WHAT TO DO WHILE IN SELF-IMPOSED ISOLATION
You didn’t ask for it but you got it anyway.
You didn’t want it, but it showed up, unannounced and nasty.
You had a million things to do and now you can’t do any of them because….you’re in self-imposed isolation or government mandated quarantine.
So…fourteen (or more) days of time to think about it (and hope it’s all better by the time you surface) and how are you going to spend that time.
A few suggestions that will get you through this enforced period of time-out and perhaps, just maybe, change some things for the better in your life. Make the best of it is the right attitude to have; worrying about it or being depressed in the wrong way to think.
And you might as well face it, because it’s not going to be the same world you had last week, last month, last year, ever again. Those were the good ole days.
So be an optimist and make the most of your mid-life time-out. A few suggestions:
Binge Watch (Insert Favorite show Or Movie here)
This one of the easiest. Most everyone has access via cable, satellite, or the new fav—streaming and with that access you can catch up on all the shows and movies you wanted to catch up on and a few you had no idea were so great.
For example: old favs like “Friends”, M*A*S*H (years 1-4 are best because that’s when Larry Gelbart, the show creator and a great writer, was still tightly involved, but they’re all good), “Game of Thrones”, “The Crown”, “America”, “Homecoming”, “Fixer Upper”, “Love it or List it. If it’s a series, there’s a very good chance it’s playing on some channel on your tv or streaming over the internet. Catch up. You’ve got time.
Backup and Organize Your Computer.
No doubt you’re going to be working from home and on your computer/laptop a lot. Now’s the time to protect it and your work, by backing it up. You can use an outside backup service or just get a couple of fresh hard drives, and do it yourself. Prior to backing them up, go through all the files, drop the dupes and non-essentials, and, once organized back the computers up. If you’re on a Mac, use the Time Capsule program and since you’re going to be home for a while, remember to set it up so that things get backed up on a regular basis. This is something you’ve got to do anyway. Do it now. You’ve got time.
Get Into Master Class
The family gave me a subscription to Master Class, the online tutor/mentor lecture series that brings big time and accomplished stars and celebrities to your computer to give you lessons in everything from playing the guitar (Carlos Santana) to building a fashion brand (Dianne Von Furstenberg). The lectures are straightforward and informative, the presenters full of knowledge and insights. Some classes have workbooks. Am currently working my way through the Martin Scorsese lectures on film making and cinema. And balancing that off with Steve Martin on how to be funny. Next up—former Disney CEO Bob Iger on business strategy. There are over 25_courses on Master Class on everything from writing to cooking. Learn from the best. It’s addictive. You’ve got time.
The assumption is that you’re at home. You are isolated, not in lock up, so why not make a list of all the little things you’ve wanted to do around the house, apartment, farm, boat house, and get them done. Install the new outdoor motion activated light. Fix the loose boards on the dock. Tune up the jet skis. Use the chain saw to trim some trees. Clean out the left side of the garage on one day and then the right side on the next. Organize your books, music, software, personal papers. Throw out non-essentials. If you didn’t need them in the old world, you probably won’t need them in the new one. Update your will—we are in a pandemic. Correspond with people you owe some correspondence to. If it needs fixing, fix it. You’ve got time.
You do not have to be in a yoga studio to learn yoga. A small spot in front of the TV or computer will do just great. There are a zillion different yoga lessons available via YouTube or you can take out those yoga DVDs you bought with the good intention of using but never even put in the DVD player, so hop to it. The Downward Dog is waiting, along with the locust and the headstand. Put out the matt, turn on the program and some music, and get to it. Get your flexibility back and find a new kind of peace. You can do this. You probably need this. Have at it. You’ve got time.
