5 tips to slay "Self-Isolation"

Are you finding yourself sitting in your pj's, lacking motivation, trying to find a new routine during this time of uncertainty? Is creating a work-life balance at home harder than you thought? It's no surprise that most of us are feeling a bit of "cabin fever" or even boredom from the binge-watching of Netflix, scrolling through social media, or also just being stuck inside. The adaptation of self-isolation has been seen and felt worldwide. Through the music being played in Italy, to the cheering for our health care workers, grocery clerks and other essential service providers who are working so hard to keep our societies functioning while the rest of us socially distance or self-isolate, rainbows of positive messages along the sidewalks, Facetime happy hours with our families and friends and, of course, fitness challenges from home. However, what other ways can we embrace the opportunity that staying home and socially distancing creates while maintaining our sanity, health and even fitness?

Here are five tips to help you "Slay" self-isolation:

  1. Create a new routine: We can all agree, routines and structure often make life feel easier, more stable, and generally leave us with a feeling of satisfaction when we execute our daily tasks. Finding structure and routine during these days "at home" can prove to be complicated with the work/life balance, homeschooling (for some), and adapting to the many other stressors we are facing day-to-day. Creating a new, home-based routine allows us to restructure our time, encourages a reassuring sense of normalcy and can motivate us to complete tasks, even when there may be less external structure imposed on our time. If you share your household with other family members, create a new routine together including (socially distanced) outdoor activities, home exercises, chores, grocery shopping, tv time and scheduled social times with extended family and friends through meeting and chat applications.
  2. Move your body: Is there anything that exercise doesn't help with? We can start to feel boredom, loss of motivation, and even depression when we don't move our bodies daily. Exercise needn't be hard or complicated. Just aim to get your blood pumping once a day through an online workout, yoga class, walk outside, bike ride or even a dance party in your kitchen. Exercise is excellent for stimulating your feel-good hormone--dopamine, as well as helping to increase and support your immune system. If you are able to be outside in nature while practising safe social distancing, take the opportunity. If you can't, there are so many ways to move your body indoors using your own body weight and the resources so many people are offering online for moving your body daily.
  3. Cook like a Chef: Okay... maybe not a professional chef, but this is a great time to get creative in the kitchen (especially with some staples in short supply on grocery store shelves) or try out some new recipes, get inspired by a cooking show, teach your kiddos to cook a classic family recipe and have fun in the kitchen together. You could try theme nights, plan a "meatless" Monday, find and follow a favourite foodie on their social channel and discover your inner "Top Chef". Food is also a great vehicle for helping others, whether it be adding items to your shopping list for neighbours and friends who are elderly or immune-compromised, or preparing meals for friends or loved ones who need a helping hand.
  4. Be a kid again: That's right... try and have some fun! If you have a family at home, build a fort, play some tag outside with your family, cops & robbers..... you name it--share some fun-times. Remember the thrill of a good old game of Monopoly, the Game of Life, or Uno? Share some time away from screens and the TV and bring some childhood games and fun into your day. It is a great stress reliever and a great way to remind yourself that you might actually enjoy the company of the fellow humans you may share a home with. If you live on your own, there are lots of online versions of classic games you could play with your friends, too.
  5. Embrace Change: This is where we look at the positive side of where we are currently in our lives. It is a great time to embrace the time we may suddenly have to intentionally set new routines, from new ways of getting exercise to de-cluttering and organizing chaotic cupboards or drawers. Spending time organizing our closets, gathering items we no longer need or use to give to goodwill, and getting our gardens ready for Spring. For those of us fortunate enough to find ourselves still employed and able to work from the relative safety and comfort of our homes, we can also take the time to practice gratitude for ways--both monumental and small--that individuals, neighbourhoods, societies and whole countries are making efforts to keep us healthy, connected and safe in these difficult times.