Week 2 in isolation. Hope you are all well and staying safe and healthy. So, what have I learnt this week. Well the hoarding madness seems to have calmed down. So now we start to behave like sensible human beings. Obviously following the guidelines, I haven’t been out other than to collect my tablets from Boots. It was eery going out about 1pm and the roads were quiet, the town was dead, there was just no sounds at all. However, the moods in the shops were brilliant. The staff were smiling, so accommodating and making the best of a very bad situation.
This is how it should be. We are all in this together and we will come out the other side, but whilst we are on this journey, let’s be kind to each other. Don’t post something on social media in anger. If you do it’s there for good. It causes hurt, it causes unnecessary upset and there is no need for it.
Another thing I have learnt Is that just how little we can do without. No more online shopping buying things I don’t really need. No more expensive coffees on the high street, no more just jumping in the car driving somewhere I didn’t really need to be. The list goes on, but that’s just me. What have you gained from being isolated? And is there anything that you will do once this is all over?
Last night was an emotional night here in the UK. We were asked to stand at our doors or windows and clap for the staff of the NHS who are still working and doing a fantastic job. No one knew how this was going to be received. Well what a turn out. The news and social media were full of applause and cheers. Every house in my road was out clapping, you could hear the applause from the town echoing across the night sky. It was brilliant, it was emotional and most importantly it was supportive.
As a self employed hypnotherapist, I also wanted to do my bit for the NHS staff and carers so I am offering free online sessions to help ease the anxiety and panic. Even though my business will suffer big time, I still wanted to do my bit.
We are all in the same boat, I can’t worry about it as I have no control over it. So we have to make the best of a bad situation. So what can we do to improve our lives whilst in isolation.
productive things to do at home (other than binge-watch sitcoms)
Join a YouTube tutorial
Whether you want to learn to sing, improve your photography skills or make a table from scrap timber, there’s a YouTube tutorial for that.
Dance because no one is watching
Learn your favourite movie dance moves
Privacy is gold for those of us suffering dance dyslexia, so now is the perfect time to shake your bootie and learn those steps that have been eluding you. Try learning John Travolta circa 1977 with a few fundamental disco moves or, if Strictly Ballroom is more your speed, what better time to master the foxtrot, waltz, rumba or cha-cha. You can dance like no one is watching – because no one is.
Start a vegie patch or herb garden. Whether you have a big back garden or just a window box, you can go green. As well as being enjoyable, the government’s says gardening has many health benefits. It recommends growing edible plants, but that doesn’t mean just vegetables and fruits – flowers like carnations, honeysuckles and nasturtiums can add colour to your dinner plate too. Mix it up with home-grown herbs like rosemary, basil, chives, sage, mint, oregano, parsley and thyme.
Fix up the garden
Being confined to the house doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Health experts say you don’t need vitamin D supplements if you get enough sunlight – the natural source of this vitamin – by getting out in the garden. This is the ideal time to paint the fence, trim your hedges or do that paving you’ve been putting off for years.
Go on a virtual tour
Visit the Edinburgh Zoo, or many of the museums and art galleries around the world.
While galleries and museums are closed to the public, you can still get your art and history fix online.
Listen to podcasts
Let your ears do the walking and delve into the world of podcasts. There’s everything from great brain teasers to humour, and so much more. Or create your own, But since you’re at home, why not create your own podcast using a USB microphone and free recording software such as GarageBand.
Catch up on some reading
Didn’t get time to stock up on new books to read during the lock-in? The internet has you covered. From free e-books to free book delivery, there’s no excuse for not getting stuck into some serious page-turners. Search through hundreds of free titles on the web.
Learn a language
Download a language app
Whether you want to order pasta in Italian or whisper sweet nothings to your lover in French, there are numerous online language courses, and many are free.
Keep in touch
Call, text or tag a friend
You may be physically isolated, but there’s no need to lose touch with friends and family. You can even see as well as talk to them using Skype and Facetime or you can use messaging services like WhatsApp and social media to keep in touch. Take a video of your new home office and share it on social media. Socially isolate, together, you may like to connect with your neighbours with an adaptation of the Italian balcony singing phenomenon (check it out on YouTube). If you don’t have a balcony, you could use your front garden and call the neighbour across the road to come out and ‘join’ you from their own garden in a singalong or exercise class.
Download a fitness app
Even if you don’t own a home gym or substantial equipment, there are many ways to improve your fitness at home. Simple strength exercises like squats, push-ups and lunges don’t need any equipment. If you don’t have weights, improvise and use two tins of canned food as weights. If you need guidance there are online resources and fitness apps, many are free.
Don’t forget that just moving is exercising, so embrace vacuuming and gardening, and any other physical activity you can do in your home or in the garden.
Remember we are all in this together, and we will come out the other side, but let’s come out the other side better people, better parents, better neighbours, better friends BETTER HUMAN BEINGS.
One thing before I go. Remember if you have kids around you, it’s about now that the novelty of being home starts to wear off So now is the time to reassure them. They are like sponges and will very soon pick up on your anxiety, panic and fear. Don’t let this happen.
Let the kids remember this time with fondness, Daddy playing Hide ‘N’ Seek, We made a family Den in the front room and ate our lunch in there, we camped out in the dining room and stayed there all night, we did a family puzzle, we had a water fight in the garden. So many things you can do which can make a world of difference for the kids.
Until next week, stay safe, stay healthy
Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.