In some ways, my time in isolation has been liberating. The pressure of social events removed, the very real FOBO (fear of better options) a redundant concept for now.
I’ve found new love in old hobbies, spent some divine quality time with my partner, and have come to learn how much I appreciate every chance I get to hang out with people important to me. I can’t imagine bailing on plans again, and from here on I will be more considered in prioritising time alone at home, too.
But, of course, being isolated has been challenging. On top of merely staying home in an effort to flatten the curve, I did two solid weeks of precautionary but dedicated quarantine after a member of my household returned from travelling. I closed the door one day and didn’t open it again — not even for a walk. And in this time I really had to rely on stimuli already within my apartment to keep busy.
Below, I round up some of those items plus a few other random bits and bobs that provided endless entertainment during my time in iso.
Quaran-cleaning was one of my favourite hobbies in isolation. Since I was spending every minute in my apartment, I took joy in keeping a tidy household and seized every opportunity to clean, disinfect, and re-organise spaces that made no sense.
I got a Dyson V11 Outsize Pro (the best and newest tech from the British company) towards the beginning of isolation, and it became something of a companion. I enjoyed the bi-weekly ritual of running the unit over my hardwood floors and sucking dust out of my rugs. I didn’t mind that I made extra mess in the kitchen because the excuse to clean was worth spilling flour for.
You can read my full review of the Dyson V11 Outsize Pro here, but I highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a new vacuum — particularly for its extra-large dust drum and extended battery life.
Aside from my partner and I — and our long-reigning sourdough starter — my collection of indoor plants were the only other living things I interacted with for a number of weeks while in isolation.
I’m not yet allowed pets in my place (working on it), so I channel that nourishing energy into my green pals, of which I have 43. The change in weather was tough on them, and we lost a few good leaves, but the responsibility we had in taking care of them, re-potting, propagating, fertilising and watering them, was fantastic in keeping us accountable. I suppose when you have something else to look after, it could be seen as easier to look after yourself too.
Latch hook rug
Perhaps my most random hobby to date! My boyfriend and I decided to knit a latch hook rug a couple of years ago and made a fairly good start on it before swiftly losing interest. While in isolation, we picked up the hobby once more. We already had everything we needed, plus significantly more time.
Making a latch hook rug involves therapeutically threading a single piece of wool fibre through a mesh net, that after a series of many hours, will eventually resemble a soft, plush carpet. It’s a long slog, and it will make you sneeze for hours on end, but I’m sure it’ll be really rewarding once we finally finish it. Interested to make your own? Find out more about latch hook rugs here.
I’m going to be honest here, exercising has not been my first priority in isolation. I haven’t worked out every day, but I have done a short Nike Training Club app workout at the end of most days, even if it was the seven-minute stretch after a full day sitting hunched at the dining table.
At the end of a normal workday (one that takes place in an office), the time in which you commute home is usually spent switching off from emails, Slack and the million tabs you have open. At home though, there isn’t much of a “cool-down” period to help ease you into leisure time. I found the few minutes I spent stretching on my cushioned yoga mat as a great interim solution.
I have long dealt with cystic acne that, more often than not, is exacerbated by makeup. While in isolation, my skin cleared significantly for not applying makeup every day, and so I finally felt I had the chance to try fun, new skincare products that I never would have otherwise tried on top of sore blemishes.
At the suggestion of a friend, I joined the Mecca Chit Chat group on Facebook, made up of over 350k beauty enthusiasts. Through hundreds of posts, reviews and recommendations from real users with skin issues like my own, I finally gathered an informed cart together and bought a haul of products — from a Vitamin C serum to an AHA tonic.
It’s been really fun to try new products without the fear of breaking out. And actually, since I started my new beauty routine, I’ve had no new blemishes in two weeks (huge for me).