10 Things to learn when Self-Isolating ~ Manali Debroy

‘There is more to life than it seems and there is always more to learn than you can.’

When a pandemic like Novel COVID-19 hits us at a time when economies all over the world are still reeling from different other issues, it calls for a time of self-retrospection and full cooperation. This kind of situation pauses our daily fast-moving lifestyle. For commoners like you and me who dream about a lot of things that include luxury, being ambitious and working towards target becomes a fixated and very natural day-to-day work life for us. And all these dreams tend to take a pause now, given the situation demands a lot of vigilance and self-care right now. The governments around the globe are urging everyone to stay at home, follow a self-quarantine process and indulge in living a hygienic lifestyle even if you are living at our own house for the next 14 days. All these leave us with a very precious gift that we can never give ourselves in the hush and gush of everyday life – Time. Technologies have evolved at a stage that we can imagine a world, where we can shuffle our times to work from home and office. We are grateful to all the video conferencing and remote working technology innovations that have led us to cope up with a situation like COVID-19, trying to lessen the impact on the business as much as we can.

Nonetheless, in this situation where time is something you have in abundance, let’s look at 10 things you can do while self-isolating yourself:

1. Self-educate yourself on the pandemic situation

Novel COVID-19 has spread like a wildfire within no time, leaving everyone in the world huffing and puffing on the measures to contain it without spreading more. And as a dutiful citizen of the world, instead of panicking we should take a step back and cooperate with the situation. Self-quarantining is a step that everyone should consider and start practicing now. While we are self-isolating ourselves to prevent the spread of this communicable virus, we can make the most use of the internet and Dr. Google now than at any other time. Gaining knowledge about this situation and making ourselves self-aware is the need of the hour.

My suggestion: Watch the ‘Pandemic’ series in Netflix. That will give more idea about what a pandemic is, what to do and what not to do during a pandemic.

2. Upskill yourself

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Job Reports, by 2022 close to 54% of the workforce will require significant re- and up-skilling. The self-isolation period now should be considered as the perfect timing to upskill yourself as per your professional background. There are many certified online courses that you can choose from and get started while being at home.

Websites to upskill: Udemy courses, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera

PS: If you are already using LinkedIn premium, then you will be having access to the LinkedIn Learning for free.

3. Explore the inner artist in you and unleash your art

There are many long-lost interests of everyone that fade away somewhere while we are trying to prove ourselves in this professional and ruthless corporate world. Whether it is painting, sketching, cooking, dancing, writing, or creating music – we all have some passion that we forget to pursue due to our hectic lifestyles. Hence, while we are at home now, let’s make the most of this time to pursue learning whatever our heart wants to. Let’s bring some self-content to ourselves.

Few apps that you can download on your phone /ipad to learn are – Tonal Harmony Analysis/Music Tutor for people who are interested in learning music; Domestika helps you unleash the creativity in you and you can choose different illustration courses with them; Tasty gives the chef in you a stir and presents so many new dishes to learn and try.

PS: Youtube is anyways the best source to checkout many of these hobbies. At least it will give you the initial kick to pursue learning these.

4. Learn time management

A very essential skill for everyone doing any kind of work – time management. It is surprising to see how many people really struggle to be efficient in the time management department. So, why not start at home when we are already in self-isolation. We can do this simply by start practicing a routine and setting a time limit for the whole process to check our efficiency.

Example – Clean the kitchen, organize the kitchen cupboards, wash the vegetables/ meat you want to cook, cook meals for lunch and dinner, ironing the clothes and arranging them in your cupboard. Do the task in this order and then before having your lunch check the time you set and the actual time you finished the whole task. And then gradually try to improve on the time efficiency every day. You will definitely see the results.

Apps you can use to track your work (efficient time management apps): Jibble, Focus Booster, Toggle.

5. Let’s teach

People who love teaching and are getting completely bored by being at home all by themselves, it’s time to pursue teaching. There are online websites where you can register and teach as per your knowledge and interests – starting from coding – to teaching any language like English, French, Mandarin, etc.

PS: LearnWorlds is one such website

6. Let’s crossword

Self-learning is the best, and when it comes to solving a puzzle or a crossword, it comes only with practice, and no one can teach you. Hence, it’s a perfect time to dust off the junk of your brains and start doing crosswords or solving any word /number puzzle. This will not just keep you occupied, but this will also help you build vocabulary, master skills to solve something quickly as well as rebuild or enhance your confidence.

Apps where you can crossword / solve puzzles: Shortyz Crosswords, Cryptic Crossword Lite, NYTimes – Crossword

7. Learn to spare time for your soul – Meditate!

Easy as it might sound, but most of us don’t know how to meditate. Now that we have got so much time and not to fuss and worry about some pitch for the client’s meeting tomorrow or what to wear to impress the client, let’s devote some time to our soul and mental peace. Try to lie down with your eyes closed, palms up and focus on your breath for at least 20 mins. Remove all the other wandering thoughts. Let’s try to learn how to meditate to refresh ourselves. My personal favourite is headspace app as it includes meditations and exercises teaching you the essentials of meditation and mindfulness. 

Apps for meditation: Headspace, Calm, Aura

8. Learn to be socially active while keeping social distance

While the time calls for keeping social distance to avoid human to human contact spreading, we should not be unsocial and keep ourselves aloof from everyone. Use Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger to video chat with your short as well as long-distance friends as well as family. Because friends and family are your strength, so do not distance yourself from them, rather make the full use of technology.

9. Don’t be a parasite and start learning to file your income taxes

The task to which we always say, “Next year for sure, I’ll file my taxes myself’, let it be this year. Filing income taxes is not rocket science. The only thing is it will take around 30 mins for the first-time registration on the e-filing website. So, let’s use this time to create an account and learn how to file IT returns by yourself.

Refer to the E-filing website to know details on user registration and how to file IT returns – http://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home

10. Finally..let’s learn more about happiness and family

Everyone is available at home now – you, your children and your spouse. In this everyday cutthroat competitive lifestyle, you probably miss out on the minute and delicate details of knowing your children / your spouse. Take this time now to spend time with them. Read bedtime stories to your children / have those adolescent talks that you keep postponing, play Xbox tennis / any other sport with them, teach them chess/ scrabble or play with them. Cook for your children and / or your spouse. Find that happiness quotient of your life (i.e., your family) again in this self-isolation period. 

I hope these 10 things give you an inspiration to not look at this self-isolation time as a boring phase but try to make the most out of this time. Let’s be cooperative with each other at this time and pray for those who are struggling for life. Let’s hope and pray for a healthy society!

My thoughts are with the families who have lost their loved ones to this pandemic.