As the number of friends and colleagues self-isolating grows by the day, now is the time to plan on the possibility of having to spend an extended period of time at home. If like me, you’ve also had a lot of social or work events cancelled, you might have some unexpected free time to do some of the things that may already be on your to-do list!
Preparing for self-isolation
Whether you secretly love or fear the idea of being confined to home due to the Covid-19 public health emergency, it’s wise to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.
Audit your supplies
Do a pantry, fridge and freezer audit. I’ve got a handy checklist of the supplies I like to keep on hand to whip up delicious and healthy store cupboard meals. With the economy getting a bit wobbly, if possible it’s a good time to support your local organic co-op or independent stores when restocking your pantry.
Find recipes to use your supplies
Whenever I do a pantry and fridge audit, they often uncover odd impulse purchases bought with good intention but never used. Now’s the time to make rice balls with that pack of umeboshi plums, pilaf with the freekeh/quinoa/millet or peanut sauce with the black rice vinegar.
What have you found that you’re struggling to find a use for? Leave a comment below.
With the weather shifting from the summer heat to autumnal showers, I’ve recently built a new garden bed and planted a crop of leafy greens. If you’ve got no space, there are some nifty pots and hanging planter for growing hardy culinary herbs like parsley and chives or a few green, which perk up those pantry staple meals if fresh veggies get low. gardener it’s very easy to grow quick growing lettuces and herbs in pots.
Read all those books!
Tsundoku: acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them.
Guilty as charged! I have a stack of physical and digital books that there’s never any time to read.
Perhaps some of the pile is unread because screen-based entertainment is so addictive? If you’re unexpectedly isolated, consider an hour or more a day when the internet is turned off and the whole family is screen-free (except for e-readers if necessary).
If you’re not a book hoarder, some libraries have already closed their doors, so take a look at the free e-books they loan instead (or stock up while you can if your local library is still open). A number of local, independent bookstores have offered to deliver directly if you’re self-isolating. Support these shops if you can, in challenging economic times they need your patronage more than ever.
Speaking of books – have you seen my review of When Life Is Not Peachy yet? It’s a winner!
In most instances, people in self-isolation have still been able to go for walks, runs or cycle, as long as they practice social distancing (in Australia that means a minimum of 1.5 metres away from others). But please check your locality guidelines before doing so.
It’s important to get off the computer or couch and move your body regularly. Drinking more water means you’ll have more toilet breaks. Use the Pomodoro technique or timer on your phone (I like the oven timer as its super annoying and have to get up to turn it off) as a reminder to get moving.
It’s raining or you can’t leave the house? There’s an amazing amount of yoga and exercise videos on YouTube and other platforms but take it easy and don’t push your body. If these techniques are unfamiliar to you, try gentle stretches a couple of times a day, a skipping rope or jogging on the spot. For cardio, nothing beats putting on your favourite music and dancing.
My neighbour is hatching a scheme to get us onto our balconies and backyards to dance to 80s disco music every night. (It’s that kind of hood!)
Make a regular time to call/Skype/FaceTime/SMS friends near and far. Have a conversation.
Help those around you. Got a friend or neighbour who is self-isolating, check on them regular to see if they’re ok. Drop off care packages and shopping.
Start to get to know your neighbours is you don’t already. If appropriate, drop a note in their letter box saying hello and sharing contact details.
Most of all, be kind to yourself as well as others.
What would you do if you need to self-isolate? It’s time to make your wish list and share in comments.