Social isolation, just saying it can evoke panic, anxiety and fear for so many people. After all, we are social beings and we need to have connection and community. Social isolation however, is not new to me. From the time I was a little girl I would spend hours upon hours sitting by the river by myself. In this space I felt so peaceful, so grounded. Any anxiety and stress I may have had seemed to disappear instantly once I sat next to the water. Listening to the flow of it was so calming to me. There were also many times that I was grounded to my room or spent a whole day not being able to leave it unless I had my clothes organized and room cleaned. I always took my time though, I get easily distracted and would read or get doing something else in my room so it never seemed to bother me. As I became an adult, with a busy full time career though, raising two young children on my own, I enjoyed it as well. I was a Child Support Counselor during the week, a Victim Services Advocate and Crisis Counselor every second weekend. I remember the Friday;s that I would drop my children off at their Dad’s and I wasn’t working or volunteering I would often, at the end of a hard week, have a “Get happy night!” I needed these often and I looked forward to them. Let me explain a Get Happy Night. It was a night where I would have no internet and no phone calls but I would stop at my favorite restaurant on the way home and get my favorite dish, which was usually at Skylark Restaurant on 52nd St and 17th Ave S.E. in Calgary. I’d then go rent a few movies for the weekend. Can you remember those days? It would have to be funny movies where I would laugh my face off because the week would have been a really stressful time and in order to move through that trauma and stress i would have been a part of during the week, you would have to use laughter and the release of feel good hormones. So I would have my favorite meal, a glass of red wine and a really great movie. Often in the summer I’d go outside before bed while the stars were out shining their pure love. I would gaze up at the sky and just really enjoy the moment. It took me awhile to really understand the art of Being and not always Doing, which truly is the Art of Social Isolation isn’t it?
I left my career, my home, family and pretty much everything I knew and took my two kiddo’s and moved to a town of 335 people in the middle of the mountains! Trust me, it was not easy! My world literally came to an utter and complete halt! My body went from chaos to complete nothingness. I mean, I moved in and organized and unpacked my house, but then, I’d sit in the backyard and I remember my body…almost for one, feeling heavy, feeling numb. I mean the crazy busy life I lead, owning my own home, traveling an hour into the city to daycare then to work then back to the daycare and home to fix dinner and proceed with the usual bedtime routines….to a quiet, peaceful town, where rush hour is 3 cars….where there was nowhere to be….there was just being. I’m sure there are many people at this time wondering what the heck to do with themselves. In the world where you go to work all day and then to a family at night and running to hockey and this and that , it is a lot when you finally have a moment of peace and even though people may have said they took time out…it’s different when it’s a forced thing and fear surrounding a virus. You really do understand true non doing. The Art of Social Distancing is not as bad as you might think. There is the initial shock that you must get over, and the best way to do that is to simply accept. Let go of the things that you think you MUST be doing, and then let it sit with you. Then after the shock wears off, there actually will be a moment of excitement! All the things that you would liked to have done in a day, or things you want to catch up on or new hobbies you have been meaning to try all come together now and excitement fills your being. So, since I have had many years on my own in isolation, i’d like to share with you some things that you can do! I hope you all enjoy this time, I hope you have some a-ha moments and most of all, I hope you all stay safe during this challenging time and look after each other, in family and I hope you might re-connect, begin to develop a deeper relationship with those whom you do not spend much time with. Here is a list.
Activities and Such:
– Schedule your days and weeks with different things to do as a family or as a single person. ie- Every Friday night is Family Night, meaning NO Computer, social media, tv or phones. Take time to re-connect as a family, after all, when you consider a family with two working parents or one working parent and kids in school, you really spend 4 or 5 hours a day with your children or significant other. Board games, a deck of cards, lego blocks- build a big project with your kids while you talk, share stories. Draw a picture where all of you add something to the art. Play charades, hide and seek, I spy, make play-doh( 1 cup of flour, cream of tartar if you have it, salt, water and food coloring) mix it on the stove until it forms a ball then take out and let it cool, then knead it till smooth).
– Read a new book
-Take free courses or paid courses on Alison.com or Udemy.
– Learn a new language
– Help your child or children with a subject in school they are having a hard time with.
– Have a baking day and bake with your children.
– Do a story night and tell a story, look for topics of interest such as other countries, travel, food, make up your own! Stand up and be theatrical about it!
– Teach something on a facebook live stream
– There is an app on the phone that I enjoy on a Friday night when I’m on my own and feel I need connection….I smule! hahaha a Karaoke app. I can’t explain it but I truly love it!
– Write a book
– Take a family walk or a walk by yourself. There are so many parks I know in Calgary and in BC in the Kootenay’s there is always spaces to walk by yourself where you are safe.
– Make candles
– Have an online “Paint Night” or a Family Paint Night
– Skype or video chat with friends over dinner, watch the same movie online while video chatting as it feels like you are both in the same room. You can laugh together, talk, eat popcorn….just like being together only safer!
– Meditate – the art of meditation not only helps ease anxiety, but it helps you to deal with daily stress.
– Journal! There must be alot you would like to tell your future self!
– Make future plans – map of destiny!
– Do a family time capsule. I mean come on, has 2020 not been the most eventful year yet??
This time, could be a time of working through stories or challenges that keep you little, small and not playing big in the world. There is so much beauty in spending time on your own….I started some parts of social distancing in my marriage…but once I left and went to BC, I stopped watching the news, didn’t watch TV, didn’t read the paper. I know to some that might sound ignorant. But in my world, in that little town…I didn’t need to know about things that were happening around me, because in my world, there was so much that I was learning about myself, so much healing that I was going through and it brought me to a place that I am right now. I learned to let go, to embrace and to just accept what ever is. Because, there are such things such as co-vid19 that we can’t control, but, in the moment, we can do for ourselves, and that is not selfish. We can also do things for humanity at this time. Look at Italy how they are helping each other out by singing together on balconies, playin piano out on a balcony. Did you see alot of facebook lives by famous people such as Ellen and Sir Anthony Hopkins? If he isn’t a Sir he should be. We can help those out around the globe that are having difficulties with this isolation , there is a lot of fear on this planet currently. There are some people that are healers, empaths or light workers, such as myself, that find it really difficult in moments such as this that need to isolate themselves even more because we feel the global community and the anxiety…it’s not mine…I do sometimes worry, but only for a moment, then I know, what ever is to happen, I am okay with it because it is what it is…I can’t argue with what is! Embrace this time….there is so much to do. If you really are having a hard time dealing with this…you are welcome to reach out to me….I will respond to you as soon as I can. Blessings to all of you and be safe. You are all in my heart and my thoughts. Namaste …..#joannehughescoaching, #staysafe, #isolateyourself