Self-isolation can bring out the best and the worst in us. With all this time on our hands, our minds are left to their own distracting and rather addictive devices. 

Hands up who’s put on a couple of extra kilos during lockdown? And ordered things from ebay they really didn’t need? Yep, me too. 

But instead of using this very rare time that we all have at the moment to fuel these addictive tendencies, how about we try and use this time in a way that can really benefit us.

While the most obvious thing to do is to respect the rules of social distancing for as long as it is recommended, here are some other dos and don’ts to consider during self-isolation to help steer you in a healthier (and happier) direction.

Don’t:

1.Text your ex

I know it’s tempting. You’re bored, restless, and scrolling through the Facebook News Feed just isn’t doing it for you anymore. 

You wonder, “mmm. I wonder what he’s up to?” You go onto his Facebook profile and have a little stalking session. Next thing you know, you’re thinking about getting back in contact. 

Don’t.

This is a bad idea. As the saying goes, “let sleeping dogs lie”. You’ve moved on. He’s moved on. Ask yourself, why do you want to message him? Is it for some sort of reassurance? Validation? Or to know that he still cares? 

And once you’ve got that validation, then what?

Instead, do this… 

Reconnect with old friends

There’s no better time to reconnect with old friends than right now. It’s so easy to lose touch with friends we’ve loved over the years.

We’re all so busy doing our thing. Phone calls get less and less until eventually a friendship has just fizzled out and you barely think of them anymore. 

What friends have you had amazing memories with? Who did you have the most fun with? Who was always there for you? Who made you roll around on the floor crying in laughter?

Give them a call. Or a Whatsapp audio note. Or a text. 

And see what happens. 

Don’t:

2. Binge eat because you’re bored

We’ve all been there. 

The sweet tooth kicks in for me daily. In fact, many times daily! Especially because right now I have so much time on my hands. So much time to daydream about… THE COOKIE JAR!

Ten cookies later, you’re comatose on the couch complaining that you feel fat and shouldn’t have eaten all those cookies. 

So let’s take this food addiction by the reigns and take our power back!

Instead, do this… 

Drink a pint of water or make a herbal tea

Many of you may be thinking, “what?! How is that going to stop my binge eating?”

Did you know that a lot of the time when we’re hungry, we’re actually dehydrated? It’s true.

When the urge to eat something unhealthy kicks in, give it a go, drink a pint of water or make a relaxing herbal tea. It will likely fill you up and satisfy your cravings.

If your mind is still craving a naughty treat, then swap it with a natural sweet treat. Like a handful of grapes, some natural yogurt and honey, or a chia seed pudding with coconut milk (my personal fave!). 

Your body will not only feel better for feeding it with something nutritious, but you’ll also feel a hell of a lot less guilty. 

Don’t: 

3. Sit on the couch the whole time

Again, it’s tempting to stay indoors and do nothing. I mean, that’s what we’ve been told to do right?

We get to catch up on all our favorite series, watch movies we haven’t seen in years and all the daytime shows that we usually miss when we’re at work.

But just because we are confined to our houses, doesn’t mean we can’t be active!

And that’s not to say watching the whole trilogy of Lord of the Rings in one day is a bad thing. It’s just about balance. 

Instead, do this… 

Plan a fun workout

It doesn’t have to be a long workout, it just needs to be regular. And something you can commit to doing every day. 

If you’re out in the sticks and are able to go outside, then consider going for a nice brisk walk or a bike ride. 

If you’re confined to your house then either watch an appealing class on Youtube, whether it be yoga, pilates, aerobics or Joe Wicks’ 10-minute workout – choose whatever looks the most fun. 

Alternatively, go into your room, put your headphones on and dance like you’ve never danced before. 

Not only does this daily bit of exercise make your body feel amazing, but the release of endorphins is fantastic for lifting your mood. 

Don’t:

4. Mindlessly binge-buy online

Yep, this is definitely my weak spot. I love to scroll through Ebay and Amazon looking for stuff to buy that I really don’t need. 

If you’re like me and love to shop, then I think you will benefit from a little technique that I like to use that really helps. 

There’s nothing wrong with spending money. But I always find it’s good to be aware of what you’re spending your money on. 

Is it a pointless “must-have” beauty product that’s fuelled by vanity? (Yes, I’m guilty of this). Or is it something that you’ve felt inspired to buy for yourself that will really genuinely help you. 

Instead, do this… 

Put money back into savings

What I like to do when my addictive shopping urge takes over, is to look at this thing I wanted to buy, pause and ask myself if I really need it. The answer is usually no. So then the money I would have spent on this item of clothing, beauty product or another thing I don’t need, I put the equivalent amount in a savings account. 

Even if it’s one dollar! Transfer from your main bank account into a savings account. 

And then after a few months, when this pandemic is all over, you can take a look at what you have accumulated and buy something you’ve always dreamed of buying for yourself. 

A course, a traveling adventure, even a shopping spree!

The point of this exercise is not to buy compulsively. And to use some healthy determination and discipline to take control of your addiction. 

Be present with unhealthy urges

When any kind of addiction tendency takes over, we are letting the mind get the better of us. We lose connection with what our true needs are. And this requires presence

A lot of the time we are looking for a temporary good-feeling fix, a feeling of satisfaction. But the truth of the matter is – we are looking for that feeling of satisfaction in all the wrong places. 

We need to bring more awareness to what we’re doing. And to find out, or rather, feel out, from which place we are doing it from. And you can feel the difference between a creative, intuitive feeling-good impulse versus a need to satisfy a needy addictive pattern. 

So when the addictive urge comes, whether it be to text your ex, eat the cookies, binge watch Netflix or buy that dress, ask yourself: “Do I really need this? What do I really need right now?”

Just asking that question can bring about an intuition that feels new, expansive, different, interesting and creative!

Trust yourself. And remember, this is such an amazing and important time for self-transformation. 

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