The prospect of living on your own during a time of isolation is daunting for many. But Fear not! If you’re rattling around four walls on your lonesome (as I am), there are many ways to connect and energise during the next few weeks.
On Wednesday, 25 March 2020, New Zealand entered an Alert 4 lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Two days prior, my workplace disbanded. We were all sent home to prepare our home offices to work business as usual.
I’m a highly relational person. Connection is vital to my wellbeing. On one hand, I revel in being on my own (I’m primarily an introvert and I adore doing my own thing). However, I care deeply about others, and when there is emotional distance and no interaction, I often find it unsettling. It’s weird but that’s just the way I am!
Below are five things that have kept me sane this past week.
Enjoying Simple Pleasures
Spoiling yourself is guaranteed to soothe the Covid-19 blues. Every day I make a point of doing something that is indulgent. Sometimes it’s a bath or a meditation. I’m luxuriating with yummy home-cooked meals and good coffee. Whilst grocery shopping this week, I even treated myself to a bunch of flowers.
Quality Time With Loved Ones
It’s still possible to spend quality time with loved ones when you are in another country.
During the past few days, family and friends have been phoning, messaging or Facebook messaging to say, “hi” and to compare experiences. Thankfully I come from a close-knit, loving family who are choosing to catch up daily via video call.
In the next week, I’m also arranging some coffee dates with friends, along with the occasional cocktail hour thrown in for good measure.
Listening and playing music lifts the spirits. Around the world, communities are finding creative ways to musically connect whilst abiding self-isolation.
In Italy there was a lovely story doing the rounds on social media about communities coming together in a flashmob. According to my sister, apartment blocks in inner London are also entertaining one another with local musicians sitting on their balconies playing well-known tunes and neighbours singing along.
If music is your thing, get creative with your neighbours. My next door neighbour is also learning guitar and ukelele (just like me). I’m also a keen singing. And another neighbour whose front porch is in close proximity of both of us enjoys listening. So, there may be some fun happening in the next couple of weeks.
Here in New Zealand, during lockdown, we’re allowed to go out for a local walk in nature, a local bike ride or a run. A good dose of fresh freshens you up and it’s an opportunity to burn off any excess energy.
I’m very lucky that I have a special part of Nelson technically considered ‘around the block’. The track leads me to a summit with beautiful views and past trees laden with fresh figs that are not yet quite ripe.
Additionally, there is an Australian yoga teacher offering doing a class via Zoom on a Sunday night. What better way to end the week!
Oh, and if you are so inclined, you can also dance like no one’s watching!
Lamenting the absence of your trusty massage therapist or beautician? It doesn’t need to be that tragic.
Self-care often gets placed on back-burner in our normal, every day lives. However, right now we have the opportunity to look after ourselves in many ways. Options are endless but here are just a few ideas…
- Focus on trying to get the sleep you need
- Enjoy epsom salt and aromatherapy baths
- Indulge in manicures and pedicures
It’s a stressful time for everyone with uncertainty and fear. However, now more than ever it’s crucial to be kind to ourselves and to those around us during this lockdown. Step away from the morose media articles.
Be gentle and considerate of those working in supermarkets and pharmacies who are encountering unprecedented chaos. We need to be respectful and look after their wellbeing as much as we look after our own. And why not celebrate these people when we can!
This Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented challenges it poses are not insurmountable. There are abundant opportunities for self-care, compassion and connection.
I met a lovely lady at the supermarket checkout today who was shopping for elderly neighbours. Smile when you see others in the distance. Your cheerful friendliness will be the only contagion transmitted.
Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay.