10 Life Changing Things to Do While You Are in Self-Isolation

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all in this together; but we are not in the same boat.

“When’s my ship coming in?”

“Swim out to it!”

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are all in this together; but we are not in the same boat. You may well find yourself alone at home, either because you are in self-isolation or because your employer has asked you to work from home. You may also find that you have less work to do as this crisis will be putting a stop to many business activities across the globe.

If you are an employee of a cash-rich company, then good for you. You will probably continue to draw your salary.  If you run your own business or work for one that has stopped trading, you could well be in a worse position. Last but not least, many of us will also be concerned about the health risks of the pandemic virus.

This article is by no means intended to trivialize the hardship that many of us will experience over the coming weeks or months, however, I would encourage you to find something positive in this difficult situation. Maybe that self-isolation and extra time at hand could be used to create a positive change in your life, or perhaps even new opportunities for your career or business?

Here are a few projects that you could take on while you are stuck at home, if indeed you are not actually ill (in which case you should rest!):

1. Review your life

Most people are so busy running on a hamster wheel each day that they never make time to stop and review their life from a bird’s eye view. I recommend everybody to make time once a year to reflect on the big questions of your life, such as:

  • Is this still the life I want to live?
  • Do I love my career?
  • What would satisfaction in all my key life areas look like?
  • What is most important to me in my life?
  • Where do I want to be in 5/10/20 years?

If you are in self-isolation, this could be a great opportunity to work through these questions in detail.  A coach like myself can assist you with this. Coaching can be done very safely and effectively via Skype video calls.  In fact, I receive my own coaching via Skype from people I have never met in person.

2. Learn a new skill

Hand on heart: Who here is guilty of having bought an online course in a bout of enthusiasm but then never completed it? I have for sure! Now is a great time to dig it out and work through the course; or buy a new one and actually complete it this time!

Maybe:

  • you always wanted to learn French?
  • you know that completing a software coding course would improve your job opportunities?
  • you have wanted to learn SEO strategies to boost your business?
  • you feel attracted to a creative writing course just for the sheer pleasure of it?

3. Brush up your CV and LinkedIn profile

Speaking of your job, if you are dreaming of greener pastures, how about brushing up your CV and improving your LinkedIn profile? There are lots of guides on how to do this available on the internet or Amazon. You could even go further by reaching out to your network and contacting recruitment agencies or a coach to discuss your career plans.  It is quite likely that over the coming weeks they will have more time to talk to you than normal.

4. Learn Meditation & Mindfulness

If you find it hard to stand still and be alone, it’s likely that you would probably benefit from practicing exactly that. Learning to enjoy being mindful and practicing meditation can be life-changing. It can improve your emotional wellbeing, sharpen your mind and reduce stress levels. You may even find that mindfulness will open a door to a completely new joyful experience of life. There are plenty of online courses on mindfulness available; or try a meditation app such as Calm or Headspace.

5. Connect to neglected friends

This could be the most powerful of all the items on my list.  Scholars of Positive Psychology tell us that social connections are the most important ingredient to our happiness; much more than our career, that dream job or looking beautiful.  Maintaining healthy social connections is particularly important when you are in self-isolation. It helps you keep our mental health on track.

Thanks to modern technology we can still connect to others even when we have to stay at home alone. A skype video call will be almost like having the other person sitting next to you. How about making time to have calls with all those friends and family members that you have been neglecting recently? How cool would it be if this crisis actually brought us closer together despite social distancing?

And don’t forget ordinary phone calls. When was the last time you spoke to a friend and truly listened to them, fully concentrating on their voice without browsing the internet at the same time?

6. Create a business plan

Ever dreamed of running your own business? Do you have lots of ideas but don’t know how to make them happen?  How about taking one of those ideas and think them through in detail! You can download a basic business plan template from the internet that tells you about all the items to consider, such as the basic concept, ideal client, the pricing model, route to market, etc. Do a SWOT analysis (you can look that one up too!) and exchange ideas with your friends over Skype. You can also work with a coach to explore and test your ideas.

Perhaps you could start by creating a website for your business? Sites like Wix and Squarespace make it super easy and fun.

7. Get fit

Get fit at home! How, you may wonder? Well, if you have free floor space of at least 1m x 2m, then that’s all you need to do a tough workout. There are lots of apps that offer workout routines that don’t require any equipment. My favorite is Freeletics. You tell the app your goals, basic stats and fitness levels and it will deliver weekly tailored fitness plans. You may be surprised how tough they can be.  Exercises such as burpees, push-ups and lunges will increase your fitness very quickly.

