The Silver Lining of Self-Isolation

It’s hard to know what life will look like six months from now, let alone one month. Despite the difficult days, self-isolation is starting to feel like the norm. We are adapting.

We can look at the situation as negative and complain about all the things that bother us. And let’s be honest, we all have our moments. Self-isolation is challenging in many ways. Some days are peaceful and others are frustrating and emotionally draining.

But there are positives to the situation that I feel we are starting to realise.

We are learning to simplify

Self-isolation is teaching us a valuable lesson about simplicity. Perhaps our busy ways before weren’t serving us so well.

All the running around, over-buying, filling up our child’s schedule with activities, eating out, buying coffees — they became our constant.

But now we are learning that we can still be okay with less. That we can keep it simple and it can be rather enjoyable. Even freeing.

Our bonds with loved ones are strengthening

Being with one another 24/7 can be challenging.

As difficult as it is at times, we are getting to be with our family for longer periods — which is encouraging us to connect more in quality ways.

For a change, we can enjoy dinner together on a weeknight, or take micro-breaks in-between work to sip a coffee together or play with the kids.

We are learning about ourselves

When life is busy and our days are filled with activity and commutes to school or work, we don’t have time to reflect and simply be with ourselves.

Looking after children and managing work from home is a balancing act, but there are small spaces of quiet in-between for most of us.

It’s those moments that allow us to take a breath, tune in and notice how we are feeling. Less activity in our lives can help us discover what we care about.

We are going outdoors more for exercise

Where we live, we have seen a huge increase in people exercising outdoors.

Runners, cyclists, kids and parents on scooters or bikes, and people (and whole families) walking with their pet.

We can only be indoors for so long before we get cabin fever. Self-isolation is encouraging us to get outside for movement and a dose of sunshine.

It’s encouraging us to be creative

Simplicity encourages creativity.

Kids aren’t doing club sports, but are building forts or setting up obstacle courses in the backyard.

Gatherings have reduced on weekends, but we are having picnics on a rug in the garden with those we live with.

Some of us are exploring a creative activity at home that was always put off due to lack of time.

Teachers and parents are using creativity to engage children at home to help them continue to learn.

We are saving money

I mention this one hesitantly as I do feel for all the businesses out there struggling to stay afloat, and those who have lost their job. The effect it is having on the economy is huge.

The positive for those of us fortunate to still have work is that staying home is helping us save money.

We aren’t commuting to work or schools or buying coffee or lunches.

We aren’t spending hundreds of dollars on extracurricular activities for children or lashing out on something we see in a store.

We are realising that we don’t need as much as we once thought we did.

While life feels like it has come to a halt, we are still growing. It’s teaching us that all that stuff we had before — it isn’t completely necessary to live a good life. We can still feel content by getting back to basics and simplifying.

It’s also encouraging us to be grateful. Opening our eyes to all the good that we have right in front of us.

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