What to Do while Social Distancing

Mondays now feel like the start of an endless weekend given the current state of the world. We find that we’re changing the way we interact with people everyday and things we thought were essential are things we’re doing just fine without. These days, a stroll in the neighbourhood for a breath of fresh air means you need to be at least 2 metres (6 feet) from the next person. You also can’t be part of gatherings which eliminates most of our outdoor activities. So how exactly can you stay engaged and connected in these times? Here’s what to do while social distancing:

Create a home office: If you fall into the category of people who now have to work from home – which is like 80% of the world, not that we’re counting – it is important to have a space dedicated to your work. This helps you get into automatic work mode so you can maintain your productivity. Try to make this space as close as possible to how your regular office looks. If there’s usually a stationery holder on your office table, turn an empty Arami container into a new home for your pens, scissors, rulers, highlighters and every other thing you use often.

Learn something new: Remember that time you wanted to pick up a new skill to impress everyone at work or were intrigued by the way your Spanish roommate said “Buenas Noches’’ to his mother over the phone? Well, there’s a whole world to impress and be intrigued by and now you have the time. There are many websites and applications offering online courses, all you have to do is decide what you want to learn and find your next favourite thing with only a few clicks at the keyboard.

Read more books: Books have the power to transform lives. Historically, they have been a form of transporting yourself away from unsettling times and realising that other people have experienced tough situations too which makes you feel less isolated. Books also allow you to visualise untold possibilities which stimulates your brain and supports its health.

Watch a documentary or TED talk: There’s a popular riddle and it goes like this: What can fill a room but takes up no space? ANSWER: KNOWLEDGE. The world around you will captivate you if you give it a chance. Wondering how to even begin? Try the most popular TED talks or search top rated documentaries on any streaming platform available to you then go from there.

Keep in touch: Yes, we are social distancing but that doesn’t mean pulling away from family and friends. In fact, you need them to help you stay grounded when things are uncertain. With a million and one ways to communicate, you’ll find many options for sustaining your connection to loved ones. Video call an old friend like you used to or send the funniest thing you’ve seen all day to your siblings. Little things matter too.

Update your LinkedIn profile: Here’s where you can add that new skill or new language because if nobody knows about it then did you really learn it? Of course you did but you should still flaunt it. Your LinkedIn profile isn’t just your online resume, it’s a way to show people who you are, professionally. Try filling out your profile with as many interests and achievements as possible to make it easier for exciting opportunities to find you. While you are at it, engage with your connections. See what they liked, commented on or posted recently. You never know what new insight you may stumble upon.

Organise your wardrobe: What will an organised wardrobe get you? Less time and energy spent trying to decide what to wear. Start by emptying and cleaning out your wardrobe. Make use of your bed as storage in the meantime. Grab some baskets you can use to sort your items into what is going back into the wardrobe and what isn’t. Arrange the clothes you’ve worn in the past year by colour, fabric, season or style, in your wardrobe and put those you haven’t in a basket for donation.

Start a journal: A great way to release your emotions is to share them in a journal. This activity has been shown to alleviate anxiety and stress but don’t limit yourself to pen and paper. If speaking into a recorder or typing out your feelings is what you’re comfortable with then go ahead. You might even find that you’re in the mood to write on paper one day and speak into a recorder the next and that’s okay. Talk about significant things that happened that day, how they made you feel, if you want them to happen again and so on. Continue until you’ve shared all you need to but remember to keep your journal private so you’re not inviting negativity into your safe space.

Breathe: Have a daily moment of pause where you just stop to ask yourself how you are doing. Be honest and kind as you think about your response. Try not to get caught up emerging out of this having achieved a hundred goals. See this as a time to refuel and recharge. Relax your mind, tune out the noise and just focus on what’s important to you. Know that surviving these uncertain times is more than enough and you are not alone.

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