Obviously, don’t work out if you are actually ill with the coronavirus. In that case, your body will need all energy for recovery.

8. Sort out your finances

Do you know how much money and assets you have, and how much you spend on what? Do you have a nest egg and a retirement plan? These are topics that we tend to avoid, partly because retirement seems so far away, but also because we don’t really want to look into our finances out of fear of what we might find.

Well, now is a good time to do exactly that. Dig out your bank statements and create a list of where your money goes. Are you spending too much on the wrong things? Do you have savings to help you through times of crisis like the one we are facing right now? Perhaps it’s time to change your spending and savings patterns?

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If you find this hard to do, you don’t need to do it alone:

  • There are lots of apps that can help you with spend monitoring.
  • Contact a financial advisor to discuss your retirement plans.
  • Some charities offer free financial coaching.
  • Get a lawyer to finally make a will.  It’s cheaper than you think.

9. Declutter your home

Our home environment has a massive impact on our emotional wellbeing. Any of the following may well affect how you feel at home:

  • Your house is cluttered with lots of stuff that you don’t need.
  • There are piles of work that you think you “should” be doing.
  • Your home looks faded or untidy.
  • There are unfinished DIY jobs in every corner.

These things can be real energy-suckers. How about using your free time in self-isolation for a proper spring clean:

  • Ruthlessly give away to charity what you don’t need.
  • Tidy up your rooms, drawers and cabinets.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to your walls.
  • Create a list of all jobs that need to be done and complete one of them each day.

Then enjoy the wonderful feeling of a lighter and fresh environment.

10. Spring clean your garden

Having sorted out your home, how about working on your outdoor space if you have any? Gardening is a fantastic activity with plenty of benefits such as:

  • physical activity that improves your fitness
  • exercising your creativity in a healthy setting
  • connecting you to nature
  • calming your senses and any anxiety you may be feeling
  • satisfaction from creating a beautiful space

What’s your next project?

Hopefully, one or two of the ideas in this article have inspired you to pick a project that creates a new opportunity in this time of social distancing.  Maybe the list even promoted a better idea of your own?

It all boils down to a key life skill that I cherish:

Rather than focusing on what you can NOT do, focus on what you CAN do!

This mindset turns an unhelpful complaint into a resourceful question that can generate new solutions for your life.

You are the master of your own life.  What are you going to do with it?

(Don’t just eat and drink too much and watch TV… That’s on you. This is your moment! Do something productive!)

 

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The Best Places to Go on a First Date

Picking the perfect place for a first date can be tricky. Sometimes, the perfect place can warm your date up and take it to the next date, and at other times, it can end your date midway. Find out the best places to go on a first date.

Best places to go on a first date: What’s the Verdict?

More than a third of the participants believe that the best places to go on a first date is a café or a regular hangout (34%). While a dinner date at a restaurant (21%) is the second best option, going out for lunch or watching a game or a movie seems to be a common third option, followed by a date at the park (09%), and lastly, an exotic option (04%).

From what we see, the best place for a first date seems to be unanimous, a chat over coffee. Safe and easy going!

Phicklephilly Says:

A first date over coffee is a great option for any first date, especially if you want to warm up to the person with you, without going overboard. Cafés are perfect, because you can avoid the pressures of impressing or worrying about what to do if the date goes wrong, or worse, your date mate is just way too boring. Coffee houses can make for great dates between people who know each other, or work at the same place.

Taking your date out to dinner is a classy option if you want to impress. The pressure is on, and you have to be at your best to impress. But if you’re a confident magnet, then, we’d suggest you go straight to the dinner date. Dinner dates are supposed to be like real dates, unlike a coffee date which is just having coffee. So you either win the date or you completely blow it. So choose to go out for dinner, if you don’t know your date very well, and if you know you want to get the message across immediately.

Unique dates are “wow”, but it can also be a real mess and not recommended for the best places to go on a first date. You don’t really know what your date mate wants or likes, and as much as you may impress and get lucky with skydiving off an aircraft, things can go horribly wrong if your date’s scared of heights. So play safe, and don’t go over the top on the first date.

Have a good time, and if you like your date, make sure you go home and call or text your date thanking them for a great time. And also do add in the line, “I would love to see you again very soon…”

So the next time you’re heading on a date, choose any of these best places to go on a first date, and the rest, as they say, will be history!

 

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A healthy woman suddenly died. She was the first known coronavirus fatality in the U.S.

A mystery clouded the death of Patricia Dowd in early February.

