How to Treat Self-Isolation As an Opportunity – Part 2: You
In my last instalment, I was talking about some ideas on how to use the time while being confined within your home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Connecting with your community was one broad way to help relieve the feeling of confinement and make best use of the time to be helpful during this hour of need.
In this instalment, I want to talk about a few ideas that focus around you. I want to talk about some development ideas that I found particularly useful but I did not always have the time for before the pandemic. All of these ideas can be done in your home with no need to go outside.
With gyms closed and a number of public spaces declared off limits, this one may seem obvious. I want to talk about it because if exercising at home is not a habit of yours yet, then you can start small and work your way up in small steps.
To follow what I did, your first step could be to decide what exercising regime you want to do. Are you looking to do aerobics, yoga, weights or something else? Step two is about doing some online research. If you’re a bit lost, start with googling some regimes until you find the one you like. YouTube is a great resource with organised regimes that you can play and follow.
Your next step is about setting up an area to exercise. Do you have sufficient space? Can it be blocked off from the rest of your household so you are not interrupted? Will you break anything valuable if you decide to do something more energetic?
Following on is deciding what you’re going to wear. If you’re a regular gym goer then your normal gym gear is still ideal. However if you don’t have specific workout gear, just start with an old t-shirt and comfortable, loose shorts to get you started. Remember that many on-line delivery services are still operating if you want to get gym gear, albeit with potential delays on non-medical goods.
It is crucial to set everything up first, so that not having something doesn’t discourage you to go start in the first place. The less excuses you have, the better.
And the final step is actually doing it. But don’t be harsh on yourself if it takes a while for you to actually start exercising. The key thing is to start small and have very low expectations. You can even decide to exercise for as little as five minutes initially. The main objective here is to start.
Once you start, keep going! Exercising for just five minutes a day for a few days will surprise you in how quickly you will progress and go for longer. Every time you finish a session, you will feel accomplished that you have met your goal of exercising for five minutes – anything above that is a bonus.
Change happens in small increments and starting small may be just what you need to feel motivated. I recommend Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg which discusses the system of successful habit formation.
I find that writing helps to organise my thoughts. I don’t specifically use a journal as my writing is mainly being put to use for this blog. However whether for the blog or for myself, I always find that it is therapeutic to write.
Additionally, putting your ideas down on paper (or digitally) will not only help to sort your thoughts, but it will also help you become a better communicator. These are the two skills that are always valuable and in demand.
You can try by setting yourself a target of writing 100 words a day. It can be about anything to begin with. What was the weather like today? How did your at-home gym session go? Again, form that habit of writing in small increments and see where it leads.
If you are in an area where you are allowed out to exercise, then I recommend listening to podcasts while walking or running. I know many people (myself included) listened to podcasts during their daily commute, but this is a good adjustment.
If you’ve never been into podcasts before, then now is the time to pick them up! It’s a great way to combine some exercise and fresh air, while being entertained and possibly even learning something.
During our time staying at home and self-isolating, it’s no surprise that TV viewing has increased, both terrestrial and on-line. If you feel that most of your viewing time is spent on re-runs of Friends or reality TV shows, then maybe now is a good time to get some more documentaries in your life.
Not all documentaries involve Sir David Attenborough talking about gorillas. Many new and edgy documentaries cover a variety of concepts from every day items to controversial topics. Not only will you be entertained, but they can be very educational and will make you feel like you haven’t really wasted any time when you’re learning about other people, cultures and locations.
5. Inspirational movies
Still on the theme of watching TV because, well, we’re all stuck at home, I was thinking about the movies I have seen and wondering which one would be most pertinent to the current times. Old Boy comes to mind. It’s a Western remake of a Korean classic.
Without giving away too much, it’s about a guy who is confined to a very small space for a very long time. Sounds depressing, but there is a twist; he utilises his time such as through exercise and reading.
It is very humbling to watch as it shows that maybe our situation is not that bad and there are so many things we can do with our time in our home, no matter its size.
While we’re spending extra time at home, ideally working from home and therefore missing the daily commute, now is a great time to catch up on sleep. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but very few of us actually achieve that. Yet sleep debt is a real thing and while our lives have been disrupted in some ways, this is an ideal chance to start repaying that debt.
If you are trying to keep a normal schedule like you would before the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown measures, tweak that a bit to sleep in an extra hour or hour and a half. Alternatively, try and go to bed sooner, which in theory is easier as you should have no commitments outside! Sleeping is essential to leading a healthy life and is never a waste of time.
I hope that these examples have inspired you to think what you can do to help you feel accomplished and happy about how you spend your time at home. If you liked any point above, or have some suggestions of your own, let me know in the comments.
Liked it? Pin it.