I have just completed my first (and hopefully my last) 10 days of isolation. I know we aren’t supposed to enjoy it but I kind of did – is that really wrong? I found I actually learnt a lot about myself and the way I’m living my life. My normal state is wonder were all the hours go and still having a to do list as long as my arm – Yes, I have a lot on; I have my little boy, my partner, the crazy dog, family members to support, a business to run which is also currently expanding and ideally some exercise & selfcare for me. I seem to spend my time running from one job then to the next, far too often my self-care is on the back burner and exercise is a thing of the past.
During my 10 days in isolation, I had a bit of time on my hands (not massive amounts because I was entertaining a 4-year-old too) but more than normal. This coincided with some thoughts about motivation, willpower, health choices and selfcare and more importantly my beliefs. For a while I have felt a bit disconnected from myself – from the person I feel I am and who I’m being (very deep I know – this is what happens with time on my hands). I have been doing some work with a fabulous coach (here is her link if this is something you are considering – https://lisamcmurtry.com) for a few months and she has really challenged me look at what I actually want – with this in mind I headed into isolation.
Here’s what I learnt:
- You don’t need to do everything; I don’t know about you but I’m a bit of a control freak; I live by the motto “if I don’t do it myself it won’t be done properly”. During my forced time at home, I had to let go of the reigns and do you know what it was fine! That’s it – the world didn’t end, things got done and it was fine. So; all the extra responsibility I felt was falling on my shoulders I am now most definitely going to be sharing out.
- Time out is more important than you think; it just happened that during my isolation I had already planned a quieter week within my business; I had somethings I wanted to catch up on and some plans to make. Due to my isolation Lee (my partner) and I took the decision that my son would stay away from his nursery until we knew I was ok. This meant that although I was off, I didn’t have a lot off time to myself, but I did slow down; we had some snuggly mornings in bed reading books drinking hot chocolate, we played dinosaurs and Lego and we baked. It was beautiful downtime that made me check in with my priorities – I love playing with my little man, I love my job, but I also need downtime time to recharge and relax so from now on I am going to be more in control of my diary.
- Some jobs just don’t even need to be done; do you write a to do list?? Have you noticed that sometimes there are jobs on your list that have been there for weeks? I noticed a couple like this on my “to do list”, I could have done them while I was in isolation, but I just didn’t. So I had to wonder if they really needed doing or realistically could I just ditch them? In the end I ditched them! If you have a really long list go through it with your thickest black marker and remove all the things that don’t really need to be done!
- Time outside is really important; Unlike a lot of people, I quite enjoyed my isolation, but it did make me realise I need to get outside more. For all I was relaxing, eating well and in every other way taking care of myself by the end of my 10 days I was starting to look a little rundown and I had a cold sore that wanted to surface! Sunlight, time outside and fresh air actually really brighten my soul; I know I have to prioritise this. Monday to Friday I take a little time after the pre-school run to walk and list to music or a meditation. I now just need to find a way to get this in on the weekend too!
For me moving forward out of isolation I’m going to let go a little more and move me a few steps up my priority list – I might not hit the top run but I won’t be dragging along the bottom either. I think I’ll aim for run no:2 my little man will probably always have that top spot!