As I discussed in my article last week, we are all living through really testing times for our wellbeing. From the very real health concerns to the anxieties which the hype is fuelling within all of us – many of us are facing unique challenges at the moment.
However, by regarding this time as a chance for a much-needed period of self-reflection and personal growth, we can all own this period of isolation and come out on the other side not only feeling physically and emotionally healthy — but quite possibly even more so than we did before!
Making Self-Isolation More Selfish (In the Right Way)
When I speak of selfish self-isolation – selfish isolation if you will! – I do not mean the negatively selfish act of going out when not necessary and contributing to the pandemic spread. Rather, I am referring to the all-too-perfect environment the – admittedly unfortunate – circumstances provide for some good old selfish self-care.
Whether you are isolating completely alone or with family, flatmates or a partner – you are essentially having to shut out the outside world and have no choice but to focus within. Either that, or go crazy trying to maintain a normal social routine under the temporary restrictions. Consider it like switching into another “mode” – you are living by new rules of normal now, so you must adapt!
Of course – as I will get into later – it’s still a great idea to be social in the ways that you still can to reap the healing powers of our friendship bonds – but overall, you are most likely going to have a whole lot more alone time. And this, if approached in a constructive way, can be a thing of true beauty and potential for self-growth.
Journaling to stay sane in self-isolation
Journaling is one of the simplest yet most profound tools out there when it comes to enhancing your sense of self and grounding your emotional wellbeing. But you don’t have to be particularly good at writing to benefit from journaling. You don’t even need to worry about things like grammar or spelling. What counts is the attitude and intention you bring to the practice.
Are you interested in becoming more emotionally aware and learning more about yourself? As long as you’re putting pen to paper with the right intentions, you’ve already succeeded! When it comes to journaling, there’s nothing to master but your own awareness. To bring an element of gratitude to the activity, and ensure that not a day goes by that you don’t reflect upon everything you have to be thankful for – give journaling a go with one of our very own gratitude journals.
Self-Isolation: The perfect environment for Creativity
For the late artist, Louise Bourgeois, alone time was essential to get the creative juices flowing. She wrote:
Solitude, even prolonged solitude, can only be of very great benefit. Your work may well be more arduous than it was in the studio, but it will also be more personal… Solitude, a rest from responsibilities, and peace of mind, will do you more good.”
Indeed, as any introvert will tell you, alone time is to be cherished as the golden hours to spend with your own soul. However you wish to spend this time, it is during these quiet moments of limited external stimulation when our thoughts are given the opportunity to blossom. Whatever your usual creative outlet (because darling, we all need at least one!) you are sure to feel more inspired if you embrace this obligatory downtime fill the new vacancy in your attention and channel your creative energy.
Meditation while in self-isolation
At times like this, meditation’s unique grounding and mind-stabilizing power is even more valuable. While in self-isolation, even those of us who are usually too busy or feel too distracted to commit to regular practice finally have that quiet time to unwind and focus on our most precious asset — our mind.
If sitting in the lotus position is simply not your thing, then don’t rule out meditation altogether! Try out some of these alternative forms of mediation (their simplicity might just surprise you) and explore the many ways you can look inwardly and find your way back to your inner-self during these somewhat unsettling times.
Feed your curiosity with selfish self-isolation
Inspiring or reflective books, podcasts, and YouTube videos can also be a great tool when it comes to filling the gaping void of enforced alone time.
Whatever your personal tastes and needs, there’s bound to be endless choice just a few clicks away. Whether you’re seeking something to better understand yourself or the world outside, now is a great time to feed your curiosity and explore that childish yearning to discover new things. Here are some Selfish Darling book, podcast, and YouTube channel (below) recommendations to get you back to loving learning.
Staying social through self-isolation
We often complain about the dangers of social media here on Selfish Darling. From overexposure to current affairs, to falling into the trap of objectifying yourself or seeking validation from others – it really does come with its risks. That being said, social media can be a godsend during these times of isolation. As discussed in my last article, this opportunity for valuable alone time is all well and good, but most of us feel better if we remain somewhat connected to the outside world.
Although I don’t recommend refreshing your feeds every few minutes – tempting as it is when nothing goes on at home and so much is going on in the world – social media can be used responsibly to feel connected to the outside world and maintain a sense of community.
Whether you prefer Reddit, Twitter, the old-fashioned Facebook group, or my recent favourite, Medium – exploring new ways to connect with others outside of your shrunken circle can be a useful reminder that there’s a whole world of people out there going through very similar situations to yourself. In an ironic way, the isolation may help to bring us all closer!
Selfish Self-Isolation: Some Final Thoughts
You may not have initially welcomed this new solitary way of living. But now that it’s happening, we may as well make the most of it rather than waste precious time and energy complaining or wallowing.
It may just be the opportunity to learn about and care for yourself that you’ve been searching for.
How are you getting to know yourself better during this period of self-isolation? We would love to hear your ideas!
Stay well, darlings xx