12 Productive Ways To Keep Yourself Busy In Isolation


By Emma Serlin
January 4, 2022

Self isolation might limit your movements and connection with the outside world for a period of our lives, and there's no doubt that this can be challenging and lonely, but let's not let it limit our minds. Here are some ideas for you to get through this testing time.

1. Learn a new skill or pick up an old one

If you’re feeling well enough and you would like to learn something new this may be the perfect time to do so! Whether you have an old piano in the house that has gathered a layer of dust or a guitar that you once played, there are hundreds of online scores and videos teaching how to read music and play your favourite songs.

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Other things you could do would be to learn a new language with free online apps such as Duolingo and or a free BBC language lesson.

Or is there something you've always wanted to learn - from poker to juggling - there will be a video on YouTube to show you how to do it!

2. Complete an online course or workshop

An online workshop, course or webinar can be a great way to learn something new. The internet is a great resource and offers thousands of online courses ranging from English, Maths, Computing or Speech. Learning an online language such as HTML or JavaScript can be a great career investment. Courses in Microsoft Excel or something more vocational such as Food Hygiene or Marketing are great things to keep you busy! And don't forget that all of our courses are available online - from one-to-one bespoke sessions on effective communication to specifically target your individual needs, to online courses in accent softening - and could help benefit your career and allow you to gain skills and confidence.

3. Take some time out for self care

Taking time off work due to illness or self-isolation can often seem like a major disruption in everyday life and regular routine. However, using the time to look after yourself and promote self-care by sleeping more to allow your body time to rest and recover, being sure to drink lots of water and engaging in high or low impact exercise can help you to de-stress. 

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4. Prioritise your mental health

In the hectic and fast-paced lives we lead, we can often neglect our mental health. In uncertain times such as these, anxiety levels can be very high. Try and set aside some time to focus on positivity and to de-stress.  A daily gratitude session - where you write down three things that you are grateful for today - can help you focus on the positives in your life.  To relax and de-stress, you might usually unwind in front of your favourite Netflix series, but if you haven't tried meditating, we highly recommend it.

Light some candles, download the Headspace or Happify apps and you can get started for free. The Yoga Journal also has a great series of free webinar sessions to keep calm and boost your overall wellbeing.

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5. Start a blog or create a business plan

Have you always had a business start-up plan that you have never had the chance to put into place? Now is a great time to start putting together a plan to get that off the ground. Whether it is creating an online blog or website (check out Wordpress or Wix for simple ways to set something up today) or compacting your business strategy into a finalised document, now is the perfect time to create your very own dream job in something you are passionate about.  

If you want to chat with like-minded individuals, there are plenty of networking groups around entrepreneurship and small businesses.  Keep an eye out for online events and networking from the likes of Step Up Club, Found & Flourish and Allbright.

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6. Write a book

Although this may seem like a daunting challenge at first, writing a book is a brilliant way to put your creative thoughts down and write something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s a fiction book, a non-fiction book or even an autobiography, writing a book in a few is possible with lots of dedication.  With online libraries and resources available, there is plenty of content out there to be researched and written about. National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo) is a not-for-profit organisation that encourages people to write a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November. 

7. Connect with loved ones

For those under the same roof, it's a great opportunity to spend more quality time together as a family. Aren't we always wishing for that when we're snowed under with work? So switch off your phones and computers and get connected.  Dust off the old board games and find the deck of cards.  Start a family project together - sorting out old photos, or the dreaded cupboard under the stairs. 

In time of crisis it is important to rely on loved ones for support and ensure we are all looking out for each other. Keep connected with friends and family members regularly using Skype or WhatsApp video to chat. Some will need more support than others, and now is a time for solidarity and hope.

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8. Listen to podcasts

It's your choice to have them on as you potter about and get on with something else, or sit down and really listen. However you choose to listen, people talking about their real lives is always a key point for learning something interesting about the world.

Podcast recommendations

9. Try journaling

Journaling and goal setting is a great way to get your targets in place, planning for the next year, five years and ten years. Start with this exercise:

Write down 10 things that make you smile. Then find a red, orange and green pen and mark each one according to how much attention you're giving it right now - green for lots, red for not enough! For each red one, write an action to make sure you do it. Cue a happier, refuelled you!

10. Have a clear out

For many of us, there's nothing more satisfying than a deep clean. Grab a bag, go through your wardrobe and drawers, and create a pile of clothes and items that can go to your local charity shop when you're out of isolation - no one likes a hoarder! Once you've cleared away the bumph and got the drawers looking tidy, give your house or flat a deep clean.

Clearing out can be a virtual activity too - go through your email inbox and make sure it's categorised into folders, and that no one has been left unanswered. Reward yourself with a cuppa and a Netflix series afterwards!

11. Release your inner interior designer

Being forced to spend time at home is a great opportunity to start a little house project. Whether it's ordering a print or photo you've always wanted to have on your wall, painting the lounge or repotting your house plants, these little touches will contribute to long term happiness and fulfilment. 

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12. Remember tough times can bring silver linings

Now this isn’t to say this is going to be easy. It’s not. It’s horrid hearing about empty and struggling restaurants or companies collapsing or knowing that it is the eldest and most fragile who are also most vulnerable. But being sad doesn't help and there are already beautiful moments. A connectivity, a sense of kindness, a concern for people and a willingness to show it. Take every opportunity to show your loved ones how much they mean to you. Check in with distant family members, be more present with those closest to you, buy a book and set yourself an intention of reading it for at least ten minutes every day. 

We hope these twelve activities provide you with some respite during isolation. If you'd like to speak to a member of our team, call us on 020 3137 6323.

We pride ourselves on our simple, intuitive and accessible tools, that have a touch of creative magic. Why not sign up to our regular newsletter  - which is packed full of tips that you can use the very same day, ideas that will resonate and we hope, delight.

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