How to Treat Self-Isolation As an Opportunity, Part 1: Community
With the current Covid-19 pandemic that is affecting each and every one of us and where self-isolation and “social distancing” are now commonplace, we still have options as to how we can treat this time. Do we see this as a confinement, a deprivation or even as a prison sentence? Perhaps we can do much better than that. Let’s try to see how we can do something useful with this time.
As the saying goes, it is what it is and we have no choice but to get through this. Worrying will achieve nothing and only waste time. I know that sometimes that’s easier said than done, which is why I think it makes sense to see how other people are dealing with this “time on their hands”.
The ideas below are some of the things that we at Aspiring Snob are spending our days doing. In an instalment of articles, I want to focus on the community (which is the topic of this article), on you, and on your home.
1. Deepen the relationship with your closest friends
We can treat this event of physical isolation as an opportunity for spending time on learning about our family and our friends. We can deepen our human connection and we can improve the relationships with those around us.
With this newfound reality of being stuck at home and not being able to physically socialise with your friends, we can still communicate and now this communication can carry an additional value – showing your appreciation of your friendships. Text or email your friends to pay them a compliment, say what you appreciate about them and that you appreciate their friendship. Or even simply send a message to see how they’re coping in this current environment. You will feel more connected and hopefully brighten their day, too.
2. Reach out to your contacts and catch-up via email, text, or a call
This is a great opportunity to reconnect with people and it will make you feel less alone by providing some interaction in lieu of the real thing during these trying self-isolation times. Who have you been meaning to catch-up with? Who’s emails have you not replied to yet? This is the ideal time to go through that backlog of communication and do something about it.
For this I recommend Jordan Harbinger’s “6 Minute Networking.” It’s a set of challenges which are fun to do and which will help you grow and strengthen your network. It’s a fantastic free resource.
3. Explore people you admire
You know that question, “Who do you admire?” Even though there are many people I admire, I dread being asked this question at an interview – I’m sure I would draw a blank. Who’s with me? I’m going to try and formulate my answer this time around. Exploring the lives of those you admire can become a fascinating way to learn and spend your time at home.
I would recommend exploring some prominent historical figure, someone who has worked in your industry and someone who is a current public figure or a notable leader. Find out if they have a biography and grab your copy. Wikipedia is a good resource to start with and get the basics to study up about your chosen people. It reminds me of people watching on the street and in these times is the next best thing.
Perhaps you even know someone who is admirable and maybe you can message them saying that! You for sure will make their day and in these times, who doesn’t need that.
4. Volunteer your time and skills
We are all in this difficult situation together. We can’t make it all go away, but we can be kind to each other and I believe that this kindness will help us get through it.
Consider how you can be more present with people around you. Are you able to get involved in some local charity or buy groceries for the elderly? You can even just text your neighbour to ask how they are doing and if they need anything.
Maybe there is a skill you have and can offer to teach others over the internet for free? Many local councils are looking for people to help in numerous ways, and a number of these can be done remotely when self-isolating.
5. Start a virtual book club
Ask your friends if anyone would like to join your book club. Choose a book, a date and the on-line medium you will be discussing it via. I would suggest first finding one other person who wants to read the same book as you and if they are interested then ask others if they want to join. Once you have at least one other person, it’s less intimidating to organise something for a broader circle of friends.
If you prefer to join someone else’s book club, I recommend joining Simon Sinek’s. In case you haven’t heard of him yet, he is an outstanding motivational speaker and a best selling author. He is currently organising a book club about one of his own books, Start With Why. As part of his book club, he’ll be engaging with the participants and this is an ideal opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The only catch is you have to have at least one other person who is reading the book with you to form a two-person minimum book club.
Back in the day when I studied British literature, even though a lot is about your own interpretation, I would dream about having a chance to talk to an author about the literary text I was working on instead of trying to come up with ideas on what the author had in mind writing it. So here it is, you can read an excellent book and then discuss it or ask your questions directly to the author! Here is a video with Simon explaining how it works.
Note that Simon’s book club is time sensitive – so if you are interested, check it out now, don’t wait.
I hope that these ideas will help you get through these uncertain days, make them brighter and help you feel connected. Despite the lack of physical interaction, with technology these days you can know that you matter and that your friends love you.
Our mailbox is at your disposal if you just want to say hello, we would love to hear from you.
Last but not least, watch this space for our next article with more tips on how to use this time as an opportunity to grow.