The Anxious Girl’s Guide To Isolation

Hey y’all, and welcome to Lockdown. If you’re a fellow kiwi, or whether your country is already in quarantine-mode, you’ll be bunkered down and preparing for several weeks of isolation.

So, unfortunately, today’s blog is brought to you by Covid-19 – and our global battle in fighting it. It’s really important to note, that by staying home, we are all saving lives. Very literally, saving lives.

If you’re anything like me, these last few days and weeks may have triggered a little bit of stress and panic. It’s quite a solemn thing to hear your Prime Minister announce a nationwide lockdown, that shit IS SERIOUS, and when you fully process it, it does bring on some unwanted thinking.

So, today I present: ‘The Anxious Girl’s Guide to Isolation’.

Know Your Sources

First and foremost, keep updated with the news but, be aware of what you’re reading. There are so many journalists and so many opinions out there, so it’s important to read and focus on those official government updates in your country. In New Zealand I suggest sticking to www.covid19.govt.nz and watching the updates on Channel One News – which airs around midday, daily.

I found I got more anxious with the more News Sites I scrolled through. Yes the articles out there are mostly factual and informative, but they are also infested with sadness and distress. When the world is in global crisis, mental health is important, and sometimes leaving these articles be, is the ‘ignorant bliss’ you need to keep yourself safe and healthy.

  • Limit yourself to two official forms of updates.
  • Stay focused on local events and local coverage.
  • Don’t spend all day burying yourself in facts and stats online.
  • This is only temporary.

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Lockdown doesn’t mean locked in

Make sure you understand, that in lockdown, you can still leave your house. In fact, it has been exceedingly encouraged by the Prime Minister, to do just that. Fresh air, and wide open spaces, are great for mental health. Moving our bodies has been shown to decrease levels of tension, boost our mood, improve the quality of our sleep, and improve self-esteem. I’m sure we can all understand and appreciate how exercise helps our anxious minds when the world is good, so need I say how important it is now that the world is in a state of emergency?

If your anxiety overwhelms the possibility of leaving your gate, or you live in an apartment building where leaving home isn’t an option, please at least open a window. Let the sun and air in as much as possible. Put music on and dance, keep moving that beautiful body of yours. And, please remember, that even though we can’t venture far, physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing. Talk about what is going on, share your concerns and thoughts about everything with friends and family; you will not be the only one who is thinking these things.

  • Go for a walk/run. Take those in your isolation space with you, or go for a solo walk.
  • Get someone to meet you at the beach or a local park. Just remember to keep your 2-metre-minimum distant.
  • Video-chat your friends and be creative with social media.
  • Do online yoga classes – I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene.
  • This is only temporary.

Keep A Routine

This applies to both those who are working from home during the isolation period, and to those who are not. I cannot emphasise enough, how important it is to try and maintain a normal life as much as you can. I’m not saying set an alarm for 6am, but make your bed every morning, have meals at regular intervals, schedule in your washing, put time aside to workout, and open your curtains!

If you do need to work from home: Designate a space away from your relaxing and sleeping areas, to assure the differentiation between working and having finished for the day. I suggest having a set up in an office or at a table where you work only; get dressed and out of pyjamas before you start, eat your lunch way from this space, go outside and have your afternoon cup of tea. Don’t go near that space unless you’re working.

If you’re lucky enough to not be working from home: Try and put some time aside in the first few days of isolation to figure out things you’d like to achieve over the lockdown period. A few examples:

  1. Learn a new language (e.g. sign language)
  2. Write a book, start a blog, or express yourself through poetry
  3. Organise your photos into albums/clean out your phone’s photo albums
  4. Do some gardening, and some DIY landscaping
  5. Perfect a handstand
  6. Alphabetically organise your books, CDs, & DVDs
  7. Meal prep
  8. Write letters to the grandparents
  9. Read ‘X’ amount of books
  10. Rearrange your room

This is also the perfect time for a solid Spring/Autumn clean – go through clothes, old papers, the cupboard when you throw all the junk, and rid yourself of anything you don’t need. Because, of course, a clean space helps with a clean mind.

  • Shower, get dressed, and make your bed everyday.
  • Schedule your days to optimise time and maintain some normality.
  • Divide your space into work and play – never mix the two. Make sure your clothing also represents what mode you are in.
  • Set goals that you can achieve from home.
  • This is only temporary.

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I think if we all follow these guidelines, isolation will become less daunting and more normal with everyday that comes. Remember:

  1. Know your sources
  2. Lockdown doesn’t mean locked in
  3. Keep a routine

It is okay to worry, and it is okay to find this scary – you’ll probably never see something this historic in your lifetime again. However, please remember that this is temporary. You are staying home to save lives, and to stay healthy. We will make it through this, and we – and the world – will resurface better than ever.

If you need to chat, please contact me on Instagram at @paigebolland.

Stay home, stay clean, stay safe, and unite against Covid-19. All of the love to you all.

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