Isolation: How To Cope
As a family, we’re no stranger to being homebound. Over last decade, we’ve had several reasons to isolate including a bone marrow transplant and an illness that left one of us bedridden. As of this publication, we’ve partially isolated for over 2 weeks and completely isolated for some days. The first couple of days felt strange, but we’ve already gotten into a new routine.
Isolation is going to become the reality for more folks over the coming weeks, so I wanted to share a few things we’ve found helpful.
Here are 10 things you can do to help isolation feel a bit more like normal life:
1. Take a shower every day. No, you don’t stink, but it helps to keep a routine. Also, have a routine. Get dressed. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Go to bed when you usually do.
2. Whatever thing distracts you (books, video games, puzzles, cooking, running, binge-watching Love is Blind), plan time to do that at least once a day and don’t feel guilty about it.
3. Go outside. You can go outside and not be in close contact with anyone. We’ll be playing a lot of frisbee golf in the next few weeks and will eat lunch outside whenever the weather allows.
4. Move. Being at home means you’re walking and moving less. Walk or do yoga or something. Every little bit helps. Kitchen dance parties are my personal favorite.
5. Call people. Even just talking or FaceTiming people for a short period of time is helpful. Just say hi. It doesn’t need to be a full-out serious conversation.
6. Read or watch funny things. The news is terrifying right now which means so is most of social media. I’ve been listening to comedians while I prep meals and my 7-year old twins have been reading joke books or “Would You Rather” books at dinner.
7. Look at a calendar. The days will get fuzzy quickly. This can take a toll on how long you’ve had to be in isolation which will feel like forever when it gets to that point.
8. Know that this is only temporary. This will not last forever. (See above.)
9. You don’t need ALL the things. Think about what you might take on a long car camping trip. Plus a few “treat yourself” things because let’s be real, you’re not actually going on an epic camping trip.
10. Support your neighbors and keep supporting local businesses. Pay attention to which neighbors might need a bit more help including the elderly, folks who work in the service industry, performers, and families who might be food insecure. Donate to food banks and diaper banks (and other non-profits but you get the idea). Yes, go to Costco for certain things (I did), but I also shopped at our local co-op. I bought as many local things as I could. Target will be fine. Your favorite bookstore / restaurant / service-based business might not. Buy gift cards for local businesses if you can’t support them directly.
I know that isolation isn’t possible for everyone and it’s a massive privilege that we’re able to but other than needing some extra groceries, most of these things are free. The loss of income to so many in our community is going to real so support your neighbors however you’re able.
Also, I’ve done this very, very wrong before and stayed in bed + self-medicated in any number of ways. That was not great. Even if it feels easier at first. I just wanted to add that part.
How are you planning to manage these days ahead? I’m always up for adding to my list Send me a message or a tweet.