Top 10 quarantine tips

Top 10 quarantine tips

By Tom

The world is a very different place right now. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has meant social distancing and quarantine has become the norm. As South Africa entered its own countrywide lockdown on March 26th, we gathered (virtually) as a team for our weekly skills share. It was my turn to contribute and I really couldn’t think of much else, and still can’t, other than the predicament we all find ourselves in currently.

While the idea of spending 21 days in one’s home might seem like the perfect holiday for some, for many others, especially in a country like ours with such a stark contrast in living standards, it can be truly daunting. That’s why I decided to share some practical tips for quarantine, with the help of the UN and WHO’s official guides. I’m not the biggest fan of a top 10 list, but I took a whirl and also got some valuable input from the team as well.

1. Create a routine

Even if you aren’t able to work from home, it’s important to get out of bed and face the day. Make to-do lists for each day to create a sense of normality and productivity. This was a sentiment echoed by Sarah: “Get dressed every day. Even if it’s in tracksuit pants (and a smart top if you have Zoom meetings). It has such a huge impact on how you feel and, consequently, productivity levels.”

2. Make spaces for yourself

It’s important to try and change your environment at home, even if it’s just working and sleeping in different rooms. If you don’t have that luxury, at least try to work at a table versus from your bed.

3. Look after your body

Now’s not the time to pig-out, attempt to eat healthily, get plenty sleep and try squeeze in some exercise. Carla suggested: “If you are waiting for the kettle to boil, do some lunges, if you are frustrated with something, do some push ups.”

Err on the side of caution too though, when it comes to personal grooming, Sarah recommended: “If you are absolutely desperate, agree on an exceptionally clear brief and have it repeated back to you before you let your partner cut your hair.”

4. Stay connected with others

Utilise technology and stay in touch with friends and family via calls, texts, social media and video conferencing. You never know how others are doing unless you reach out to them. We use Zoom for our meetings now, but as Liz recommended, it’s also a perfect tool for catching up with your loved ones. Houseparty is another app that Melissa is devotee of.

5. Create me time

This tip might seem a contradiction to number 4, but making time for yourself is just as important as staying connected during these times. A lot of people don’t live alone and will struggle to get time to themselves, so make sure you find opportunities to do what you want to do.

The sweet spot between these two previous tips was best expressed by Clem‘s top tip: “To be really attentive to all your loved ones who are with you under lockdown as well as those who are under quarantine elsewhere. As we all do need our own space, it’s easy to shut ourselves out from others and we’re all going through a roller coaster of moods and emotions. So be sure to complement others’ lows with your highs.”

6. Limit news intake

It’s easy to leave eNCA on the TV all day long, but it can become overwhelming. Rather stay informed about the situation using reliable sources, but limit your intake to avoid that feeling. This isn’t a breaking news story, you don’t have to keep your eyes glued.

7. Fight boredom

This might seem like the easiest tip to implement, however cabin fever can strike even the strongest! Now is the time to catch up on those movies, series or books you’ve had stashed, or maybe there is a project you’ve been meaning to explore? There’s loads to do, but also be realistic. As Nicole put it: “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to function as normal when the world is anything but. Binge all of Dave Chappelle’s stand-up shows, do some gardening and be creative in the kitchen.”

With fighting the claustrophobia in mind, several of the team also made some great Netflix suggestions:

    • “Punchy, fresh, surprisingly moving short-format series about a Canadian stand-up comedienne’s journey of love and addiction in London. No idea how they got Lisa Kudrow to play her mum!” –  Liz recommends: Feel Good
    • “A surreal documentary which follows the story of a controversial guru in the 80s and shines light on both sides of his following while remaining neutral and observational. It’s super thrilling and I find it really compelling how it shows the evolving tensions between two sides as it’s actually pretty relevant to today.” – Clem recommends: Wild Wild Country
    • “Tiger King is pretty binge worthy.” – Melissa recommends: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

That’s your lockdown viewing sorted.

8. Avoid burnout

If you are fortunate enough to be working at home, set strict limits to your work hours to avoid becoming swamped, because it can be hard to turn off at times like these.

9. Focus on the positives

Amplify the good news stories and praise those who are doing amazing work, there are many who are working on the frontlines tirelessly. The global ‘Clap for our Carers’ trend is a prime example of this.

10. Take it easy

My final, most important tip: take it one day at a time. Don’t project too far into the future, just think how much things have changed in just the past month… These are extreme times, but these measures are temporary and you are not alone.