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How to practise self care & self development when you’re self isolating

You might being feeling unmotivated and unproductive lately because of this pandemic and that is PERFECTLY OKAY!!!

There should be absolutely no pressure for you to be super productive right now, because these are difficult times. The important thing to remember and what you should focus on during this pandemic is looking after yourself and focusing on improving your own mental health.

self care isnt selfish sign
Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

Now that school, uni or work has come to a standstill for most people, we can finally have that ‘holiday period’ we’ve been wanting for ages! But if you are getting bored and looking for things to do in self isolation to make your time go faster here are some tips and ideas for you! 

This may be the perfect opportunity for self development and growth because we have actually been forced to spend time with ourselves and our own thoughts. Take this time to get to know your self better and become your own best friend! This article will give you show you exactly how to practise healthier habits and activities during self-isolation!


1. Give yourself a phone free day

colorful photo of person holding iphone
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev from Unsplash

Sometimes watching the news, especially nowadays, achieves nothing but you feeling overwhelmed, drained and pessimistic. Although its important to keep up to date with all the latest info about the Coronavirus, it’s just as important to know when it is time to step away from the screens and just give yourself time to breathe. If you’re feeling in great need of a technology break, why not challenge yourself to a whole day away from your smartphone and gadgets. Instead clouding your mind with headlines, memes and pointless videos down the Youtube rabbit hole, why not try and spend your time curling up in bed with a nice old book and cup of tea or perhaps putting the pieces together of a complex puzzle? These activities will improve your imagination and stimulate your critical thinking skills.


2. Be kinder to your body

eat what makes you happy neon sign on brick wall
Photo by Jon Tyson from Unsplash

You literally have thousands of antibodies inside of you right now who are fighting to keep you alive and make you recover when you are sick. It’s about time you repay the favour and start taking care of your body just as much as it takes care of you!

Drink plenty of water. Eat whatever will make you feel nourished and satisfied. Take healthy vitamins. Give yourself a nice warm shower/bath. Exercise not because you hate your body, but because you love it! Just because you have to self isolate and can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself healthy. Follow a video on yoga poses and stretches in your living room. Or perhaps try some games like Wii Fit to keep you active! Download a fitness app on your phone. Try indoor sports like table tennis or badminton. Apply some body butter or perfume. Keep your skin moisturised and feeling soft. Appreciate all of the things your body has done for you and allowed you to do in your life. Look at yourself in the mirror and point out all the things you like about your body instead of all the things you hate. Smile! It’s scientifically proven to make you feel happier. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Do whatever it takes to be kinder to yourself because you deserve to be your own best friend!


3. Fill a journal with all your inner most thoughts

Felicity Warner

Write anything and everything down!

Your dreams and aspirations, your shower thoughts, your vivid dreams, the conversations you wish you had, daily affirmations, the things you are grateful for, little doodles and drawings, the places you want to travel to, your favourite quotes, your favourite books, films or shows and what they meant to you, your favourite characters, your best moments, shopping lists, things you hate, inventions or ideas, people you’ve met, people you wish you’ve met, strangers you’ve walked past, what the view outside your window looks like, the colours of the sky when the sun sets/rises, what you remember from when you were little, all the sounds you can hear, your favourite foods, the people you admire, historical moments, your bucket list, advice you would have given yourself 10 years ago, a letter to your future self, your biggest fears and darkest secrets, things that make you laugh, corny puns, pressed leaves/flowers, feelings without words, life’s biggest questions and everything in between.

Fill all the pages and finish the entire journal. It can be messy or neat and perfection or consistency doesn’t matter! Maybe years down the line you’ll find your journal and will like to remember all the things you thought and the things that defined your life back then so you can see how far you have grown!


4. Spend quality time with your family and loved ones

Anna Schultz-Friends Cuddling In Holiday Pajamas
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

For most university students, this lockdown has meant we are stuck at home rather than school, and so instead of being surrounded by our friends or the people we normally choose to hand out with, we are with our families.

Take this time to really get to know your family better. Ask your parents questions about what life was like when they were younger. You might be surprised to hear what they say or how different their outlook on life really is because of it. You may discover something entirely new about your parents in the process that makes you admire them that little bit more. The key to success when it comes to self-development begins with maintaining good relations with your close family members.

Try not to get into arguments or become to distant/irritated with them, especially your parents, which can undoubtedly happen more when you have to spend more time around them. Instead try to be more understanding and do things with them that will bring you closer together. Get one of your parents to pass our their knowledge or skills onto you. Ask them to teach you how to sew something or fix a drainage pipe or share their family recipe for your Aunt’s famous chicken pie. You could learn alot! If you have siblings, younger or older, check in with them! You could also get the board games out and get a family games night going! (Just avoid Monopoly or Scrabble though – these never end well!) Or maybe watch a film together as family. This is a fun way to spend time some quality time with your family members and also show them how much you love and appreciate them!


