How to Survive Self Isolation

Like literally millions of people I have been stuck in isolation this week and although the first few days wallowing in my PJ's in my plague van caravan when I felt ill went by quite fast, since then I have gone through many stages - slightly hysterical, sobbing and self pitying. It's not been pretty. But I have worked out a few strategies to pass the days and actually have some fun too.

madmumof7 self isolating in a caravan

Get Dressed

This was good advise given to me by a health visitor when I had my first child. She said even though life with a newborn is hectic and exhausting, it's important to take time to drag a brush through your hair and change out of nightwear for your own mental health. She was right! 

Make it a priority to have a shower or at least a wash every day and get dressed. If that's just into clean loungewear then fine. I've actually used this time to get back into the thorough cleanse and moisturising routine I honed during the first lockdown which has gone a little by the wayside recently. My skin definitely reflects the effort!

Online Shopping

Obviously I am not condoning spending money you don't have but work out what you've saved in petrol/train fares/takeout coffees while in isolation and treat yourself to a little pick me up. It is so nice to look forward to the postie or courier bringing something more exciting than bills and junk mail. 

Gold plated earrings from Daisy
 New Earrings

Silver earrings from Daisy

I bought a new faux fur throw in an online sale for my isolation space which was delivered yesterday alongside some gorgeous new earrings which have cheered me up no end. I have a cute and quirky pair plated in 18 carat gold and I gifted my younger daughter a silver pair with the sweetest ever little daisies on.

madmumof7's teen daughter

Daisy silver earrings

Get Fresh Air

The rules state you can't go out and about but if you have some private garden space, make the most of it, especially if the sun is shining. Yesterday it rained all day and I felt trapped and depressed. Today skies are blue and I wrapped up warm and had ten minutes outside with my youngest who also tested positive and is self isolating with me. It was cold but we had fun and we both felt much better for it.


madmumof7 in garden wearing gold coat

Just opening a window and letting fresh air in will help you feel better and apparently help clear away any viral build up. Sitting in central heating is not good for your skin or hair so grab a glass of water and open that window, event if just for a short time every day.

Keep Busy

I'll confess I spent quite a lot of time watching Bridezillas on a loop for the first couple of days but I've had a word with myself now and have been doing more productive stuff. I am lucky I can work from home and the editor of one of the US sites I write for couldn't believe how quickly she got my latest assignment back! If you are largely feeling well (I had basic cold symptoms) and you can work from home I can recommend it, especially if like me you are self employed. It makes the hours fly by.

If not, read that worthy book, watch that documentary or take up that hobby you always meant to but didn't have the time for. Tackle that complex recipe or even the garden if you aren't going to bump into anyone else. Be careful not to to overdo it. I'm not talking about a full overhaul but a bit of gentle weeding and dead heading won't hurt you. 

Human Contact

You might be isolating but there are ways to maintain human contact. My children and some of my friends have been meeting me sitting at a very generous distance in the garden as I speak to them from the open window of our caravan on the driveway. We've set up a little table so they can leave things like food and clothes and withdraw to safe distance. I live for those moments of contact. I'm so used to being in the middle of a big family isolation, even with one child in with me, is lonely and I am aware that they miss me too. Although not my nagging about laundry and homework so much.

Technology is our friend in these weird times and even if you don't have friends or family or a safe space to chat IRL, use your tech to stay in touch. You might be fed up of Zoom quizzes but a virtual coffee date or cocktail hour might be fun?

There we have it, my guide to surviving self isolation. Despite all this remember it is OK to feel sad, frustrated or upset-have a good cry and pick yourself up. If you start having really dark thoughts, especially if you are isolating alone, pick up the phone or go online and talk to someone like a friend or a service like the Samaritans.