Isolation - time for things we usually don't have time for.
I am one of the biggest users of 'I don't have time'. I don't have time to exercise, I don't have time to cook healthy meals, I don't have time to meal prep, I don't have time to do a face or hair mask, I don't have time to call people.
Isolation has been and is giving us time back. It has been a difficult year, not being able to see all our loved one, no celebrations and no going out. But there are still a few things we can do during this time to keep us positive and a little sane (including drinking wine).
Try something new.
Why not try making something out of clay, painting, doing some gardening, baking or writing a journal. It is the best time to try something we usually put aside for another time. I decided that this weekend I would force my boyfriend to make things out of clay! He was a trooper and actually ended up making the coolest car - free hand (which I can't wait to see the finished painted product!) He's the artistic one so I should have known he would smash it compared to my tiny rainbows. I also love trying recipes that I normally wouldn't have time for or haven't eaten since my Nonna made it last. I had so much fun making Osso Bucco and even more fun eating it!
Time to call our loved ones and check in on them and keep their minds working. A lot of people live alone and are struggling to keep mentally active and positive in these difficult times. Take 5 mins to call or video chat someone and ask them about their day and how they are feeling.
Look after yourself, keep busy, set goals.
I always think I don't have time to exercise and generally hate going out in the rain so the gym seems like such an effort. With the help of the internet which has countless free exercise resources, healthy recipe ideas and being confined to the home I am taking advantage of these and the extra time I have due to not travelling to and from work. Remember even 20 mins of exercise it is better than no exercise.
Walk and stretch
You are allowed out for two hours a day for exercise (but remember your mask!) We are not restricted to our houses all day. Enjoy that sunshine outside and the fresh air! Go outside take a deep breathe and go a hour walk within your 5km radius. Break up your 2 hours into 30 min lots to not be in the same place all day. Try different routes, change it up from the way you usually would go. It's a lot! Enjoy it, make the most of it. Don't forget what we have! Stretching can be done with minimal space. Take a moment to focus on your breathing and the muscles in your body.
It is very easy to only think about all the things we can not do, have missed out on and who we can't see. We are so lucky to be in an era where mobile phones and internet exist that we can video call people, chat to them from around the world, send photos and emails. In 1919 when the Spanish flu hit the world as Covid-19 has, there was no Netflix and definitely no internet. If they can do it, we can do it! Each day write down one thing you are grateful for and one thing you want to work on. Be mindful. Yoga and meditation can help you relax and release stress. Call a friend and talk about what you are grateful for, express your gratitude for your friendship and love for those around you. One small thing can make such a difference to someones day and life!
Watch what you eat.
I love sugar and carbs but unfortunately the come down the next day puts me in a very bad mood. I know this personally happens to me so I have cut out unnatural sugar from my diet for the lock down period to ensure I can be my best self each day and in a good mood. It is the best time to support small businesses, head to your local market and stock up on fresh vegetables and fruit. I love coffee so spending that $4 a day to make a difference to the economy, a great excuse to leave my house and sip on liquid gold makes it all worth it. Make some smoothies, enjoy a colourful lunch and introduce new spices and recipes!
Puzzles, books & board games!
They stimulate the mind and are a great distraction. I have found a cooking show on Netflix which is keeping me busy and am writing down recipes as I watch to ensure I am learning something even while I am at home relaxing. Reading is another thing I generally put aside for later. Instead of spending an hour on Instagram when laying in bed or TikTok, why not read for an hour?
Listen to relaxing music
Music can change our moods. It is amazing how quickly one song can change how we feel and project how we feel. Put some relaxing music on, do a face mask, pour a glass of wine, grab a block of chocolate, strawberries and just relax. Take in every note, every lyric and your breathing. Enjoy the moment, the peace and the ability to just be still, we do not always have the opportunity to just sit and think.
Hope this has given you some ideas on how to spend your isolation. Some wine, music and a dance is also good for everyone anytime, not just during lockdown.
Enjoy this extra time, stay safe and positive! Keep others in mind, check in on your friends and family. We are almost there!
I'd love to hear how you're spending your lock down and need new activity ideas. Leave them in the comments below!