For Women, By Women

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2020

How to make social isolation work for you

1st for Women Insurance recently spoke to Nikki Temkin, journalist of 20 years and accredited functional health and wellness coach. In this article, Nikki explores how we can use the lockdown to our advantage, finding meaning and joy in the things we usually take for granted.

Lockdown has been challenging on so many levels. We’re simply used to having our freedom – the freedom to eat out, go to the gym, work from an office, visit the mall, and all the other things that have been curtailed. Human beings are social creatures and we’re used to gathering, congregating, visiting, entertaining, meeting and socialising. The introverts among us might perhaps find this time a little easier yet we all have a need to connect with others in our own way. Plus, we’ve had to adjust to a new and strange way of life with all the uncertainty and stress that the Coronavirus has caused

In wellness coaching we look for ways to reframe things, to change the narrative and to look for opportunities for growth. Yet, we all have different situations, capacities and energy levels so these are simply suggestions that might help make this time a little easier—there’s no need to feel pressured to perform or achieve or be super productive. Some of us might find that we have more time and some of us might actually have less time and this can also change daily. What can you do to make lockdown work for you?

  • Learn something. Is there a course or a project that you’ve been longing to do for a while but haven’t had the time or headspace? If you’re needing more stimulation, or feel a bit bored, now might be the time to dig into that photography, drawing, meditation, cooking, or writing course or make those photo books. If there are things you can learn that might help you to upskill in your chosen career then research what’s out there that could add value to your offering - perhaps it’s social media, digital marketing or branding, etc. There are many specials on offer right now and some of these courses might even be for free. This means that you’ll emerge from this period feeling more fortified and ready to face whatever comes next.
  • Clean it up. Being at home so much, you might have noticed how you’re hoarding things you don’t need or that you haven’t cleaned out that your cupboard for years. There are many out there who are less fortunate who may appreciate what you no longer need or use. Getting rid of clutter also helps us to feel more in control and even more mentally focused. Just pick a drawer, cupboard or shelf and begin.
  • Connect to others. Being a hermit might work for a while but there’s a reason that we form friendships outside of our immediate family. Send a message to someone that you haven’t been in touch with for a while, check in with that great aunt who lives alone, engage on your neighborhood WhatsApp and chat on your moms’ group. And Facetime with friends and family.
  • Move it. Get online and move your body to the myriad of offerings out there. Whatever you choose to do from yoga and Pilates to aerobics and tai chi or simply walking on the spot or jumping on the trampoline, keeping moving and staying strong will get the blood flowing and keep you mentally healthy.
  • Give to others. When things are tough, helping people in need can be very uplifting. Find out which ways you can assist – whether it’s providing food or donating money to a charity. Or maybe it’s just being there for someone who is struggling There are very few things that increase our feeling of wellbeing as much as kindness.

Enjoy the simple things. Go back to basics with board games, talking to your kids without distractions, listening to and playing music, and strolling in the garden if you have one. Notice the small things, the taste of a fruit, the sound of birds and the feeling of a bubble bath. All the little things we take for granted can bring us much joy if we just bring awareness to them.

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