner life is and practice quietening it down or reflecting on it.
- If you notice a lot of stress or anxiety try some relaxation breathing techniques every time you feel overwhelmed for a few minutes or so.
- Connect with people on Facebook groups in your interests or to help others in your community or to reach out as this can also help with anxiety.
- Be mindful of your mental health and make sure you do things to manage any dips in mood. Talk to people and stay connected. Keep productive. Go for a walk. 11 ways to give yourself a mood boost
When this is all over I hope no one will take their health for granted. And know that health is a fragile thing.
There are so many of us with chronic illness very used to isolation. It is a way of being. And I hope this small taste of it reminds you of what it is like, somewhat. This is more a picture of what it is really like: Hey, healthy people, illness is no vacation