How to maintain sanity during isolation
I have taught the subject of managing imprisonment for many years. My students were mostly people who might find themselves the victims of kidnap situations, where they might be incarcerated on their own or in small groups for months and possibly years.
Isolation for the corona virus is clearly not the same as being imprisoned but the principles of how to manage the psychological challenges are the same.
The following is a list of advisories on how to manage isolation. Many of them are taken from the experiences of people who have been in forced isolation for long periods such as prisoners (notably prisoners of war) and kidnap victims held in confinement.
Many of these advisories are common sense
What are the beats of your day?
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day if possible. Don’t oversleep. Lie-ins are a treat. When you wake up, take a moment to go through your daily routine.
Conduct morning ablutions. Wash. Teeth. Whatever! Cup of tea or coffee or equivalent wake-up, morning refresh. Catch up on news – find out what’s going on in the world (but be aware of fake news, media hypothesis, theories and excessive media drama and exaggerations).
Jog, walk, stretch, yoga, isometrics, gym – do something for 40 minutes or so to get the blood circulating and your metabolism going.
Keep it light. Or consider fasting! Could be a good opportunity to get trim if you think you need to.
Divide the chores into daily routines. Day 1 dusting and vacuuming. Day 2 laundry. Day 3 ironing, etc. Window cleaning. Vehicle clean. Garden, yard or balcony maintenance, sort out those books, magazines, cupboards, etc. Have a 7 day chores routine so that by the end of the week every aspect of your accommodation has been cleaned and organised.
Lunch or snack?
Make an effort. No short cuts. Lay the table. Clean up afterwards.
Do your project
Check on your neighbours
If any of your neighbours are physically challenged consider making their needs a part of your routine
Do something physically relaxing
Take a walk. Stretch. Have a bath.
Make it as sociable as possible. Communicate. Interact. Share stories, problems, theories, discussions, news.
Movie. Book. Puzzle. Board game, etc.