What We’ve Learned in Isolation So Far

What We’ve Learned in Isolation So Far

May 04, 2020

The last few weeks have been an adjustment, to say the least. With offices closed and schoolyards fenced, we find ourselves at home, plucked from our daily routines and forced to slow down. And though the conditions are dire, and the lines between work and life have softened, our perspective on isolation has shifted. This period has evolved from punishment to possibility, opening the gates of potential and positive outcomes. For one? It all starts with how you spend your day.

Routine is important
Early on we learned to ditch the “it doesn’t matter anyway” mentality and adopt the notion that in life, there are no dress rehearsals – not even in isolation. Though the days can look the same from home, preserving habits that kept you feeling great pre-virus is important for maintaining a sense of normalcy. That means regular exercise (even if you have to swap free-weights for random household items [think: laundry detergent]), designated mealtime, loads of self-care, and of course, *rest*. Nurturing a consistent routine will help you focus on the present time and place, rather than the anxiety that can come with the unknown.

So is moving your body
For most of us with less places to go and no people to see, body movement has stalled. The long-term effects, however, are a little less lighthearted. Over time, lack of movement could have a truly detrimental impact on both your muscle tone and cardiovascular health. We get it – getting a sweat session in can be challenging on a good day, so being deliberate about getting moving through this period is paramount. With the gyms and fitness studios closed, it can be hard to re-imagine your personal space as a pseudo-sports club. But know this: moving is fundamental to good health…and  getting going is actually a lot easier than you might think. Whether it be registering for virtual Pilates or scheduling a daily walk, the important thing is that you dedicate some time to give back to your body. Whatever your fitness level,  take a principled approach at regular movement and remember that no matter how you choose to get active, always be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time.

Your mind consumes what you feed it
Life lesson alert: you are what you focus on, and you focus on what you consume. While we aren’t guilting you for your not-so-secret obsession with a certain king of tigers, balance is important. Be intentional about challenging your mind. This can look different for everyone. For some, it’s taking the time to read more, for others it’s entertaining things that make you think more, but for all, it means finding ways to stimulate your mind in general. The good news is that there are so many under-explored hobbies, genres and practices to choose from. So, our suggestion? Whether you download a book, discover a new podcast or hit the webs for research, there are many ways to help keep your mind bendy. You’ll need it when we get out of this.

Communication is paramount
Human connection is defined as “an energy exchange between people who are paying attention to one another. It has the power to deepen the moment, inspire change and build trust”.

In short, whether virtual or IRL, connections are critical. Humans are tribal by nature, finding strength and meaning in emotional connection. And if your quality of life relies on the quality of your relationships, it is important to keep them thriving, even in this time of uncertainty. Since nearly 80% of our communication is non-verbal, it can be hard to virtually account for things like facial expression, tone and general disposition. A few simple tweaks to your communication style will help keep the lines up.

Trying to keep your work-circle tight? Make sure you are:

  • Proactively communicating
  • Scheduling regular touch-points
  • Setting and maintaining expectations
  • Watching your tone
  • Prioritizing video calls

Keeping an eye on your nearest and dearest?

  • Carve time for regular video chats
  • Schedule virtual coffee dates
  • Make keeping in touch with your family a priority

Whether by conferencing app or a simple phone call, make sure to keep in touch with your loved ones often. And make sure to check in on your “strong” friend…they need a shoulder, too.

In general, and for everything.

Health is a journey, not a destination
We are constantly chasing an ideal state of health. But what we often forget? There is no finish line. There are no goal posts. There are only fluctuating states, some good, some bad, but none of them final. Ultimately wellness is a journey, not a destination. It’s something you work towards every day and one that you show up for every time you get up for a run, sit down and meditate or get ready to enjoy a meal. So slow down, respect each breath, eat whole foods, and take your vitamins 😉.

The best is yet to come
Things can only get better. And though this is a great time for planning your next move, it’s also a moment to relax, reflect and reset. Like the seasons, we are taking a much-needed sabbatical from everyday life. With the world at a standstill, we are forced to observe our actions past and present and identify what serves us and what was done out of habit. While we know isolation doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone, if you can, think of this time as an intractable gift equipping us with a steady mindset to enter whatever is next. And whatever it is, we’re in it together.

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