How to survive covid isolation and keep your sanity.
It could be the current crisis or the fact that you don’t know what you’re missing out on ’til it’s gone, but it seems that staying home and having a mega Netflix marathon is no longer what any of us want to be doing. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m completely and utterly obsessed with Tiger King (hmu for a few conspiracies if you’ve got a few hours to spare), but I’d almost give up the whole world of big cats for 2019 to take me tf BACK.
It seems as though we’ll be meme-ing, eating and probably crying our way through #isolyf for the foreseeable future. There are only so many Instagram Lives one can watch and sometimes self-care just doesn’t cut it. But if you find yourself constantly questioning the meaning of life (can relate) fear not, because this might just help you reach some kind of existential plateau.
So put the box dye down and dry your weary little eyes bc this is your one-stop shop to navigating isolation and making it out the other side without driving yourself crazy or feeding your husband to your pet tiger.
1. Keep a journal
Probably the most cliché suggestion, but honestly the most effective. This is something I’ve been doing for a long time, mostly to help stop myself from spiralling into a deep abyss of anxiety but also to put current events/the latest plot twist on Grey’s Anatomy (c’mon Shonda, REALLY?!)/potential impending disasters into perspective. This is also the perfect way to start practising gratitude — just list a few things you’re grateful for each day and go from there.
2. Segment your day into “micro-moments”
I can’t take credit for this one (shout out to @leandramcohen) but if you, like me, tend to overthink anything and everything, this could be your key to making it through without catastrophising every little moment throughout the day. It’s easy to slip into the habit of hitting the pillow berating yourself for doing nothing but binging Netflix, changing from your day PJ’s to your bed PJ’s and (maybe) making your bed just to be back in it a few hours later.
But forget the “How is [insert person’s name here] building her business/working out more than ever/living my dream life?!”, and instead divide your day into blocks of micro-moments and tasks that you can and will accomplish. This could include blocking out a few minutes to make your bed, do your laundry, cook and eat a healthy meal or call your mum. What we’re dealing with is so far out of the ordinary that you deserve a *figurative* pat on the back for doing ordinary things. I get it, it’s hard. So try micro-moments to satisfy your over-achieving self. Promise this won’t let you down.
3. Daily pros and cons lists
What started as a joke on my IG story quickly propelled into an iconic daily ritual that I now look forward to creating. It’s refreshing, calming and adds a bit of comic relief to my day. You can riff off achievements, your family’s daily drama or your very own sadness, bc who doesn’t love a little bit of self-deprecation during a crisis (just remember: you’re THRIVING boo). It’s a simple three-step formula: make a table, write a pro, add a con. And there you have it — instant perspective on day ??? of isolation.
4. Up your sexting game
Calling all you iso couples pining for the star-crossed love of your life or whatever while you’re both locked up in different suburbs (sad). But also all you horny singles. And no, I’m not going to tell you that this is not a good time to be single, because there has been no better time to be perfectly lonely and learn to be happy within yourself. Sexting may be a time-old tradition circa the invention of instant messaging, but how many of you can confidently say you’ve nailed the technique?
Whether you’re talking dirty with your long term boo or a new Hinge/Grindr/Bumble conquest (or three — no judgement here), there has never been a more pertinent time to perfect your (cunni)lingual skills. Not sure how to sext? Google it, bro. Or better yet, blast some Doja Cat and let your freak flag fly.
5. Write down something new you notice each day
Courtesy of @manrepeller (an account you should definitely follow if you have any sense of humour at all), this is yet another technique I have adopted recently that a) grounds you and b) pulls you into the present. Take note of something that grabs your attention — it could be seen, heard or a super existential realisation that stops you in your tracks and even offers a mind-blowing revelation. It’s a time to be poetic, be raw, be in the moment. There’s no limit for this one, and you’ll be surprised how much detail slips by your wandering mind every day.
6. Become one with nature
Or whatever that means… But seriously, with most of working from home and spending more time than ever inside (and idk about you but my screen time is way more than I care to admit), we’re all in need of a little Samuel Taylor Coleridge in our lives. There’s a reason why the soothing sounds of a babbling brook on the Calm app will put you right to sleep, and it’s because being in nature (or tricking your brain into thinking it’s in nature) offers a healing and restorative experience. So for a hike, hug a tree, visit your local park, meditate; the list goes on — just make sure you’re sticking to social distancing rules.
7. Learn every TikTok dance you see
If you told me a month ago I’d be addicted to TikTok I’d have laughed in your face and probably dismissed you as a simp. But now, I’m lucky if I can go a few hours without scrolling my ‘For You’ feed and grooving along to the Carole Baskin bop (IYKYK). I don’t know if it’s the relatable scenarios, catchy tunes or
super attractive guys timely comedic relief, but there’s something about throwin’ it back (can u handle that?) that really pulls ya in. If you find yourself in a slump, I highly recommend giving one of these dances a crack. You might not nail it but you’ll definitely make yourself (and your entire family) laugh.
8. Channel your inner Britney
Not sure if you’re aware but the Instagram account of one Ms. Britney Spears is so iconic it rivals all her chart-toppers. Between this and her participation in the #DoYourPartChallenge, Britney is the hero we don’t deserve. Her account is a visual delight of memes, positive affirmations, carefree selfies and whatever tf this dance is. My point is that now may not be the best time for all of us to get too serious about ourselves. Perhaps it’s the time to start dancing to the beat of your own drum. Take a cue from Brit and do what makes you feel good.