In this strange new world our everyday concerns have been replaced by a whole new set of things to think about (one example is which shade of lipstick to wear for the weekly supermarket trip given it’s the only time I leave the house besides exercising!). So faced at the prospect of weeks/ months at home we looked for inspiration on how to thrive (not just survive) the isolation. And bingo – as usual the Sunday Times came up trumps. The feature Read lots, stay hopeful and be glad you’re not chained to a radiator by Katherine Forster looked at top tips from four past masters of the confined space – a hostage, a prisoner, a submariner and an astronaut. Here’s what they say:
- Says former hostage Terry Waits: Don’t regret the past. No self-pity. There are many people in worse positions than you. Take one day at a time. And keep hopeful…. It’s important to keep your dignity. Dress well, even when you’re alone… It may feel empty but take solitude in the right spirits and it can be a formative experience.
- Says Carol Cattermole, former prison inmate: Without occupation your mind can go sideways… Alternate between exercise for the mind and for the body. Every 10 pages I’d stop reading and do 10 push-ups. That quickly went up to 20, 30…200
- Says Jon Bailey, submariner: Anyone who’s ever been on a caravanning holiday will have some sense of how your personal space is invaded [when on a submarine]. Routine is crucial. Get up at a sensible time and plan your day. Be disciplined. Draw up a meal plan for each week. Get out into the sunshine once a day. And connect with people through WhatsApp, phone or talking with your neighbours from a safe distance. You may be confined but you are not alone
- Says astronaut Chris Hadfield: Our current combination of something that makes you uneasy and fearful and being separate and not able to see your normal group of friends and family is a lot like being on a spaceship. Understand your mission. Go to a credible source and find out what is truly the risk you’re facing right now. Know your mission: then give yourself clear objectives for this afternoon, this week, this month. Look at your constraints. What are your obligation? What financial resources do you have? Take action. Start doing things. Read, write, create. It’s a chance to do something different that you’ve maybe not done before. Take care of yourself. Take care of your family and friends. Take care of your spaceship and I wish everybody happy landings!
Futon Company says: In our experience, the best way to ground yourself in a time of uncertainty is to look beyond your immediate world and seek out ideas and guidance from new and different perspectives. These top tips certainly do that. And taking that one step further, looking at your space from a new perspective could help you to make the most of what you have. Struggling to store work stuff at home? Finding it tricky to house three adults who are working from home every day and rarely leaving the house? Now’s the time to think creatively about your space, perhaps moving furniture around, creating zones, making the most of wall space for storage. And now the weather is getting warmer think about how you can maximise outside space to get fresh air (even if it’s just a doorstep with space for a chair 20 minutes a day). Time to think outside the box and find ways to stay sane and survive the lockdown!)