Updated: Mar 18, 2020
As most of us find ourselves adapting to a new, and uncertain, way of working, we've put together a brief guide on making the most of your self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK:
1. Slow down
Whilst we are aware that everyone's individual situations differ, and each carry their own set of difficulties and challenges, we hope that the mandated self-isolation and temporary slowdown can be used as an opportunity for many of you to adjust your pace accordingly, and use this time to take a breather.
Sure, these are stressful times, so we know this is easier said than done, but here are some tips to help calm your mind during this time:
Master the art of meditation
If you haven't already taught yourself how to meditate, then now is a good time. Apps like Calm and Headspace are extremely successful for a reason. With simple mental exercises through your phone, we guarantee you will be feeling more at easy within moments.
If, for good reason, you'd like to minimise your phone usage, there are many books to choose from to help guide you through this calming and centring journey. Read The Evening Standard's Top 10 recommendations, here.
Self-soothe with aromatherapy
Aromas are a good way to calm your senses and help you focus more on your breathing, too. Whether you're a fan of incense, ambient spray, or scented candles, try out some of your favourite essences to calm you down and lift your mood. Here are some of our favourites:
Practise some yoga
It is absolutely vital to move and stretch your body during your time indoors. Just 10 minutes following a guided yoga session is guaranteed to make you feel at ease. All you need is a mat (like this affordable one) and simply follow a YouTube tutorial on your computer or TV.
The popular Adriene Mishler has over 6M subscribers on her YouTube channel (at the time of writing) so she's a good place to start your yoga journey.
Read a book
The old "pick up a book" therapy technique. Reading is such an important activity, particularly in today's day and age, where most of our information is communicated to us electronically - either via various tabs on our computer windows, or switching between apps on our phones. Reading helps you to focus and re-train your brain to simply focus in on one task, the one at hand.
We recommend using a site like Goodreads to have even more fun with your reading, curating your own lists (what to read, what you're currently reading, and what you've read) and perusing other people's reviews.
The simple idea of getting lost in a novel or learning new concepts is enough to make us want to dust off our old favourites from the bookshelves and get stuck in.
Employ your own "grounding rituals"
Some people like to start their day with a shower and end it with a nighttime walk, others like to go for a lunchtime workout and light a candle as it gets dark out. Whatever your little routines are, try to stick to these as much as possible during your period of self-isolation to keep you sane.
2. Get creative
Flipping the negative into a positive, use this time as an exciting opportunity - whether it's to set aside time to write that book you always said you would, or coming up with an entrepreneurial new concept - like a webinar series or developing a niche, new community.
Either way, self-isolation during the Coronavirus outbreak can definitely be used as a rare opportunity to break from the norm and all the other usual distractions that come with it.
Make a cup of tea, put on your favourite music, and get in the zone!
(If you do create something from this experience, the team at Amplenary would LOVE to see what you came up with! Please drop us an email sharing your exciting new project).
3. Keep active
It is imperative to look after your body, as well as your mind, during your self-isolation period.
Just because you have to stay indoors does not mean you can't exercise. We talked about online yoga in the first point, but consider extending this physical exercise to other online fitness tutorials, too. We can also recommend Fitness Blender, an online video-based fitness platform, Nike's NTC app, available here, and Lilly Sabri's ab burner exercises.
Get some fresh air
Short outings like a visit to the park or a walk around your neighbourhood are fine during this time. Governmental guidance requires you to maintain social distancing and keep at leat 2m away from people, so bear this in mind.
As a very fun and easy alternative to get your heart rate up, we can highly recommend putting on your favourite music (70s funk for Stephanie, trance for Maria and reggae for Reena!) and making some moves in your own kitchen! Instant endorphin rush ;)
Remember to keep yourself hydrated! Spending lots of time indoors is an easy way to forget that you still need to look after yourself, and that includes drinking 2L of water a day.
Have a morning shower to awaken the senses and surround yourself in our important natural element, too!
Watch your favourite movies, revel in some online comedy, cook your favourite meals, and go old school by picking up the phone and calling a friend! If there was ever a time to enjoy these things guilt-free - it's now.
Self-isolation definitely does not mean you have to feel isolated. Thankfully, we are living in an age of hyper-connectivity, where virtual relationships are just as important and valid as the ones made IRL (in real life, for non-millennials!)
Depending on your sector, interests, location, etc. there are a myriad of online communities for you to be a part of. Some of these operate as online forums, some are email lists, some are WhatsApp groups, and some are social media groups (like Facebook or LinkedIn Groups).
People come together in a time of crisis, and the importance of community is even more heightened now.
We sincerely hope these tips not only help you to manage this turbulent and uncertain time, but motivate you to see the light in the dark and transform an uneasy situation into one of exciting opportunity.
If you are a freelancer or small business owner, please consult Enterprise Nation's online support centre for more help. For other guidance on Coronavirus, please check the news and follow Public Health England (PHE) here.
We'd love to know how you all get on and what you thought of our recommendations, so please feel free to drop us a note here.
Stay safe, everyone!
This blog post was written by Stephanie Melodia, co-founder of Amplenary and personal branding lead. Stephanie is also the founder of startup marketing agency, Bloom, the host of founder podcast, Time to Bloom, and scout for Ada Ventures.
Amplenary is a unique, 5-week programme for ambitious professionals and entrepreneurs. Blending together areas of neuroscience, executive coaching, and personal branding for the very first time, this is a turbo-charged self-development programme unlike any other.
Please note none of the brands mentioned or links shared here are sponsored or affiliated. All Amplenary opinions are unpaid and entirely our own, unless otherwise stated.