A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at www.travelchook.com
Published April 6th 2020
Is self-isolation a golden opportunity in disguise?
Self-isolation could be the only time in your life that you ever get the opportunity to do things you normally never have time to do, or would normally never make the time to do. Basically, self-isolation could be a memorable enjoyable and positive life-changing experience, or a nightmare, and it all comes down to just one thing, your approach. Will you approach self-isolation as a restriction, or as an opportunity?
Here is a list of my top twenty things to do in self-isolation.
1. FILM: Make a film on your property with your smartphone. It could be a cooking comedy, a chores comedy, a how-to film, or anything you can dream up. Edit it and share with friends and/or the general public. Organise a 'viewing' night, remotely, where you upload your masterpiece to YouTube.
2. CAREER COURSE: Do an online course to gain new knowledge and skills with the goal of getting the edge of everyone else, starting a new career now, or when this coronavirus stuff is over, because one day it will be over and you want to be prepared to hit the ground running.
3. HOBBY COURSE: Do an online course to learn a new fun hobby which you can enjoy at home during the self-isolation period, and hopefully beyond (like drawing or painting or creating a website or screenwriting or novel writing – get the idea?)
4. COCKTAIL PARTY: Throw a remote cocktail party for yourself and enjoy different beverages whilst playing your favourite tunes. Alternatively, arrange a remote date with another household, organise a few cocktail recipes, stock up separately in advance, and hold the party via Facetime or other electronic means.
5. CONNECT: Catch up remotely with family and that you've been meaning to connect with but haven't had a chance…until now. Do the catchups via phone, Facetime, email, Skype, Zoom, Slack, or other internet methods.
6. PHOTOBOOK: Make a photobook of your life, your last holiday, your pet, or your family (download free software from Momento or Snapfish to name a couple). I've used both and both companies are great. Snapfish is cheaper, but Momento's software is easier to use and more flexible with a heavier style book.
7. READ: Read fiction books and escape into another world. Alternatively, read non-fiction and work on self-improvement or gain new knowledge or skills and learn about another world. I like to buy my fiction in eBook format and my non-fiction in physical format.
8. WATCH: Get blissfully lost in another time and place by watching new movies or old favourites. Or, binge watch a TV series! Oh, and don't forget watching hysterical YouTube clips on funny horses, bears, cats, and dogs. You'll be smiling in no time.
9. PAMPER: Carry out your own beauty spa treatments. Order everything you need at your favourite online stores, scrubs, masks, the works. Light candles, play music, drink your preferred beverage and pamper yourself silly. We all feel so much better when we look after ourselves. You may never again have more time than you do right now. Enjoy!
10. BUSINESS: Start planning or running that business you always dreamed of, particularly if it's an online business. Otherwise, start the planning process, so you are ready to go when things eventually get back to some kind of normal and can hit the ground running.
11. DANCE OR KINECT: Move your body using Xbox Kinect and fun exercise games like Dance Central or, Your Shape Fitness Evolved (second hand on eBay) or just dance till you drop. The fittest I ever was, was when I used the Kinect to play energetic games that were so much fun I didn't notice how much I huffed, puffed and perspired until it was over. Alternatively, put on your favourite dance album and dance! Dance is great for cardio, toning, and best of all it is fun and an incredible mood enhancer.
12. COOK: Find new recipes online and make them. Experiment and create your own recipes. Cook stuff you actually really want to eat, obviously! Then photograph your meal, put it on Facebook and make everyone else drool over it.
13. WRITE: Write poetry, lyrics, a novel, a screenplay, diary entries, letters, thoughts, what you are grateful for, or even your life story. Just get what is in your head out on paper. It's cathartic!
14. RE-ORGANISE: Make a space you hate into a space you love! Choose a room or cupboard you are not a fan of and transform it. There are still heaps of online stores to order cushions, furniture, pictures, rugs, storage containers and so on, from. It's fun and brings daily rewards. I transformed my laundry. Every time I walk in there now, I smile. I feel so uplifted. To make re-organising a new hobby as well, consider buying a canvas and paints online and painting your own picture to hang.
15. MEDITATE: This will help you appreciate self-isolation. If you don't know how to meditate, look it up on the net, buy a book or just sit still, close your eyes, and observe your thoughts as if you were a third party, without dwelling on any of them, let them all just pass by.
16. BLOG or VLOG: Create a blog or vlog (video log) of your days in isolation to help others who may be interested in how you are maximising your self-isolation or who may identify with your thoughts and want to connect with you.
17. GET YOUR MUSO ON: Learn a musical instrument. Get a guitar, keyboard or other instrument, and learn to play it. If you already play, expand your playlist and write your own tunes. Become the closet rockstar you always knew you could be.
18. GAMES: Play boardgames! Go nuts. Set up like a games party night for your household with drinks, mood lighting, the game of course and snacks. If you are alone, do the same, but play games online, like online scrabble with others or against the computer. If you don't have any good games, buy them online and have them delivered.
19. TEACH YOUR PET, PARTNER OR KIDS: Teach your pet loads of new tricks. Or, train up your kids, flatmate or partner (good luck with that last one, but you can have fun trying!) By the end of self-isolation your pet may be across the entire English language and understand anything you say. There are plenty of pet training videos on the internet. Your pet will love the one-on-one time with you and the results of a few months training will last a lifetime.
20. REFLECT: One day, eventually, you will go back to your normal, crazy, rushed busy life. Having this extra time at home may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, don't live to regret not taking advantage of it to live a different way, plan for the future, learn something fun or meaningful, explore different parts of yourself, try new things, relax, tune into the quiet, and appreciate the down-time with yourself or your household.
I view this time of self-isolation as a staycation. I have so much time to complete my To Do List that there is no hurry. I'm enjoying the process. There is no pressure to finish my list now. I feel quite free.