Read A Lot
There are some great books out there and now you have time to find out precisely how many great books there are that you haven’t read. Work your way through Oprah’s Book Club list or through the Top 10 on the New York Times bestsellers (fiction or non-fiction). Fast reader, or slow, it makes no difference. Just pull books you’ve been “meaning to get to” or order up a new set of literary works (Amazon will deliver) and have at it. You’ll be smarter, enlightened, amazed, and acting like a top American CEO, most of whom read one book a week, in addition to running multi-billion dollar companies. Catch up on your reading. You’ve got time.
Build Something With Your Kids
You’re home (maybe working, maybe not). They’re also home (maybe working, maybe not). This is not just a good time to bond, but a good time for you to teach and for them learn. This is a different type of learning than the homework over the computer. So find a project everyone would enjoy, order it in, and start on it. Maybe it’s a Raspberry Pi computer, or a super-Lego skyscraper, or an overscale LGB garden train. Find it, organize it, understand it and build it with the kids. Use the break in routine for family time and renew/refresh your relationships. It’s a great lesson for everyone. You’ve got time.
You’re going to need more room while you’re self-isolated. So use this time to clean out the closets, drawers, boxes, cartons, baskets, etc. Make two piles: one to sell and one to toss. And one other pile: things to give away to friends. You do not need Marie Condo to do this….just a ruthless attitude to get rid of clutter and understand that it physically holds you back while you hold onto it…so dump it. Clean it up and get rid of it. Open up your life for the changes that are coming. You’ve got time.
Learn to Code
Living in the computer edge. Can you code? Even a line or two? Do you understand it? Even a line or two? If you’re not in the business of IT, the chances are you don’t write or read code, but now’s a good time to become familiar, and maybe even literate, with coding. How to start? My suggestion is to try Code Academy or Khan Academy
Both have courses in various types of computer programming, both offer free courses (be a good sport and make a donation) and increase your literacy in the one new universal language–computer programming. You’ve got time.
Learn a New Language
As long as you’re going to be doing homework along with the kids, isn’t it time you perfected your stumble along Spanish, French, German or…with zero irony…Chinese. There are lots of great computer learning courses for languages. At Casa Euphoria we use the DuoLingo programs and podcasts from Apple (their “Coffee Break” courses for Spanish, French, etc. are terrific and so are the “My Daily Phrase” courses ). Good stuff and it’ll get you familiar with not just a new way to learn but the whole podcast universe, which is basically some of the best audio learning/entertainment you have ever heard in your life. Get bilingual via podcasts. You’ve got time.
Just because you’ve been instructed to stick around the house is no reason to fall out of shape. Most gyms and spas are going to be closed, so switch your exercise routine from gym/equipment-based workouts to simpler things like long walks or hikes, interval sprint training, swimming (if you have your own pool), rowing or biking. You can do simple body weight exercises (pushups, squats, etc.); there are plenty of instruction programs on how to do these exercises on the net. Remember—it has to be easily accessible and not something you do with someone else or in a group. And keep the Social Distancing rules in mind. But take your time (there’s no rush ), start a program, and get into better condition. No excuses. You’ve got time.
These are difficult and unpredictable times, but if you’re on LinkedIn you have career standing and a network of new, old, and soon-to-be-indispensable friends. Share that good fortune with others not so lucky. As you work your way through the pandemic, do not forget to give and give back to the many charitable causes that will be asking for your assistance. It’s important to help others out. And if you see a charitable need that could use some attention, organize a charitable organization to provide help, guidance, and assistance. Give back to your community. You’ve got time.
The new era we’re in now is going to be with us for a while. Changes are coming—some we’re ready for and some we’re not. And some we’re not expecting at all. History is happening everyday and one day you will look back at this time period in your life and hopefully see that you took a bad thing and turned it into a good one. So…document your trials and achievements, your highs and lows, your ups and downs as you go through the CV era. Get our that zillion dollar digital SLR and really learn to do it; keep a journal; sketch; make some recordings of what’s happening; be the family historian. Someone should do this and it might as well be you. Document your life as we move through this unprecedented period of American life. You’ve got time.