After finishing my first semester of fifth year, I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my family over Christmas. Sadly, my plans were somewhat disrupted as I contracted COVID-19 and subsequently spent 10 days in isolation during my Christmas break.
Initially, I did feel unwell, and spent a couple of days on the sofa binge watching whatever Netflix had to offer. But as time went by, my symptoms lessened, and then it was a case of deciding how I would fill my days to prevent the isolation boredom setting in.
I thought I would use this month’s blog to share the activities I got up to during my 10 days in isolation to give inspiration to anyone who may find themselves in a similar position.
1. Many phone-calls
I think by the end of my isolation period, my friends and family were fairly tired of hearing my voice on the end of the telephone and probably dreaded seeing my caller ID pop up on their screens. But I just needed to be in contact with people, and my phone was the only way I could do this.
2. Indoor movement
When I started to feel better, I engaged in some light movement. I began each day with an early morning stroll on the treadmill and finished each day with an evening meditative yoga practice. Movement instantly improved my mindset and gave me the motivation to ensure my isolation period was as productive as possible.
I kept my exercise extremely light and limited the stress on my body. It is so important to remember that viruses should be respected and doing too much too soon can hinder your recovery back to full health.
3. Getting ahead with university work
I was determined to make my time in isolation productive. I began by finishing any outstanding work and then moved on to devise a study timetable leading up to my summer exams. I even started making revision flashcards, which I know my future self will thank me for.
I hopped onto the baking bandwagon from lockdown 1.0 and made some vegan gingerbread for friends and family – which they enjoyed once I was out of isolation – and perfected a vegan Irish soda bread recipe, which I hope will become my baking staple. I have always found baking very therapeutic and a great way to occupy my time.
I am currently involved with a very exciting design project, to be confirmed later this year, and so I spent a lot of my lockdown creating the relevant artwork. I highly recommend art and craft for anyone looking for a relaxing way to pass time; I know I always enjoy picking up a paintbrush and getting creative.
6. Household jobs
As mundane as it may seem, my isolation period was the perfect time to tick off all the chores I had lined up for a ‘rainy day’. I reorganised my wardrobe, repainted some areas of the house that needed a quick touch-up, and tidied the garden.
7. Set intentions for the new year
This is something I tend to leave for after Christmas, but as I had so much time on my hands, I decided to get ahead of the game. My main focus for 2022 is self-care and mindfulness, which you can read more about in my blog on ‘Welcoming the New Year with mindfulness’.
Whilst testing positive for covid-19 and consequently having to isolate may not be the most idyllic situation, you can make the most of your time spent inside. I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to utilise the time in isolation for both productivity and enjoyment.