5. Reach out and rekindle old friendships
Hallmark Cards
Mackenzie Vanacore

Take this pandemic as a great excuse to reach out to people on your contacts list and ask if they’re well and safe during these difficult times. Who knows something just as simple as text message might just make someone’s day. Someone might really need to hear some positivity right now. If you’re are feeling lonely or homesick spend your time phoning or video calling friends and family. Just because you can’t meet up with your friends outside or in person doesn’t mean you can’t still connect with them online.


6. Re-evaluate your philosophies and life purpose

neon sign saying think about things differently
Pexels / Ivan Bertolazzi

Use this time wisely to learn as much about the world and life as you can. Consider all the topics you have absolutely no idea about and research them. This can include a variety of things from current global affairs and news, to political viewpoints, different cultures or traditions and histories, to how things in the world function or work within society. We are lucky enough to live in an age where we have the entire internet at our disposal and so the possibilities are endless!

Personally, I like to watch things like ‘Jubilee’, ‘The Big Questions’ and documentaries because I like trying to understand different people’s viewpoints and opinions on controversial topics. This is especially useful for understanding people or standpoints that I might not necessarily agree with or take on myself. By hearing what the other side has to say, not only are you making yourself less ignorant and more open-minded by exposing your mind to things you may have never considered before and exploring the possibility of changing your mind on an issue, you will also gather crucial information from the other side that may be able to strengthen your own arguments and make them more balanced.

Learning and reflecting about a variety of different topics whether intellectual, religious, political or social, is crucial for self development because it will shape your own understanding of the world and your place in it. Take this as a good opportunity to question your philosophies and re-evaluate your purpose in life.


7. Declutter your life

Beige And Black Chair In Front Of White Desk
Pixabay / Pexels

If you’re someone like me who loves the idea of ‘minimalism’ along with lifestyle helpers like ‘Marie Kondo’ but haven’t had the time or energy to actually de-clutter your life because of work or school or procastination, the universe has come to tell you – its time. The lockdown is the perfect opportunity to sort through all your possessions in your home and sort them from rubbish, to possible donations, to belongings you want to keep. Watch an episode of ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ for more guidance on exactly how to clear up your home! The important thing to keep in mind is holding on to the objects that hold sentimental value to your life, in Marie’s own works these are the things that ‘spark joy’.


8. Learn a new skill

Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

Why not try to work on yourself by learning new skills or perfecting the ones you already have? Not only will it look impressive on your CV but it will also make you a fuller and more well rounded individual! How about learning how to speak a new language? Or teaching yourself how to knit/sew? Cook or bake a new recipe? Give yourself a new hairstyle? Learn how to create satisfying calligraphy. Take up origami. Youtube tutorials, apps and web seminars are all at your fingertips!


9. Turn all the chaos and dread into art

Emily Veith / Amazon

Times like this can be overwhelming and make you feel utterly hopeless. Instead of dwelling on that negativity, try channeling all your messy emotions into creating something beautiful. If you’re the artsy type, why don’t you paint/ draw / sculpt something that encapsulates how you are feeling right now? Or you could watch a Bob Ross episode and follow along if you’re stuck on ideas and need inspiration? If you’re more of a creative writer, why not fuel your energy into some thought-provoking poetry? Maybe a combination of the two with some blackout poetry? Write a short story or play. Or if you just need some therapeutic way of calming yourself down, get yourself an adult colouring book and just colour away! Perhaps you could cut out random images in a magazine and make a vision or mood board that captures the current climate perfectly. Give candle making a try! Get your camera out and pursue creative photography to lift your mood!


10. Catch up on all the books, shows and entertainment you’ve missed

woman eating popcorn
Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

Finally, learn more about your interests by indulging in all of books, films, tv-shows and video games you have always wanted to explore but haven’t quite had the time to because of your studies! Remember, fandoms are like friends! Sometimes it can be nice to escape this world and visit a new one! Bring out the N64, the gameboys, the Wiis, the playstations etc and get playing! Recently I’ve been getting obsessed with Animal crossing.



person looking through window
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris from Unsplash

I know things might really suck right now. But even this will pass one day (isA) and be nothing more than a distant memory.

So chin up my dudes. Count your blessings. And Keep safe!

British Muslimah. Intersectional feminist. Cynical Hufflepuff. Professional cat-lover. Shaheena is an English Literature student with a passion for social activism. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading and watching cartoons/animes. Her top fandoms include: Avatar (atla), Ghibli, Disney, Harry Potter, Marvel, Doctor Who & Sherlock.
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