Callan Kelly in Isolation

April 16, 2020

The last couple weeks of social distancing, not leaving the house unless for essentials, police questioning everyone’s journeys and the full-on assault on our brains by media coverage of the pandemic has felt strange and dystopian. I found the initial changes quite easy to adapt to, as it was just a matter of when rather than if, so I had been expecting them. As time wears on though I’m finding it harder and harder to find new things with which to occupy myself. Thankfully I’ve been able to continue the majority of my work form home, and the whole team at Isle Listen has become flexible and taken on new roles. This has at least enabled me to structure my day and fill a lot of time.  

Only about 24 hours before the island went in to lock down my 17-year-old brother arrived from the UK, so at least I’ve had him to keep me entertained, share cooking and cleaning jobs around the house. Honestly, I don’t know how well I’d be coping on my own for weeks or months on end, so my heart goes out to those that are stuck in, alone through this. Please remember to do whatever you can to keep in touch and continue socialising with those that are vulnerable or quarantining! 

With regards to things like routine, I tend to still get up around 7.30 or 8 AM, but some days it’s 11 or 12, and that’s fine! Some days I work out, some days I don’t. Some days I’m really productive, some days I struggle to form coherent sentences. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect at a time when everyone is having good and bad days, remember that nothing has changed when you see people on social media who seem to be incredibly active or productive, we still only see the highlights from peoples days/weeks. The rest of the time they’re probably on the sofa watching Netflix too! 

It’s easy for days to begin blurring together but try to keep some form of routine. It’s particularly important to try and go to bed at a similar time each night if you can. If you want to learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby, that’s brilliant. But also, you don’t have to use this time to ‘better yourself’, sometimes just being is enough. However, continuing to educate yourself is a great way to stave off boredom.    

I think that the key to maintaining good mental health through this is not always to aim to be happy, but to continue to find purpose in your day-to-day. Maybe aim to achieve just one thing each day, anything extra you get done is a bonus. As tough as it is, remain optimistic. See the big picture and find the positives even in this strange time.  

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