The San Jose woman was a seemingly healthy 57-year-old who exercised routinely, watched her diet and took no medication. She had flu-like symptoms for a few days, then appeared to recover, family members said. Then she was found dead Feb. 6, and the initial culprit appeared to be a heart attack.

This week, authorities confirmed to Dowd’s family that she tested positive for the novel coronavirus, making her the first such documented fatality in the nation.

Health authorities in Santa Clara County did not identify Dowd by name, describing the decedent as a 57-year-old woman who died at home. The Times independently confirmed her death from family members.

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said the deaths of three people in the county — one on Feb. 6, another on Feb. 17, and a third on March 6 — were evidence that the novel coronavirus arrived in the Bay Area far earlier than expected and spread. Previously, the first documented fatality was outside Seattle on Feb. 29.

“None of these cases had a significant travel history,” Cody said Wednesday of the three deaths. “We presume that each of them represent community transmission and that there was some significant level of virus circulating in our community in early February and probably in late March and who knows how much earlier.”

Cody referred to the cases as “iceberg tips,” an omen of a vast and unseen propagation. The person who died on Feb. 17 was a 69-year-old man. The March 6 victim was a 70-year-old man.

Cody said the robust influenza season this winter, coupled with limited testing and a nascent understanding of the coronavirus, led to this late detection.

“It would be difficult to pick out what was influenza and what was COVID-19,” Cody said. She credited the county’s medical examiner and health officials for taking the time to understand the virus and help detect these three deaths.

Family members said Dowd, who worked as manager for semiconductor company, became unusually sick in late January and was forced to cancel plans to go to a weekend funeral.

After a bout with flu-like symptoms, however, she had improved and was working from home, corresponding with a colleague at about 8 a.m. the day of her death.

About two hours later, her daughter found her dead. As family members learned more about the symptoms of the coronavirus, suspicions grew.

Dowd had a history of foreign travel, as did her co-workers at Lam Research in the Bay Area.

Her brother-in-law, Jeff Macias, said Dowd had planned to travel to China later this year and went abroad “multiple times a year to different global locations.”

“Where did this come from if it wasn’t her traveling?” Macias said. “Patricia may not be the first. It’s just the earliest we have found so far.”

He added: “Let’s keep looking so we know the extent of it — that’s the greater good, for everyone else and my family included.”

Her elder brother, Rick Cabello, agreed that his sister’s death was a shock.

Cabello said his sister was hardworking, loyal and caring. Her only daughter had just graduated college. Dowd had a network of friends that dated to her childhood and her time at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, where the siblings grew up.

“She was living the life she deserved,” Cabello said.

 

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Amelia – Chapter 9 – Marathon

Amelia tells me if we are stuck at the salon beyond 8:45 she’s going to bail and go home. She just flew back to the States from Japan and surely she must be tired. (Air Force Reserve)

I get it.

Of course it’s so busy at the salon we get fucked on that time scale. I tell her tomorrow is my buddy Church, and after that I’m drilled with work, so tonight we tell we catch up or it has to be next week.

Amelia relents, and even though she’s exhausted and so am I, we agree to hang.

We manage to get all of the stragglers and line steppers out of the salon and do our best to clean up and close out.

We know this is the only night we can hang, and even though we’re both exhausted, we march over to Marathon around the corner.

We exchange stories as always.

She tells me a lurid tale of a tryst she had while she was abroad.

All I can think of is what a liberated soul my Amelia is.

That’s it. No judgement. I just want her to be happy.

But there is something else.

I’ve really missed Amelia.

I wrote about about this before but I have to say it again.

I have feelings for Amelia.

It’s different.

It doesn’t fit into any dating, relationship, bucket.

I just have feelings for her.

I just love being around her and it’s so fun to spend time with her. (We’re paid to be together)

Okay…. I was sitting at dinner at Marathon with Amelia and we were exchanging stories. We’re so honest with each other. We really safely release to each other. (I like that)

I told Amelia I loved her.

She said it back.

I don’t know.

She’s 24, I’m 55. That’s a spread, but I love Amelia. I’m so happy when I’m with her. I feel like we could run a business together, and still laugh over drinks and enjoy each others company.

But I could be wrong

She’s young, and she has so many choices and I never want to interfere in that.

We had a nice dinner together, and I know she was tired, but I was just so happy to see her.

I’m happier in my life than I’ve ever been. I love that I have so many opportunities and I get stay busy at my age, but I really have been blessed to meet some new people in the real world instead of swiping on Tinder.

She’s my employee so I have to be careful…

But I’ve fallen in love with Amelia.

(AS A FRIEND!) 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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