Self-isolation and social distancing are the new buzz words of 2020. Well, maybe not exactly but before any of this Corona business, I had never even heard of the terms. Now, I seem to be getting to know these two very well.
Get Extremely Into Baking
I've made energy balls from a Deliciously Ella book, fig roll oat bars from The Food Medic, chocolate chip cookies, porridge bread, homemade mousakka, lasagne, Buns, biscuits and more. If you're like me and you've found yourself with a bit of extra time on your hands or maybe you're homeschooling the kids, I'd reccommend reaching for a recipe book or googling something tasty online to make.
Jump on a Video Call with Friends or Family
The isolation part of self-isolation can be very lonely, and sometimes liking your friends witty facebook status or beautifully baked buns (from them getting into baking ;) ) on their instagram page just doesn't cut it. Video Call them! It's so nice to see someones face and to chat to them in real time, not just texting. If you have vulnerable family members who are alone, video calling is extra important and it will help you and them feel less isolated.
Clean and Organize
You've been putting off sorting out those old drawers for years. Now is the time. For me, I guess it could come down to a control thing, there are so many factors outside our control right now but I know I can tidy the house and I can hoover the floor and I can organize my socks. It's a little thing, but a clear space can sometimes help to keep a clear mind.
Write or Draw
Writing in a journal about your feelings or free-style drawing whatever comes to your mind are great de-stressers. When you wake up try writing a few things you feel grateful for, maybe you can make a little list of things you want to do for the day. Before you go to bed you could write about the day and how you felt. Getting your thoughts on to paper can give you some perspective or just help in letting it all out. If you have one of those mindful colouring books, they are great too or you can download some pictures from the internet to colour in.
Do an Online Class
Nearly all the yoga and fitness studios around are currently offering classes online and you can book in to do a live class where you get to connect and see other people with you or you can do pre-recorded videos when it suits you. The main point here, is moving your body, getting some exercise and zoning out from the world for a little while.
Light a candle, grab a blanket or a cushion and breathe. Many yoga teachers have free guided meditations online that you can listen along to or Youtube also has great guided meditations to fully relax and let go. Some apps like Calm or Headspace that you can download on your phone are also brilliant. Recently I've been listening to the "Where Is My Mind" podcast by Niall Breslin and I've also been tuning into the live Yoga Nidra sessions with The Elbowroom on their instagram page.
We have not gone into full lockdown mode just yet in Ireland so get outside and go for a walk or a run or a cycle. You can smile at people as you pass. Breathe in some fresh air, listen to the birds and get in touch with Nature. Hopefully the sun will be shining and the sky might be blue but knowing Irish weather the sun might only be shining bright in your imagination so you best bring a raincoat with you too.
If all of the above fail and you still feel stressed at home, know that it's okay not to be okay. Maybe you're scared for someone you love or you've lost your job or every time you look at the news your heart starts beating like the clappers. This is not a normal situation for any of us, so to have abnormal feelings is pretty acceptable right now. In Yoga we talk a lot about Ahimsa which can translate as non violence or to me KINDNESS. Be kind to yourself. This will pass.