Firstly let me say that I know that I am extremely lucky in this time of global crisis to be in my situation. I can work at home, enjoy the countryside on my doorstep and stay in relative safety. As well as feeling super worried about all of you that are not as lucky. I feel truly blessed, grateful and honestly over privileged every single day. As well as super grateful for all the wonderful people in the world who are risking their lives to save others and support people like me.
And the reason I include this disclaimer is because for me this time has been a deep, deep learning process. A chance to step back, look at my life, start new and old habits that benefit me and much, much more.
When lock down started I decided to take this as an opportunity not a hindrance
Seeing non positive situations as an opportunity to learn is second nature to me. Just try reading my article how to hear what the universe is trying to tell you, to see what I mean. But in the last 6, 7, can’t remember weeks life lessons have just been pouring in. At an alarmingly rapid rate! About me, about life, about humankind and about community. And no not everything is rosy and hunkydory, although to be fair some of it is. Yet the non positive lessons have been catalysts for some deep internal work, habit changes and rethinking of my whole life that has to be fair, is long overdue.
Even though I do feel a little ashamed to have it so good. I am not sure if that is due to being overly privileged or simply my attitude or a combination thereof?
So I thought I would share with you today my top 8 isolation realisations in the hope that maybe they will inspire you:
I work best when I can define my day
Now this is something I always suspected but isolation has made it so, so apparent that I am most productive, most inspired and engaged when I can define my day. I love, love , love working from home. There is less pressure, less stress. And consequently I get more done and feel happier in general. When I am in charge of my schedule I am motivated. So that is a big thing I will be taking from isolation is that I have to be in charge of how I spend my day and take control of my work day rather than feeling out of control.
Motivation is all about finding your why
As my regulars will know I used to hate doing exercise. Although I logicall knew it needed to be done. And I would put it off always. Until my Mr T taught me that to get motivated you just need to remember why you are doing something and then you get on with it. If you want to find out more I check out this post on this amazingly simple secret to staying motivated.
Social Media is so powerful and enhances our lives when used to connect
Social media has had ALOT of bad press in recent times and yet now most of the world’s only human contact is via social media and internet connections like skype or zoom. And wow can you imagine how hard it would be to do this without it. Watch parties, live feeds are giving us a chance to really connect. And I don’t know about you guys but seeing famous people in their homes, into their real lives has certainly helped me to feel more connected to them than their ‘normal’ hollywood pr personas. Actively using social media as a connection tool, to reach out to other human beings, opposed to just scrolling through feeds to alleviate boredom, well its a damn powerful tool to build community, share real experiences not the fake insat ones and keep us close to the ones we love no matter where they are in the world.
I compare myself way to much to other people
One of the issues with using social media is that it sets off my inferiority complexes. Yes plural. Yes life coaches have them. Connecting with people on social media has in fact triggered this again. It was a good reminder to practice what I preach and remember to compare myself only to myself in the past and to see how far I have come. And at the same time I used these emotions to do some self coaching journaling to help me get to the root of these inferiority complexes and behaviour patterns that are so unhealthy for me. Consequently I feel better about myself and have started a healing process by using these negative emotions to understand more about myself.
I now have NO DOUBT that your perspective really truly does create your reality
I mean again I always knew this but now I am seeing it reaffirmed again and again and again. It is people’s attitude to isolation that is creating that experience. If you think this is rubbish, you are bored, you are frustrated and that is what you put out there that is what you are going to experience. However, if you take this time as an opportunity to learn something new, use your imagination to create fun experiences even in a one roomed flat, strengthen your bonds with your children and basically stop stressing about what you don’t have right now, you will have a better experience of isolation. I have seen key workers who are dealing with this virus and the consequences first hand having a better time than people isolating at home due to their mental approach to the situation. I myself have lost friends to this disease but I know they would not want me to stop getting the best out of life because of that. I kind of feel like I owe it to them to appreciate life more now, despite the isolation.
Isolation is showing you & giving you the responsibilty for shifting your energy!
Normally we get our energy boost from the people around us and the routines we have. But in isolations that’s hard. Either we are alone or the other people around us are also sick of being at home and have no energy. If we want an energy boost then we have to create it.Isolation is really good for making us more responsible for our mental states. If you want energy in the morning you are going to have to find a way to make it. Make a morning routine one that boosts your energy. So I would start by doing a brainstorm (in fact I did) about what gives you energy and incorporate these into your morning routine. If you want more inspiration check out Hal Elrods the miracle morning system. It’s amazing for starting the day the right way! This is a habit you can begin now and maintain once life goes back to ‘normal’. I love my morning training, reading and gratitude it makes me feel so great and ready for the day.
Sometimes the only way to feel positive is to fake it a little
Now I rarely advocate fake it til you make it but in these times I think it helps especially with COVID and staying positive. Mr T has began to send happy wave videos to friends. No message, just him, some happy music and a wave. Does he always feel as happy as he looks? Well no. But when he has sent them out he feels more positive. And when people send waves back he feels super energised and positive. He does it to try and make others feel happy despite how he is feeling and it gives him so much as well. So if you are feeling down writing down some things you are grateful for, making yourself dance around the kitchen to a happy song, making someone else smile or even sending a happy wave really does help you feel more positive than you did before.
Play, fantasy is the way to survive isolation
I am and always will be, a huge fan of play as part of work life balance, productivity and an anti stress tool. And it is so much more relevant here and now during the isolation. I don’t understand people that are bored. I am sorry I don’t. Because if you let your inner child run free I promise you that you will end up feeling energised. You need to let your imagination run riot and work with what you have got, the way you did as a child. Stop being a stuffy grown up and sitting in the tv watching the ever depressing news. It’s not going to help you feel better. Turn off the tv. Build a pillow fort. Miss going on holiday? Camp in the garden, no garden? Then have a picnic in the flat. Want to go to a restaurant but live alone? Organise a skype restaurant with a friend, dress up, light candles and talk.
During lock down I have spent hilarious evenings at a virtual pub, played Cards against humanity online with friends, gone to a home cinema to see Schazam complete with homemade tickets and pick n mix sweets, taken a virtual gallery tour with an art loving friend, tried cocktail making with a friends live feed, done harry potter quizzes live with Victoria Mclean and been to the home theatre virtually with a friend to see Cirque du soleil. Oh and done some colouring! This weekend I plan to spend the whole of Sunday in a pillow fort and being creative. One it will be fun and two I won’t be able to see the house and all the things I should be doing so I will get the chance to switch off and relax. (I highly recommend pillow fort days as a restorative exercise for adults).
No the world is not normal right now. No you can’t do all the things you want to do.But you can play. You can let your fantasy run wild. Playing makes you laugh. Laughing, being silly, releases endorphins and dopamine. And those are the happy hormones my friends. When they come out to play nothing ever seems quite so bad.
So what realisations and lessons have you had during the COVID isolation?
Let me know in the comments below
I hope you are all safe and well
And wherever you are in the world don’t forget to do your best to enjoy your journey