• Andrew Hartley

Productivity & Positivity... How we can all win at self-isolation.

So it has taken an actual global pandemic to get me back into writing again...

I wanted to give a few tips out on how I’m going to take on this new life of isolation and staying in, especially with Covid-19 trying its very best to ruin our lives. When the virus was first reported it was easy to ignore and bat off as ‘just another form of the flu’. However, as we all now know, it is very real and it is so important that we stick to government guidelines and try to stay in unless we have essential reasons to go out.

Now over the past few weeks I’ve heard so many people mention that staying in all the time is going to drive them insane and bored and they’re gonna end up hating the people that they live with. That could all be true if you spend all of your time doing the same things like watching Netflix, reading through the news and constantly going on social media BUT it may not be so bad if you keep yourself occupied with different things.

Of course it is very important to keep yourself up to date with the news and government statements on this fucking shitshow pandemic but I’ve set myself a rule of watching/reading news stories about it for half an hour in the morning and half an hour at night. It keeps me informed but doesn’t play on my mind for too long, along with this I have made a BIG attempt at spending less time on social media. Being social is so important but you can do this through messages and calls to friends and family rather than scrolling through your feed and seeing constant bullshit stories from bullshit sources.

Anyway, I’m rambling, what I’m trying to say is that this time of staying in your house could be a blessing in disguise if you do it right. Maybe its time to find your hidden talent, learn a new language, speak to someone you haven’t seen in ages or sort your CV/professional profile out. These are just a few examples of what you can do to fill your time and it took me literally a minute to think of those four things.

From this Monday (because Monday is when you always say you’re gonna change your life) I’ve made a list of three things I’m going to do everyday when I finish work. If you’re currently out of work then maybe work on your CV or LinkedIn and if you can’t work then maybe make an even bigger list.

  • Drawing - Something I’ve always been good at but been too lazy to actually do it.

  • Duolingo - I’m finally going to make a ridiculous attempt at learning French.

  • Arranging photos on my phone - This seems so easy but I have thousands of photos on my phone I haven’t backed up or uploaded anywhere. I know it's gonna make me feel positive too because there are so many good memories there.

This probably sounds stupid because those three simple things are definitely not going to fill up all of my time. However, if I can complete them all consistently then I’m gonna reward myself the rest of the time playing on the ps4, video calling my mates and watching youtube. Once week one of this isolation is done with I’ll make another list of three things for the following week and so on. Surely all of that has to be better than constantly watching, reading and talking all about the coronavirus.

I get that this is a time of so much uncertainty and that everyone has a right to be worried. Trust me, I live with someone that has deep underlying conditions and I think about it all the time but social media and 24/7 news is not going to help my mental health at all and it won’t help yours.

So if you’re struggling to occupy yourself and feel a little bored then make a list, think of a project you abandoned a while ago and pick it up again or simply pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. The world does seem all doom and gloom right now but it doesn't have to be. If you’ve read up to this point then I hope I’ve made even a slight difference to your mindset. Keep your head up and take care of yourselves.

Speaking of taking care of yourself, I almost forgot to mention exercise. With gyms being shut and everyone staying in it is becoming more and more difficult to be active but if you are really into fitness then get on google or youtube and start implementing or copying a home fitness plan. There are so many tips and videos out there so it could be at least something to get on with.

That is enough from me, try to stay positive because these bad times won't last forever! & if you still can’t think of anything to do at all then I’ll hold my hands up and say I’m defeated but surely there is something you can keep yourself busy with.

Bye for now.

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