Tips for taking care of yourself while self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak
Natarsha Brown shares some tips on how to keep calm and carry on.
Many people around the world are in lockdown or quarantined due to the coronavirus, while others are practicing self-isolation, social distancing or are working from home. At first, not joining the morning commute and having some serious down time can actually seem quite nice, but it doesn’t take long for the cabin fever to sink in. Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically, while you are stuck at home.
1. Make time to exercise
Some people may have a home gym, some of us aren’t so lucky. If you don’t, it’s time to get creative! There is a range of free workout videos on YouTube which can help get you motivated, from yoga (Yoga with Adriene, Sarah Beth Yoga, Alo Yoga) to cardio-intensive routines (Popsugar Fitness, Blogilates, HASfit), or a variety of subscription-based home workout programs, such as the high-intensity Les Mills. A more entertaining option and a great way to get the kids involved is a dance workout – The Fitness Marshall is a great option, guiding you through moves to a huge range of songs and artists from Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga. Even if you aren’t a super active type, do some sit-ups while watching television or lift some hand weights at intervals during your ‘office hours’.
2. Create a schedule
Whether you are living alone, with a partner or have kids in the house, making a schedule is beneficial for all ages. Create a time slot for tasks that you may take for granted in your normal routine, such as showering, meal times, your daily workout and even standing for five minutes between long hours of working at a desk. With nothing holding you accountable, it’s much easier to graze unnecessarily or even not bathe regularly. Make a list and cross things off as you complete them to give you a sense of accomplishment if you are someone who likes to be goal-oriented.
3. Monitor your media
Try to avoid checking the news constantly. Yes, it’s important to stay informed about the world outside, but this can lead to ‘coronavirus fatigue’ – an overload of information that will leave you feeling helpless and anxious. Instead, allow time in your schedule (mentioned above) to catch up on the world’s goings-on, and try and keep this to less than three times a day. Outside of this, give your mind a break and watch something light and easy, such as a comedy or feel-good romance, or pick up a book – again, read something that will lift your spirits or even make you laugh out loud. If you need a Netflix break or aren’t much of a reader, try listening to one of these great podcasts.
4. Stay connected with loved ones
When you aren’t having regular daily contact with people, it’s easy to feel isolated or lonely. It’s time to go old school: pick up the phone and call your family and friends to check-in, or better yet, Skype so that it feels even more personal. Or, you could always step it up and write a letter, especially to grandparents that you may not be able to visit during this time. If you have a group of friends who love to read, why not start a digital book club on Goodreads so you can all share your opinions and thoughts on a mutal latest read? If this sounds like too much work, then why not join an exisiting one, such as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 or Our Shared Shelf.
5. Learn something new
Why not use this time to focus on your favourite (indoor) hobbies, or pick up a new one? Hobbies are a great way to keep your mind sharp and to manage your stress – and you’ll have a new skill to show for it when this all eventually passes. Learn to play the guitar, take an online Spanish tutorial or revise your cooking skills with a virtual tutorial from a Michelin-star chef – whatever your interest, there is bound to be something you’ll enjoy. If you have the budget, sign up to the fabulous MasterClass Online Class, where a number of successful people in their field share their insider secrets: Natalie Portman teaches acting, Martin Scorsese teaches filmmaking, Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking, Annie Leibovitz teaches photography, RuPaul teaches self-expression, Dr, Jane Goodall teaches conservation and Anna Wintour teaches creativity and leadership – just to name a few.
6. Don’t be tempted by online sales
Online shopping can be super addictive, but try to keep the credit card in check as much as possible – you still have bills to pay and self-isolating is expensive enough without ‘boredom buying’ items that you don’t actually want. Supporting local businesses is important in this current climate (like ordering take away from your favourite restaurant instead of eating out), but remember that the thrill you get from impulse buying will eventually wear off and may leave you feeling even more stressed or anxious than before.
7. Clean and organise
Having a clean house is nice, but in this current crisis, it is also necessary to stay healthy. What’s more, having tidy surroundings may have a calming effect and help reduce anxiety. Take it one step further and do that spring clean you have been putting off for the past couple of years: clear out that overflowing Tupperware cupboard, reorganise your wardrobe and unhaul that crowded bookshelf. Come nightfall, light up a scented candle, pour a cup of tea and enjoy being in your newly organised space.
8. Make a bucket list
While we may not have the luxury of travelling right now, why not make plans for the future? Many companies are taking bookings for future seasons and the end of the year, and it will give you something to look forward to. Plus, with all this spare time at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to do some research into the places you want to visit and make a brand-new bucket list of things you want to see and do post coronavirus (if you need some inspiration, read the Signature team’s ultimate bucket list). Stay inspired, keep planning ahead and know that the time will come again for exploring this incredible world!