A daily dose of collage creativity, in images, words and thoughts. Always remember, "Everything will be alright in the end...if it is not alright it must not be the End"

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Advice from a Woods Woman...

20 Tips in a Time of Social Isolation by Katherine M Howard, EdD
Due to health issues, I have spent the past 10 years pretty much restricted to my home 17 hours a day. I’ve got a little bit of personal experience with this social isolation issue. I thought I would share a few tips for those who are experiencing it for the first time. Feel free to add your tips as well as sharing with others.
1. Stick to normal hours of waking and sleeping. Sleeping in or staying up late will throw off your body’s circadian rhythm and that could impact your mood.
2. When you wake up, get dressed. Even if you just change from pajamas to yoga pants and a t-shirt, it makes a difference.
3. Maintain healthy eating/nutrition habits. Being home should not mean eating while sitting on the couch watching tv. This has mental benefits as well as could help prevent weight gain while at home.
4. Maintain social interactions through internet and telephone. Being isolated physically does not have to mean being isolated emotionally.
5. Take time every few hours to look out a window, stand on a balcony or patio. Widening your world even if just by a view is extremely helpful. Pause to look at the clouds, see if you can identify any birds, breathe deeply the fresh air.
6. Vary how you spend your day. Have multiple options (read, watch movies, Facebook, hobby, etc.) and don’t spend too much time doing the same thing.
7. No one is watching…dance. Adding some exercise, as long as appropriate for your individual health, is highly recommended for physical and emotional health. Combining movement with music is a bonus.
8. When you are isolated the days will start to blend and blur. This may sound good in theory but in practice this is definitely not a good thing. Trust me on this one, the negative spiderweb is real. Even the simple task of assigning household chores /activities to the same day of the week can make a difference. Stick to this schedule (but don’t be rigid) and it will reward you in the long run.
9. Now is NOT the time to write that great novel, go on a diet, or decide to remodel your home. You are going though a major life/social disruption, not taking a vacation. Allow yourself the time to adjust and make sure that you keep your energy focused on getting through this situation instead of taking on such a task.
10. Now is a good time to do little projects such a organize your sock drawer, clean the supply closet, etc. Keep in mind that some services, such as garbage pick up, might be disrupted if this continues for an extended period of time. Don’t create additional work for them during this time.
11. Be VERY flexible in your expectations of how temporary the current situation will be. The suggested timeframes are just that…suggested based on the knowledge at the time they were made. New information may now recommend extension and refinement.
12. Leave your expectations of yourself and others at the door. This is something that no one else has ever experienced in quite this way. No one knows all the answers. Listen to the most knowledgeable in each field, not the loudest. Be patient.
13. Accept that, even though everyone in the world is experiencing the COVID19 Pandemic, none of us are experiencing it in the exact same way. This is new for most of us. Allow others to respond to their own emotions. Please don’t compare or dismiss.
14. You can’t take care of anyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself. This applies to physical as well as emotional care.
15. Please do not assume the rules do not apply to you. Follow the guidelines and accept the restrictions. There is a reason for these rules and you need to be compliant for the sake of all.
16. Each of us have our own areas of strength and areas of weakness. Be kind to yourself and others. Ask for help when you need it, offer it when you can.
17. It is normal to think about the future. Be cautious that you don’t focus on worst case scenarios. Yes, it is okay to make sure you have some instructions “just in case” but now is not the time to focus on planning out all the details. Don’t overwhelm yourself and others with these thoughts. Keep it simple.
18. Have a flexible plan for today. Have a loose plan for this week. Have a general plan for the month. Allow time to do nothing but don’t allow doing nothing to be the plan.
19. This is a bump in the grand scheme of life. In time, we will move forward. Some aspects of our lives may never return to pre-COVID19 normal, but they will become part of our new normal. Other aspects will return as if nothing happened. Allow for this adjustment period as well.
20. Breathe. Close your eyes. Breathe. Repeat as often as necessary.


Thank you for stopping by and viewing my collage chatter, many creative blessings and peace to you and yours,