Self isolating is a relatively new practice which doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us. It's challenging but it’s also ironically the single biggest collaborative act that the world has taken part in. From every corner of the globe, whether that be Buenos Aires, Berlin or Brisbane, people are adapting to a new pace of life (and the sacrifices that brings) for the greater good of their communities.
Although we know we must persevere with our efforts, it’s easy to start feeling detached from others and our “old selves". With all this extra time people are finding their minds spiralling to a place of helplessness and despair (and a lot of us are complaining of isolation breakouts which isn’t helping on the self-esteem front). But we must remind ourselves that everyone is feeling a little lost and take comfort in knowing that this is a shared experience.
Check in on your neighbours, slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of each day and try to find amusement in where possible because a laugh never goes astray.
A lot of people have been using this time for “self improvement” which is reflective of our always-on work culture. Millennials fall into a trap of thinking that every second of life must be dedicated towards productivity or development and we struggle to sit idly without feeling guilty, but, this is a perfectly reasonable time to take the opportunity to do just that — sit idly. Be lazy! There I said it. Watch an entire Netflix series in a day! Don’t change your pyjamas all week! Skip a workout! Drink at midday! It’s a pandemic after all, just do whatever brings you a little bit of peace.
Nobody cares how it is you choose to fill your days (except your boss if you’re lucky enough to still be employed right now), so don’t be so hard on yourself and use this as an opportunity to recharge. We’re called the burnout generation for a reason, and maybe this was the force we needed to makes us stop and reflect on what it is we truly value. If like me, you’re seeing a lot of your peers sharing their workouts, recipes, book recommendations, renovations and other accomplishments on social media, try not to discipline yourself too much if your life isn’t looking like theirs right now.
My advice would be to do a few simple things each day to ensure you’re looking after yourself. Remember, this is a time to let go of our expectations of a "normal routine" and embrace a bit of change.
Each day, ask yourself:
Who should I check in on/connect with?
How can I move my body?
How am I looking after myself?
(This could be a self care practice or addressing a nagging task like tidying up around the house).
A lot of people may be positioning you to believe you aren’t doing enough with all that “extra time”, but staying inside and attending to basic needs is more than enough.
Do things that make you smile, be kinder to yourself and savour these slower moments.
Once this is all over, we might find that we actually miss it.
Words by Sunny Chisholm