April 16, 2020
How to cope with isolation while self-isolating
Since social distancing measures came into play, our everyday lives have changed drastically. As the weeks have rolled on, we have all started to adjust to our new normal; office workers have packed up their desks and got stuck into working from home where possible, and video quiz nights have become the staple for many people’s Friday nights in.
While our brave key workers work tirelessly to keep our society moving forward, many of us are getting to grips with the reality of living under a lockdown. It can feel confining being stuck inside, and this can very quickly lead to intense bouts of loneliness or isolation – even if you’re lucky enough to be living with others.
For those who are struggling with loneliness during this time, we pulled together some of the ways our team members are coping with isolation and what you can do to stay positive.
Try something different
It seems like there is an abundance of advice circulating about using this time to start a new hobby or learn a new skill. But, there’s a good reason why. If you’re struggling with isolation, keeping your mind busy is a key way to keep you from stewing in your struggles.
After a few weeks under lockdown, the chances are you’ve already tried the popular hobbies of choice, such as reading, playing video games or baking (who knew how much we all loved banana bread?). However, try branching out – with a little research, you’ll find there’s plenty of fun things you can try at home that don’t involve rearranging your spice rack.
From live fitness classes on social media to virtual cinema events (yes, these exist), lots of organizations are thinking outside the box in an effort to keep us connected and entertained. Do a little digging to see what you can get involved in – once you get started, you may find yourself spoilt for choice, giving you something exciting to look forward to.
Remember that your motivation is likely to rise and fall in waves. Don’t feel the pressure to continuously be ‘doing something’. It’s perfectly acceptable during your downtime to simply sit in front of TV or mindlessly scroll through your phone – if that’s what you feel like doing. However, giving yourself options for things to do when you are in the mood is a great way to boost your positivity and maintain a sense of normality in your day.
Get some fresh air
Where possible, make the most of the spring weather and the fresh breeze from outside. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, balcony or any outside space, try working outside for a few hours. Switching up your working location in small ways like this will help to bring a fresh sense of creativity and motivation to your efforts. For those without any outside space, this can add to your sense of isolation. Where possible, take a daily walk for some much needed fresh air, being sure to stay local and at a distance from others.
Be sure to use this time in the way that suits you best. Perhaps take a stroll after work to clear your mind, or head out in the early hours of the morning to complete a workout on your own. This space will help you to break up the monotony in your day and it will do wonders for your mental, as well as physical, health.
Monitor your social media consumption
Social media is the catalyst which is keeping us all connected. For all its flaws, social media is equally as remarkable, helping us to stay connected with each other in ways that wouldn’t have been possible before. Whether it’s taking a class online, video calling your friends and family, or keeping in touch with colleagues on your work projects, social media tools are here to make our lives easier.
However, be careful to monitor the level of social media you are consuming. Research has shown that we spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social media – and this is only likely to increase while we spend our time cooped up indoors during the lockdown.
Take this time of isolation to do a social media ‘cleanse’. Remember, you are the curator of your social media feeds. Be sure only to follow and connect with people who inspire, motivate or entertain you – but unfortunately, even with your best efforts, it’s impossible to avoid all the time. If you’re living alone or self-isolating, simply seeing a picture of friends enjoying the garden in the sun with their loved ones can cause a dip in your positivity. Identify what content you find triggering to your mental health, and be sure to put a limit on your consumption.
With so much uncertainty amidst a pandemic of this nature, it can be all-too-easy to get lost in a rabbit hole of online gossip and conspiracy theories. Be sure to only stick to medical advice and updates from the government and professionals and limit checking the news to only once or twice per day. Being able to switch off every now and then will help you to stop overthinking and worrying about what is beyond your immediate control.
Make plans for the future
The chances are, you’re feeling a little blue about having the best part of your spring and summer cancelled. Whether it’s your summer holiday abroad, a music concert or just get-togethers with friends, having nothing to look forward to adds to feelings of isolation – particularly when there’s no end in immediate sight.
One important thing to remember is to take comfort in the fact that this is temporary. While it can feel unsettling, this time will come to pass and we will be able to look back on this period in our lives together, in person. So, use this time to plan what you want to do after we have overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Start planning your next dream holiday, or maybe even make a list of restaurants you’ve always wanted to try with your friends or a new city you want to visit. While you won’t be able to put dates to anything yet, having something to look forward to with your loved ones will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re feeling low.
Create a virtual office
If you’re working from home, you want to ensure that you stay connected with your colleagues and also on top of your to-do list, so your working life can continue as effortlessly as possible.
Ayoa is a cloud-based tool that acts as your virtual office, allowing you and your team to work together on projects while keeping on top of your own priorities. Instant messaging with Ayoa Chat provides a way for you to seamlessly manage your conversations alongside your tasks, ensuring nothing gets lost and your focus is uninterrupted from continuous app-switching.
If you’re struggling with isolation and loneliness, Ayoa Chat is also the perfect tool to check in with your teammates. Here at team Ayoa, we’ve set up a group chat for the whole office called ‘Hi and Goodbye’ where we can greet each other each day – just as we would in the office. Engaging in constant communication will help to maintain a sense of normality to your day and keep you in contact with the people you’re used to seeing every day.
If you want to discover more about how Ayoa can help make working from home an enjoyable and productive experience, check out our top five ways Ayoa is your complete working from home toolkit.
Enjoy the positives
Amidst all the uncertainty during this worrying time, it’s important to remember and focus on the positives that you can gather from your time during isolation. With many of us constantly on the go, this situation has forced us to take a step back, giving us plenty of time to reflect and truly appreciate the good things in our lives. So whether you use this time to pick up a new hobby, or connect with your loved ones, take note of the joyful things you’re experiencing whenever you feel a slump in your positivity.
Staying connected is key to battling your isolation. Ayoa allows teams around the world to work, collaborate and chat seamlessly together in one workspace, so you can stay connected, productive and in touch with your team – no matter where you are. Discover more here and sign up for FREE today.