Stay at Home: Coping with Self-Isolation and Social Distancing
Who would have though that in 2020 I’d be stepping away from fashion and writing a post about how to deal with surviving lockdown? We are living in uncertain times due to Covid-19 (and that’s the only time I’m going to mention it in this post!) so I thought I’d write about about how I’m finding things, and more importantly, how I’m dealing with staying at home from the perspective of someone that loves being outside (hence my cover photo for this post of a beautiful beach in Cannes-my happy place). I’m going to offer some coping tips too; I figure that if I can help even one person navigate their way through this than it’s worth sharing. So here goes Stay at Home: Coping with Self-Isolation and Social Distancing.
I’m an anxiety sufferer, this is my truth. I was diagnosed with mild anxiety a few years back and prescribed a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a coping mechanism (which I’d recommend to anyone else that might be going through this). Although now I only suffer sporadically, uncertainty is definitely a trigger for my anxiety. I combat this by staying really busy, forward planning and lots and lots of exercise, namely running. So when this new dreaded ‘C’ arrived and put us on lockdown, I had to face this new uncertainty head on and come up with ways to cope. All my forward planning was suddenly cancelled, I couldn’t keep as busy and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to exercise (thanks so much Boris for allowing us to get out for exercise as I’d be lost without it). Whilst I’m still coming up with ways to combat down days (which by the way I think are completely normal in this new reality, so don’t beat yourself up if you have them) I’ve found a few ways to bring the sunshine into stay at home reality, so here’s how I’ve been coping:
Stay at Home 1: Add structure to your day
In our normal working lives, we have structure. Unless you’re one of those people who can fly by the seat of your pants, I think structure is super important to life, so if you’re at home, why not come up with a daily plan? If you’re working from home (which I am Monday-Friday), plan out your work days with lunch and breaks and plan some fun activities to do afterwards. And if you don’t have to work, plan your house jobs and fun time into a routine; any structure is better than no structure.
Stay at Home 2: Use your daily exercise
I urge everyone, whatever the weather, to get outside and exercise if you can. Be it a walk, a run, a dog walk or a bike ride whatever you prefer, nature and being outdoors is so good for your state of mind. I’ve been alternating the dog walks with my Mister and running almost as much as I normally would; it’s my therapy and it’s a great way to let off steam. If you’ve used up your exercise for the day, get in the garden (or your equivalent) even just for 5 minutes at intervals during the day. Fresh air is great for the soul!
Stay at Home 3: Use the time to do something you’ve always been meaning to
And I don’t just mean watching TV. Dust the guitar off that’s been standing in the front of the room, take up a hobby, bake a cake or read a book. Whatever it is, using your brain is good for you. I’ve always wanted to be fluent in French so I’m applying half an hour a day to learn some; it’s a great distraction and it’s a good practice that I can carry on when things return to normal. Whatever works for you, you’re never too old to learn! It’s also meant that I can find time to devote to this, my lovely little corner of the internet too, and that can’t be bad, right?
Stay at Home 4: Social Media ups and downs
We aren’t allowed to see each other face to face, so social media is a great way to keep in touch with our loved ones, but I think it’s important for some people to take social media breaks too; I am one of those people. I’ve been trying to use my phone during the day, but to turn it off earlier on an evening just to give myself some headspace. Too much social media is bad for me and makes me feel worse about things so whilst I may seem boring by not wanting to group chat until midnight, or by not wanting to learn the latest TikTok crazes, I’m okay with that. It’s about being kind to yourself, I give daylight hours to my phone, but in the evening I prefer to be completely off the radar! I have been so grateful to have it as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends though; it can be a really beautiful place!
Stay at Home 5: On down days, remember there will be an end to this
When you’re at the supermarket and there’s no bread, and you want to hug your parents, go for a coffee or spend time with your best friend and you can’t, try not to let it get you down. There are people and things in my life that I am missing so much, but I’ve also learnt through all of this that I am one of the lucky ones. By having things and people to miss, this means your life is rich and fulfilled and some people just don’t have that luxury. Although everything is a little scary and unclear just now, remember that it won’t last forever. And just think how amazing it will be and how much you’ll appreciate your loved ones and the finer things in your life when you can throw yourself at them again! There is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you can manage to stay positive, it’ll be here sooner than you think!
How are you coping with all of this?
Stay strong, stay positive and stay at home,
Until next time,
PS-as a final thought, random acts of kindness are a great way to brighten your day (and someone else’s) too! Send a card, send some flowers, pop a note through a neighbours door and most importantly, be kind always x