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Staying Happy & Connected in the Coronavirus Quarantine

Top Tips to Help you Keep Motivated and Socially Connected

by naomi fiddes-baron

We know it’s really hard to deal with feeling like you’re isolated, or coming up with something more interesting to do than re-watching Friends on Netflix. Though, that isn’t a bad shout for something to do during self-isolation to be fair….

The impact of self-isolation means that many if not most of us are confined to our homes as much as is possible.  So, maybe now is the perfect time to finish “that thing” you always meant to get around to doing?  Personally, I’ve been trying to do a Rubix Cube since about 1999, and I’ve just unearthed it from the depths of the wardrobe…. wish me luck!

Take up a New Hobby?

It’s an undeniable fact that we often complain of having no time to focus on the things we really want to do.  Live is busy; it’s hard to fit in an extra hour or two to learn an instrument, try out your French, or once and for all, nail juggling!

If the new hobby you’re picking up is converting a van (or at least preparing to), we’ve launched a series of van conversion virtual workshops so you can learn the necessary skills from the experts. We’ve got workshops on:

We totally get that this coronavirus self-isolation really isn’t the ideal way to have found ourselves with a little more time to ourselves.  However, putting your mind to the challenge of mastering a new skill is a brilliant way to keep mentally stimulated.

Keep Struture

Staying motivated throughout the day when you’re possibly working from home can be difficult.  It’s really important that you try, where possible, to keep to a routine that mirrors your “normality” as much as possible. 

  • Get up at your usual time.
  • Don’t scrimp on personal hygiene – have that shower!
  • Get dressed – it’s amazing the difference to your productivity that sitting in something other than pyjamas or a onesie will make.
  • Give yourself breaks – you wouldn’t normally spend the whole 8 hours of your working day staring at the screen, so it’s perfectly acceptable not to do this when you’re working from home during a coronavirus quarantine.
  • Keep in touch! Where possible, use remote working tools such as Zoom, Skype, Slack or Teams to keep in regular video contact with your team.
  • Have your regular lunch break. At the moment, the government advice is that we can go outside for a walk. So, maybe a half hour jog at lunch will really help get you back in a motivated frame of mind when you return to your laptop.
  • Stop working when it’s home time. It’s important to maintain your standard schedule. There are no prizes for working all the hours in the day in a bid to ensure you’re looking as productive as possible whilst working from home. When your working day has finished, turn your laptop off; don’t be tempted to come back to it in the evening!

Go Inside, but, Whilst Inside!

Staying inside during the Covid-19 outbreak doesn’t mean you can’t go exploring.  You just, might have to do it virtually!  A great way to stave off boredom during a self-isolation social distancing period is to go on a virtual museum tour.  In fact, some of these virtual museum tours are almost better than real life, because you get to beat the queues and avoid the crowds!

Our favourites are:

  • The Vatican Museum: You can check out The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Raphael’s Room on the Vatican’s virtual tour.
  • Detroit Institute of Arts:  Lindsay and David at Quirky Campers HQ are huge fans of Frida Kahlo, so much so that their newest campervan van conversion is being inspired by the Mexican art icon.  So, they love that 2 of the 4 online exhibits at the Detroit Institute of Arts focus on her.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Set some time aside for this one!  Incredible, every exhibit in the museum can be seen in this awesome virtual tour.
  • NASA: This one is pretty good for home schooling as well as staving off boredom! Both Virginia’s Langley Research Center and Ohio’s Glenn Research Center offer free online tours. We also love the super cool augmented reality experience via The Space Center Houston’s app which you can get on Android or IOS.
  • Van Gogh Museum: Google Arts & Culture enables you to get super close to the famous impressionist painter’s most famous works.

Stay Connected

Human are, on the whole, social beings. While it’s crucial to slowing the spread of COVID-19, practising social distancing will result in fewer face-to-face social interactions, potentially increasing the risk of loneliness.

Staying socially connected during a Coronavirus quarantine is super important for your mental health. By socially connected, of course we mean remotely, digitally, and following the social distancing guidelines!

It’s important to think of creative ways to remain connected whilst we are practicing social distancing or are in quarantine. Some of the top tips we have seen for staying sane in the coronavirus quarantine are:

  • Use your smartphone’s full technological capabilities (if you have one). Video calls are much nicer than simply hearing someone’s voice and it makes for a better social connection. Could you try and enable older relatives to use a smartphone?
  • If you’re locked down with people you currently live with, use this time to improve those relationships. We know it’s going to be super stressful, but we recommend spending some time connecting with those in your immediate circle.
  • Get the community vibe! Wherever you can, check in with your friends, family, and neighbours regularly and assist those that might struggle with things like online shopping.
  • It’s important that you manage your stress levels. We’re fans of a morning yoga or mediation exercise which will really help you stick to a routine.
  • When catching up with friends, try out different activities like virtual pub quizzes, hosting a book club or watching a movie together.

Go offline

This new virtual way of working and connecting with friends and family can mean a lot of screen time. It can also make you feel like you need to be “on” all the time. If it’s getting too much, it might be time for a digital detox – even if it’s just an hour a day or one day a week.

Instead of being online, you could try some of our wet weather campervan activities or read a travel book to start dreaming and planning for what you’ll do when lockdown is over.

It’s completely okay to not be online and available all the time.

Stay Safe, Stay Kind

It’s really important that every single person plays their part in this totally unprecedented pandemic. Most importabtly, be kind to each other. We’re all trying to work out how to adjust to the coronavirus situation and to cope as best we can with the social distancing guidelines.

And speaking of being kind – be kind to yourself! If everything above fails, you don’t learn learn anything new during lockdown and the most you you achieve is re-watching Friends, that’s okay! This is a pandemic – it’s completely unfamiliar territory, it can be scary and unnerving. So if all you manage to do is survive from one day to the next, you’re doing great!

Put your thinking caps on, be considerate with your action and be creative to see how you can help to minimise not only the spread of COVID-19, but its social and psychological effects too.

Stay safe, everyone – with love from the Quirky Campers team!