What a crazy time it is now ey! Illness and isolation… and a fair bit of worry..
I’m writing this from my little self isolation bubble. After the government declared me as part of the “high risk” group, and recommended self isolation, I decided it definitely was wise.. although I’m not gonna lie, I had sort of already decided to do this anyway.. aaaand, just to clear this up, the government didn’t just class me, Charlotte, as a high risk person haha although that would have been very funny if they did that in the national speech on TV hahaha
Anyway, I became inspired by a fellow ostomate, as well as having already started this in some private conversations, but I decided I would share some ideas of what to do during self isolation, for those of you who feel a bit stuck with what to do, and maybe worried.
Self isolation is something I have done vary many times over the years, I just haven’t really called it self isolation, I’ve just called it rest, or “me time”, or nothing at all. Self isolation is something a lot of us with autoimmune illnesses practise all the time really. We tend to decline invites out, and avoid places with large gatherings of people if we are feeling weaker, or if it is the time of year where flues and colds are running wild. We take time to rest, recharge, and just be. Yes, sometimes it can feel frustrating, and often we, or I feel like I am letting people down by not always accepting invites, or by having to cancel last minute…but at the end of the day I have to think of number one…and that number one should be me.. Although I will admit, I’m not always the best at remembering this.
I’m not going to lie, at first when the corona virus broke out I didn’t really think much to it, then when it started spreading and other countries started going on lock down I had a little bit of a panic, but now I feel good, and in a way relieved.. Now let me explain, I am not relieved there is a virus going round the world making most of the people go crazy and panic buy the most bizarre things ever, haha, I am relieved that I have a chance to stay home and relax. I have time to stay home and rest, to do things I have wanted to do for a while at home, to be creative and to not feel a pressure from within myself or other people, to go out and do things.
So, I thought I’d share some ideas of things one can do when in isolation.
~ Read books – find new books or pick up an old favourite, or listen to an audio book if you find that easier, or read out loud, to yourself, family or pets.
~ Watch a good film or series, maybe even pull out those old family videos.
~ Try new recipes, teach yourself to cook or bake, or just refine your skills.
~ Be creative – creativity can be applied in so many areas really, and whether it is something you already have a skill in or that you want to learn more. Draw, paint, collage, macrame, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, the list can be endless. Fix your broken jewellery, make new jewellery out of the old ones. Mend broken clothes or even personalise some of your existing ones. Fix up your old furniture, give it new life. Or if nothing else then maybe make some plans with what you’d maybe want to do in the future.
~ Learn something new. How about learning a new language you’ve always wanted to speak. Duolingo is a great app for your smartphone to learn the basics of languages. My plan is to start learning another language, I’m just not sure which one to pick yet, but I think I am down to two, but I know several people who have really enjoyed duolingo so I have it downloaded and ready to go..once I decide which language I’m going to learn!
If you’d rather learn something else then thanks to Youtube the world really does become your oyster and you can start watching videos on how to maybe install that new oven you bought, or how to look after your old VW T2 water cooled engine… (those last two might potentially be something I look into during my isolation) or maybe learn how to juggle, I have already started this one this week, and if you don’t have juggling bolls then maybe bunch socks up and use them, you can find something to put inside for a bit of weight too and off you go. Maybe pick up singing lessons (I know my mum is offering online/Skype lessons) or pick up that instrument you’ve had sitting there for ages (yup, I am going to use mum and have singing lessons, and focus on practising on my bass playing too).
Or you can find an online course in something you’ve always wanted to learn more about.
~ Plan something. Do you have a dream? Somewhere you would love to go? Something you would Love to achieve? Start planning, make a storyboard or something, write down highlights or important things, draw pictures, cut pictures out of magazines, you name it!
~ If you have a garden, why not spend some time there, maybe prune the bushes, make a flowerbed ready to sow in. If you have plants inside then maybe give them some TLC, take little cuttings if you can and make new life as you watch them grow roots and then plant in soil for a new plant.
~ Exercise. There are a lot of different exercise videos and workouts on the internet, or make up your own routine. Try yoga, or dancing, or make your own little weights to use for home workouts, as well as using your own body weight. I am a huge fan of turning some good music up loud, preferably in the kitchen, and dancing like a maniac.
~ Meditate, even if just for 5 or 10 minutes a day. Ground yourself, focus on your breathing and your body.
~ If you have some household jobs that you have been pushing up then take advantage of this time and get them done, it will feel amazing once they are done and after isolation you can go back to normal life again and you wont have it hanging over you anymore.
~ Go through your wardrobe and remove clothes you won’t need, don’t need or don’t use anymore, keep hold of them until after isolation. There will most likely be a lot of families struggling financially so maybe ask friends and acquaintances, or post on facebook and say if anyone needs some clothes then you have some to give away. Kindness is worth so much.
~ Play a game, or put that jigsaw together. Do crosswords or finish that sudoku.
~ Listen to music. Find those old CD’s and relive the music you once loved, or find new music on the internet.
~Write. Write down what you are feeling, what you are thinking, what you are seeing. Whether you want to write a story, a poem, a song, a diary, or if its just a way of letting go of the thoughts and feelings, then do it! Grab yourself a pen and paper and let the pen flow! Or if you would rather type then let your fingers run away with you.
~ Catch up with friends, write them a message or call them, reach out to that friend you’ve been meaning to get in touch with before life got it the way and time flew by.
~ Give your pet some extra quality time, maybe try to teach it some new tricks, or give their home a good clean (obviously all depending on what animal you might have).
~ Pretend you are someone else. If you are struggling to break out of whatever you are feeling then maybe pretend to be someone else. Start thinking “what would they do?” or “how would they react?” It can be someone you know, a character from your favourite TV show or film, or a completely made up person. I personally have a few characters I like to pretend I am.. haha
~ Find yourself. Maybe take some time to figure out what you want to do in life, which paths you’d like to go down, things you want to try, things you’d like to change. Figure out the things you love and the things you dislike. Get to know yourself again.
Once you start opening up to the possibilities, and try to find the positives then the list of things can be endless, well at least for me. This has been my way of seeing this time and learning to enjoy it. At the moment I am feeling happy about being in self isolation. I feel it is the safest place for me, but also, I am very much in need of some “me time”. Time on my own. Time to find myself again. Time to do the things I enjoy. Time to do things in my own time. Time to not have anyone else give their opinion regarding what I am doing, how I am doing it or why I am doing it. If anything, the more I think about the possibilities of things I want to do, the more I feel like I will have a very busy few weeks ahead of me, but don’t get me wrong, I will be resting A LOT too, because I know that is what my body needs.
But most of all people, remember that if you do see someone through your window, smile. If you talk to someone, say something heartfelt and nice. Kindness is free, and we all need to pull together at a time like this.. but still keep our distance of course haha. So lets stay happy, and calm, and support each other and cheer each other along.
If at any point you have any questions, want advice or anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I know sometimes I am a bit slow at replying, but I will reply to you!
Look after yourself, stay warm, drink plenty of water, get rest, enjoy some good food, healthy foods, and please avoid ibuprofen (if you need to take painkillers then stick to paracetamol).
Let your emotions out, cry a bit, scream a little (but maybe prewarn anybody in the house so they don’t get worried). Be happy. Be silly. Be happy silly. Smile a lot. Laugh a lot.
Lots of love to you all ❤️