Had to pinch yourself to see if this is reality? Same. I have no doubt in my mind filmmakers are most likely utilising their time in self-quarantine to write a movie about this worldwide pandemic. In a country which prides itself on democracy, we have gone from a freedom of movement to a life of restricted movement, remote working and a lot of free time on our hands.
Like myself, for those who are working from home you’re probably grateful that you have a distraction from 9am-5pm 7 days a week, however for those who have permanently or temporarily been made redundant this unchartered territory is overwhelming. I’m sure we’re all hoping that Boris Johnson would give us the specific date and time when we can freely walk into a restaurant or bar so you can set a countdown on our phone. But in the meantime we need to adapt. The first step to coping with self-isolation is realising that you are human and that everyone will have a wobble at some point, you can’t be a perfectionist at something that you’ve never experienced before.
Is this the worst case scenario?
Compare COVID-19 to your grandparents, great grandparents or great great grandparents in world war 2. This lasted for around 6 years and they couldn’t even switch the lights on in their own home because that would be putting themselves at risk of being bombed. All we’ve been asked to do is stay at home, most of us can still leave our house once a day to exercise and walk to the shops. Whether you’re playing with Instagram filters, making Tik Toks, writing blogs, playing scrabble or even becoming the next Anne Frank of this era and writing a diary of your quarantine thoughts – there is always access to some form of entertainment.
Do whatever feels right for you
How do you cope with normal life whilst there is an invisible killer looming over our heads? There in not one simple coping mechanism which can be generalised to every human being. For Gen Z the video making app Tik Tok has been working as a way of keeping minds occupied and showing a sense of community from people all over the globe, as video’s on the app using the hashtag corona virus have up to 5.5 bn views and counting.
There is a lot of talk which is centred around what you can achieve during your newfound free time, but the reality is if you get fixated on this you put far too much pressure on yourself. There’s a lot of content circulating around on social media at the moment on setting yourself goals to keep yourself sane, which for people like myself is crucial as distractions will improve my mental well-being – however not everyone is like this! For those who haven’t taken up a new hobby or focused their energy on getting the ‘summer bod’ you’re not lazy, you’re not wasting an opportunity, you’re just doing you and other people are doing them – just like we would if we weren’t in self-quarantine.
Taking positives from a negative situation
In this unprecedented time, it can be easy to invest all your time on the negative aspects of the situation. In the words of Monty Python ‘Always look on the bright side of life’. For example, because all Chinese residents were ordered under the dictatorship to stay in their homes for three months the Co2 emissions reduced by the same amount the UK produces in a whole year – mother nature is thanking us right now. If you find yourself struggling mentally throughout the pandemic, it has been proven that gratitude can be used as a tool to improve happiness. Why not focus your thoughts on what you’re grateful for, by making a gratitude list. By switching your focus on to the positives, you will come out of this pandemic feeling more appreciative of things that you probably took for granted before and will have a new found outlook on the wonderful world we live in.
We’re all in this together
Communication, communication and more communication. Self-isolation can be very lonely, but something they didn’t have in the war was the technology that we have today. We have the power to virtually communicate face to face with our friends and family for as long as we want and whenever we want. The photo above was taken is from our daily morning Microsoft teams meeting we have at Logical UK to boost our team morale.
Utilising your time at home
The concept of self-isolation can be somewhat daunting for many people, especially those
who rely on routine for their wellbeing. We all had errands around the house that we
couldn’t get to prior to Covid-19 because ‘we didn’t have enough time’ – but, well, now we
do! You will be spending a large majority of your time at home for the foreseeable future, so
keeping it clean and tidy, staying on top of laundry and washing yourself are all good ways
to not only keep yourself occupied. Make yourself a
‘to do’ list in the morning; this way it will create a sense of productivity and achievement to
your day. Try to set limits on screen time because scrolling through your phone all day will
probably make you go stir crazy and if you are struggling with anxieties over the current
pandemic – try to distance yourself from social media and the news. Over-indulging will only
add to your fear.
Don’t put yourself under too much pressure
There’s no right or wrong way to exist in this period of time, do whatever feels right and is good for you. It will be tough few months but as a nation we will come out of this with more resilience and gratitude and remember to constantly remind yourself – there will be an end to this madness!
Written by Sophia Ghahramani