Finding Joy in Self-Isolation
The world feels a little different lately, doesn’t it?
If you’re like us, the terms, ‘self-isolation’ and ‘social-distancing’ are starting to sound like curse words – which also means you’re probably feeling antsy about getting out and seeing your favorite people again.
While it’s critical to follow the prevention measures for COVID-19 recommended by the CDC (washing our hands, maintaining a safe distance from each other, etc.), it’s important to remember that social distancing and self-isolation DO NOT mean social isolation and entrapment.
–> Also see the CDC’s recommendations for managing COVID-19 at home
Despite the difficulty, there are plenty of ways to stay connected and find joy through this challenging time, even while we’re self-isolating and social distancing.
The key is: Choosing to stay active… and not just physically.
Choose to stay active: mentally, physically and socially
With all that’s going on, it’s easy to feel out of control. We can’t see our enemy, and we can’t control it or fight it. But, choosing to strengthen your mind, body and spirit are all things you can control. By staying engaged, we can reclaim our selves and our freedom.
As much as you can, try to stay active in all three of the categories listed below to help you rediscover your joy. Read the creative ideas below to stay happy throughout your self-imposed isolation and social distancing.
Because joy and happiness are also contagious!
Creative ways to stay happy, healthy, and connected during COVID-19
#1 Strengthen your mind
Arguably the most challenging part of this whole COVID-19 pandemic is keeping a positive mental state of mind. But staying mentally active (in a healthy way) is the most important step you can make during this time.
Just like from our previous blog about fueling your happiness tank, it all begins with your perspective or your ‘lens’ on life. When people find ways to focus on the positive (through daily choices and habits), they can change the lens through which they view their reality and actually become happier. Powerful stuff, huh?
–> Watch Shawn Achor’s full TED Talk on 'How to Be Happier' here
Remind yourself that change is a part of life, and humans have been adapting to change since the dawn of time – that means you are adaptive by nature. Take this time to adapt and change positively, so when it’s over you’ll be able to take on more difficult challenges.
Try these ideas to delight your mind and calm your spirit
- Plan future trips and explore the world via Google Earth
- Get lost in a good book – Now’s your chance to practice deep reading!
- Meditate with Headspace. They even have some COVID-19 specific meditation practices available entitled, Navigating Change.
- Start learning the basics of a new language on Duolingo or Memrise
- Watch an Explore.org Livecam from around the world
- Relax as you watch an artist create beautiful things
- Limit the number of times you check the news throughout the day. It’s great to stay updated, but too much news can breed anxiety. Aim to check the news two to three times per day or less.
#2 Strengthen your body
Movement causes the release of endorphins (happy chemicals) so be sure you maintain a physical movement routine, such as a daily walk, yoga, etc. to keep your body happy.
Try these ideas to keep that blood pumping and your curiosity piqued
- Get outside! Taking a walk around the park, hiking, and getting outside to breathe in all that fresh air are all great ways to practice social distancing. Just remember to avoid large groups outside, and keep your distance from anyone else doing the same. If you're limited by mobility, just sit in your backyard for some fresh air. Soaking up some sunshine is a great mood-booster too (but don’t forget to wear sunscreen)!
- Self Care/Pampering
- Get into that spring cleaning so you’ll be ready for the warmer weather
- Get on that outstanding project you’ve been putting off
- Take photos around the house, artsy ones, outdoor ones, play with light and composition, and really experiment
- Try some new recipes with the family
#3 Strengthen your social interactions
Introvert or extrovert, we all need connection, whether it’s a little or a whole lot. We are so lucky to live in a time where we can stay connected with each other with a simple internet connection - so take advantage of it! Try to resist the urge to only talk about this pandemic. It’s the hot topic lately but dive deep into your conversations with your friends and family.
Try these ideas to remain a social butterfly, and stay connected with people you love
- Plan phone calls, Google Duos, and Facetimes with family and friends
- Call your grandmother/grandfather
- Start a virtual club like a book club, wine and cheese club, movie club – whatever!
- Write a meaningful letter to someone you love
- Break out the board games like Pandemic (couldn’t resist), charades with the family, or a classic game of chess with a friend – online of course
- Try some fun new activities with the kids
We’re in this together
Feeling cut-off and lonely is natural in a time like this. But making positive little choices on a day-to-day basis will help you find your joy in self-isolation and social distancing. Remember, you’re not alone, and there’s joy to be found, if you choose it.
Here are two e-books on COVID-19 awareness and management from issuu to help you:
- Coronavirus Awareness Guide
- United Nations’ Guide to Help Reduce Your Risk of the Coronavirus Infection