Note: This is a transcript of a video I posted on my YouTube channel about how to make a COVID-19 quarantine more bearable. It has been slightly edited for improved readability.
How to deal with the spread of COVID-19 ( Coronavirus ) is a very polarising and complex issue. So, in this video, I’m zooming in on just one aspect of this pandemic that is impacting people in a very tangible way. So, let’s talk about it!
Hi, I’m Leslie and I am a Life Coach based here in Brisbane, Australia. I feel like almost every conversation I have with a person face-to-face these days begins with some sort of physical contact negotiation like, ‘Oh hi! Do we hug? Do we fist bump? Elbow-tap? Like, what do we do?’ I’d love to greet everyone with a good old-fashioned butt bump, but that’s not always so well-received.
Countless businesses and schools around the world have been closed, so, more and more, people are either being forced to stay in their homes because they are infected with COVID-19 or they are being asked to voluntarily distance themselves to avoid contracting the virus and then spreading it to vulnerable people. Large public gatherings are being cancelled and that’s causing a lot of problems in industries related to hospitality and entertainment, etc. etc. This has really shaken things up in a big way. Some of us are still waiting for word of more shutdowns and more restrictions that will have us staying at home, so there is a lot of uncertainty in the air.
Some people have the option of working from home and if you’re one of them, how you spend your time may be pretty well decided for you. But some people can’t work from home, so they need to fill their time with other things. If you’re feeling really stressed about the prospect of staying home for a couple of weeks, here are some things you should consider doing to make the experience a lot more bearable:
1. Watch your language.
Words like Quarantine, isolation, lock-down… they can trigger an emotional response that can put you into a pretty negative state. If you’re hearing or using these words frequently and it’s making you feel anxious, reframe that shit, honestly. Yes, for some people, having to stay at home can have much more severe consequences than for some other people in terms of finances, social support and so on, but finding that gem in your personal context can really help change your perspective until the dust settles over all of this panic.
Compare these two statements: Ugh, the whole city is under lock-down and now I’m stuck in quarantine at home. Vs. Well, looks like I’m going to be doing stuff around the house for a while until this COVID19 thing blows over.
The second one is a lot more neutral than the first one. It’s not adding fuel to this fire that’s causing people to panic-buy things in bulk as if we’re facing some sort of weird zombie-apocalypse where the only thing that can stop the zombies is a direct headshot with a roll of toilet paper.
2. Freshen up your space.
Now might be a good time to complete a DIY project you started ages ago. Or maybe rearrange your furniture. Hang up some pictures. One thing I love to do when I have time is upcycling projects. We are a minimal waste family so we avoid single-use items, even if they can be recycled, and we try to find creative ways to keep things out of landfill. So much of the decor in our home is stuff we found literally on the side of a road somewhere and made into something beautiful by fixing it or painting it or completely transforming it. Our little upcycling projects could populate a whole other YouTube channel but I do happen to have two little examples of stuff I’ve made here in the studio. These are my fish lights. [screenshot/bottlelight shot]
3. Stay physically active.
Many gyms and exercise classes are closing down temporarily to prevent further spread of COVID-19, but your body is not going to give you a break from taking care of yourself because the gym is closed. If you are sick then, yes, rest, don’t exert yourself, but if you’re sheltering in place as a precautionary measure, getting exercise is still possible.
It may be tempting to spend two weeks at home just staring at a screen, but if you want to maintain good health physically and emotionally, do some at-home workouts, some yoga, jump rope, calisthenics or go for a walk or a bike ride. You can still practice safe social-distancing that way, but make sure you’re aware of the health advisories from reliable sources in your area. Physical activity is a great way to keep those feel-good hormones flowing and help you feel less locked in.
4. Indulge in the abundance of your home.
This is something I encourage people to do whether or not they are dealing with a COVID-19 quarantine. You may not have all of the money in the world or spend your time engaging in a super luxurious lifestyle, but maybe you’ve got an amazing collection of different kinds of tea, or a shelf full of books you’ve been meaning to read. Maybe there is one room in your house that you haven’t really paid much attention to. Your tool shed, or your arts and crafts space. Now could be a really good time to rediscover the little things that excite you that you have amassed over the years and find a renewed enjoyment in them.
5. Socialise your screen time.
By this, I don’t mean spending hours on social media. I mean doing things like planning Netflix binges so that you’ve got other friends watching from their homes at the same time and you can exchange commentary the whole time. A watch party, basically. There are apps and extensions that are designed for that purpose, but you can even just do the old “let’s press play at the same time and then Whatsapp each other”. Whatever is easiest for your group.
You might also take this opportunity to Face-time with your parents more often or have Zoom chats with friends in far-away places. Something where you and someone you care about are engaging in an activity TOGETHER, through the magic of technology!
So, those are 5 tips to keep yourself feeling good in the face of all of the COVID-19 quarantine panic. Now, what do you think? Do you agree with my list? If so, give me a big thumbs up. And I also want you to comment on this video with other tips you may have for staying at home without feeling miserable. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and follow me on my socials for more content related to personal development, relationships and navigating major life choices.
I feel very lucky that if I had to stay at home for a couple of weeks I can still work, because I coach a lot of my clients online. If you’re under COVID-19 quarantine and you’re suddenly being forced to confront certain realities about your life because you don’t have the usual distractions of work and socialising, you know what to do. Call me, message me, go to my website, leslievcoaching.com, and book a free chat with me. Again, I am based in Australia but I coach people all over the world.
And with all that said, I am going to walk back to my house, which is just down the road and maybe freshen up my study a bit.
Have an awesome week and I will see you next time!