Do you remember the last time you spent this much time at home? I don’t. Normally, my days start off at the office, followed by working with my team on Rab3i, a social inclusive buddying platform we’ve founded, then going to the gym for an hour followed by coffee with my training partners and finally coming back home to unwind with some quality family time and, of course, hanging out with my dog.
I must admit, the idea of social isolation scared me at first. As an extrovert, I recharge by being with other people, so I was concerned about how limited human interaction would affect me. Nevertheless, I tend to be quite optimistic, and a big part of me was excited to see what I would turn into during to isolation. Six weeks in, I have to say I could get used to this! Here are a few tips on coping with isolation – and actually enjoying it:
Connect, connect, connect
Do not let physical distancing get in the way of your relationships. Make it a point to make at least one personal call a day; call your grandparents, parents, siblings, friend, and colleagues. Bonus points if the call is with video.
You can even organize movie nights and game nights with your friends at weekends for a nice social (distanced) gathering. My personal favorite is Monopoly.
Stay physically active
I’ve been maintaining my fitness with home workouts using just a light pair of dumbbells and some bands and they’ve proven to be quite effective. Surprisingly, I’m in better shape today than I was pre-isolation! You can find these workouts on my Instagram highlights.
For the wannabe yogis out there, like me, this is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with different flows through online sessions – my favorite is Fightmaster Yoga on Youtube. A few sessions with her and you’ll gain the confidence to join a yoga class in person once we’re back to normal living.
If you have access to a garden or a balcony, try taking your workout outside so you can get some fresh air as well.
Pick up something new
If you’ve ever been looking for time to focus on a new hobby, now is a great opportunity. While many have picked up painting or making music, I’ve picked up a cat! Adopted of course. Unfortunately, many families have been letting go of their furry friends for fear that they may carry the virus, which studies show isn’t possible. Consequently, shelters and adoption agencies are overwhelmed. If you are able to, consider adopting or even fostering if you cannot commit to a lifetime furry friend. Your new furry family member will keep you entertained, busy and give you so much love!
Give time to the things you love
Our on-the-go lifestyles have pushed us to forget and de-prioritize the things in life that bring us joy. For me, that is cooking. Given that I no longer waste my time commuting from one location to another and now that I’m avoiding ordering in food due to associated risks, I have been making time to cook my meals. The best thing about it is that they are super healthy and I’ve been getting quite creative with them!
While this is the last tip, it is actually the most important. Remember to be grateful for being able to stay home and stay safe at this time. Remember to appreciate the workers in the field, from doctors and nurses to waste management, delivery service and supermarket staff. Finally, remember to be grateful for the life you are living – it is truly a blessing, regardless of this temporary circumstance.
- Abeer Amiri is an Emirati fitness enthusiast, friend of the environment and co-founder of @theadmovement & @rab3i.platform.