Staying strong on your own – how to look after yourself when you’re stuck inside

It’s all about coronavirus right now. I don’t think I’ve gone more that an hour without hearing something about it or hearing about some big change to our lives because of it for days, whether that’s the powerlifting meet you were training for being cancelled or being told to interact less with other people. Many of us are being asked to completely change our lives and either self isolate of work from home for the foreseeable future. This is a new way of existing that we aren’t used to. Its going to take some effort to look after ourselves while this happens, many of us will doubtless battle with cabin fever and anxiety of the coming days but there are little things that we can do to help.

So how can we look after ourselves when we’re stuck in the house?:

Keep in contact with people: This is particularly important for those that live alone. It’s important to be able to stay in touch with people so that we feel less isolated, we aren’t designed to exist on our own so make the most of the fact that we live in the digital age and can stay in touch with people that way. You could schedule Skype or FaceTime calls with family or friends, or maybe use what’s app groups to stay in touch with people.

Keep a sense of normality: The novelty of working in your pjs on the sofa wears off pretty quickly. It’s important to keep some sense of routine going, particularly in the morning and at the end of the day, without that, sleep quality and your general mood can really suffer. A routine can help you keep a sense of moving and progressing through the day.

Keep work and non-work time separate: For those of us who are working from home, there’s going to be a temptation for a lot of people to keep chipping at the emails at all hours when other things are happening while wfh. That’s great if its occasional but you need to make sure that you’re getting some down time. The best split of work and non-work time may be different for different people, for example for some people it might be easier to do some of their hours after the children have gone to bed.

Set yourself targets and track how you get on with achieving them: This goes for both work targets and keeping yourself occupied outside of work time. Again this is about helping to keep a feeling of progress and movement going when its harder to see what is going on around you. If we have something to keep working towards then time doesn’t feel like it’s been wasted and we have a constant sense of progress and achievement.

Is there anything this year that you wanted to achieve that you could use the down time to do? Maybe you want to read more? What about finally learning to play the guitar you’ve got hiding in the cupboard (the Yousician app is a great option for this)? You can learn almost anything on line through FutureLearn and apps like Skillshare and Masterclass. 

Keep some variety in your life: There’s a risk of just ending up sprawled in front of your tv or laptop if you’re stuck at home but there are plenty of other options. Podcasts and audiobooks can be a great option if you want a bit of background noise. I’ve included a random selection below of some potential ideas of things you can do when you’re not working if you do get stuck in to prove there are a lot of them!

  • Read
  • Meditate
  • Learn to paint with Skillshare
  • Catch up on podcasts
  • Listen to Audiobooks
  • Catch up on the films you’ve been meaning to watch
  • Use DuoLingo App to learn French
  • Online Yoga Class
  • Get those chores done
  • Use MiMo App to learn to code
  • Start a journal
  • Try writing that novel
  • Use Yousician to learn to play the Ukelele
  • Take some online courses on FutureLearn
  • Try online karaoke
  • Clear out the cupboard that you’ve been meaning to hit for months…
  • Crosswords
  • Work on or start your blog
  • Write your bucket list for when things get back to normal
  • Catch up with friends
  • Pay board games
  • Build Lego Models

Keep moving: We all need to keep moving to look after our health. That’s not easy if you’re stuck inside but where there is a will there’s a way,  I have great plans for a broom stick and resistance bands to try to keep my training going if it comes down to it…. You could walk on the spot while you watch the TV, maybe you have an exercise bike hiding somewhere doubling up as a clothes horse, or maybe you can stick some music on and dance. I know some people have gone out and ordered some inexpensive gym kit. There are online class options as well, three of my favourite online yoga sites are Dana Falsetti’s online Yoga studio (she is basically my yoga hero) and then Yogaia and Movement for Modern life, they’re all a bit different. 

Hope that some of this is useful. If anyone is suffering from extreme cabin fever or anxiety during all of this them remember to reach out to someone we’re all going through this and that person may be longing to talk to someone just as much as you are. We all need to be there to support each other more than ever. 

As I said at the beginning the most important thing is look after yourself and everyone else! Stay safe.

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