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How To Get Something Positive from Isolation

It doesn’t have to be too difficult

Isolated wooden Cabin
Photo by Tanya Nevidoma on Unsplash

I suppose isolation for me is not so different from my every day, as I don’t get out much anyway, at least not in the Winter. I cannot tolerate the cold. The very word ‘winter’ makes me feel cold.

The only real difference is that I cannot see my family. My daughters came to have a coffee last week – they sat on garden chairs they had brought with them in the garden and we stayed in the kitchen! We managed and it was nice. I’ve spoken to my 5 year old grandson through a window! He’s finding it a bit hard to understand poor little chap.

Thank God for tech, I don’t know what I’d do without it. I wouldn’t be blogging for sure, and it’s something I really enjoy, I have made so many new friends all over the world.

Being housebound makes me feel safer but it doesn’t stop anxiety about the virus. I have to have carers and nurses coming into the house. Although they have personal protection equipment (PPE) I still feel uncomfortable about it.

I can understand how difficult it can be for people with mental health problems as well as for others, like me, with physical difficulties. People who are elderly, alone or isolated within an abusive relationship are going to find it hard to find anything positive in isolation. I am not trying to make light of the situation, or to diminish the reality of others.

I am worried, slightly scared and very uneasy. It’s all so weird. The streets are eerily quiet around my home although there are more joggers than I have ever seen before! Taking our Government’s advice about getting exercise seriously (that’ll be a first). We obviously have no visitors at all. My husband is quietly going stir crazy.

So last week I took a little holiday from blogging. The last time I did so. It was because I was having a crisis of confidence in myself and my writing. This time it was my choice. I actually read a lot which I haven’t done for ages, I tidied up my inbox, which had been sadly neglected. I listened to podcasts and my audiobook which I actually managed to finish, and start another one. No pressure to plan the next blog post.

But actually I did. I had to keep reminding myself that I was on holiday. But the desire to write is so strong, I just had to do it. The difference was time. I had time to think, time to read other blogs, some blogging tips. But I needed to write.

Suddenly I could clearly see that I needed to plan my week properly. I draft my blogs in Evernote. This is a useful app with templates for everything including a weekly planner. It was like an Epiphany (bit dramatic!). Finally I could see how I could organise my week to make sure I was productive.

I get so many e mails from bloggers I follow, and those who follow me (thank you). I like to read their posts and comments, I can learn so much. Last week I realised I spent one whole day just reading e mails. It was great to have the time for it.

What I usually do is read my emails as soon as I switch on my iPad in the morning. That’s been my mistake. It taken up so much time and energy leaving nothing for anything else. So my new plan is to skim through in the mornings to make sure there is nothing that needs dealing with immediately (like, you know, paying the bills!) and flagging the ones I want to read. Then in my new weekly planner I’m going to schedule in reading emails. If it uses up a day so be it. There are 7 days in a week. In isolation they all roll into one anyway!

I have decided that I will post once a week for the moment, which is in itself an improvement. If my planner works I might be able to step up to twice (wow I hear you all cry!). But for now, if I aim for one, it gives me time to do other things as well, like research and so on. I’ve got some ideas floating around in my head- that’s a dangerous place for them to be because they’ll float away before long, never to be seen again!

So, I’ve created an ideas log, again in Evernote. And I write them down. I wrote a post not so long ago about why good notes are essential if you’re a writer. I’m afraid that was a case of do as I say not as I do, despite my good intentions at the time. I’m taking my own advice now.

This is what isolation has meant for me. Because the world has stopped, I’ve felt able to stop and take stock. This seems a bit crass, since I don’t have work and other pressures outside the home, but being disabled comes with its own pressures and daily challenges. Just a little bit of time to organise things can make me feel I have some control over my life.

Be kind to each other.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

7 Comments

  • mentalhealthfromtheotherside.wordpress.com

    Like you, I did the clearing out on my laptop, skimmed messages and deleting unimportant ones. Because my site was ‘down’ – I couldn’t like or comment on many other blogs so I left them in my email box to get back to them when my site was fixed.

    Oh, my word. I couldn’t believe how much they added up – I had 600+ at one point and I realised it would take me forever to get through them. So I didn’t. I realised also that I was reading too much ‘nonsense’, unimportant, uninteresting and actually wasting my valuable time. Sound awful?

    My site’s back up and running so now I get to put my ‘tuppence worth’ in on blogs I really enjoy 🙂

    • Belles Days

      That’s exactly what happened to me. It’s ridiculous. So, yes, this week new approach- flagging any I think might be of interest to read later in the week. Getting so much more done already!

  • Marushka

    I’m glad you’ve found a new writing system! It does make a huge difference to change up one’s process. I’m glad to hear you are doing well, I was concerned when I didn’t see a post last week 😀

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