A day in the life of a self-isolating single

June‘s turn to offer a few top tips – here’s what she has to say, based on her own experience of life as a self-isolating single…

So, here we are on day 20 of the UK lockdown and it’s Sunday – at least I think it is, hang on a mo, while I just check on my mobile!

For someone who lives alone and works from home anyway, you’d think things wouldn’t be too bad and, to be honest, I’m not quite crawling up all the walls yet.

But there”s a big difference between doing something because that’s what works for you and having no choice in the matter, despite the fact that you know it’s for the best and one day even this will pass…

Week one wasn’t too bad – no need to set the alarm, no agonising over which top to wear today, a chance to catch up on a few box sets (although there’s only so much information about the sex lives of Henry VIII, Napoleon Bonaparte, Al Capone et al a girl can cope with it!) and then of course there’s plenty of time for all that housework you never seem to get round to.

Full disclosure here, the housework one lasted all of three days!!

Week two and the novelty was beginning to wear off – you know you’re in serious trouble when you find yourself talking to a little robin perched on the garden fence! Not the most riveting conversation, it has to be said – a couple of cheeps (from him/her, that is) but at least he/she was sticking to the two-metre gap rule..

By week three, it was time to get a grip which, for me, invariably means make a list and tick each task off as the day goes by…

So here’s my list, in no particular order. If some of the things don’t work for you or seem a bit on the frivolous side, that’s fine. But if you’re a self-isolating single too and any of the following suggestions help you through your day, my job here will have been done!

Put on your positive pants

The mantra of one of my fellow Girls Around Town presenters Claire of course who, through her business Positive Pants, brings fun, laughter and positivity to families regionally, nationally and worldwide, and definitely an approach to life worth adopting in good times as well as bad.

In fact, taking it one step further – after a week wearing nothing but a bathrobe or at best thermal leggings and a sloppy top, I finally realised putting on any pants (and a bra) made me feel instantly better! Which leads me to the next thing on my list…

Smarten up your act

In the early stages of isolation, it was all too easy just to fall out of bed every morning and fall straight into my ‘daytime pjs’, But then I had a serious talk with myself and, after a bit of arguing about whether it was worth bothering, I’m now getting properly dressed for at least part of each day.

I’m back to my normal routine – a shower every morning, washing my hair most days, a quick slather of self-tanning moisturiser, followed by a bit of makeup and a spritz of perfume before dressing as if someone might actually come to call. Although so far only the postman and Mr Amazon have turned up on the doorstep…

Occasionally, I go the extra mile – right now, I’m sitting here writing these words of wisdom wearing my vintage double-strand pearl necklace. Which reminds me, when I move on to a bit of a browse online later, I really need to find some earrings that work with it!

Move it or lose it

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that the best – and the most important – part of my life is working out with my awesome personal trainer. How on earth was Newark‘s kettlebell queen and the oldest deadlifter in town going to get through without those three sessions a week?

Fortunately, that trainer came to my rescue from day one of the lockdown, with live workouts on Facebook and Instagram six days a week, open to anyone and absolutely free. Not the same as one-to-one sessions, of course, but a double benefit here – keeping me on the move and giving me something to put in an otherwise empty diary. At least I know for sure what I’ll be doing from 11.30am to 12 noon Monday to Saturday.

As for Sunday, well my weighted hula hoop is coming in handy there – double benefits here too, working my core and, because I’m doing it out in the garden, a little bit of extra Vitamin D too…

If you fancy joining me, you’ll find all the details over on the Suggy’s Gym website but if the idea of squats, lunges, sit-ups and a bit of boxing or kickboxing really isn’t for you, I hope you’re at least getting in a walk or a bike ride every day, sticking to the guidelines of course.

Are you getting your five a day?

One of the benefits of working with a personal trainer is having access to first-class nutritional advice.

Not to mention having someone who makes sure you (mostly!) follow it religiously…

So eating well right now isn’t a problem and if the stresses and strains of this difficult time mean I stray occasionally it’s not big deal. Hey, it’s Easter weekend – who’s going to say no to a Hot Cross Bun and a bit of chocolate? OK, maybe more than a bit but I’ll be back on track on Tuesday!

And the other five a day

If you’ve been reading some of the recent posts on this website, you’ll know that one of the things the Girls Around Town are determined to do while the show is sadly off air is help you to top up your titter tank.

Yes, we all need at least five a day where fresh fruit and veg are concerned but are you getting your five giggles a day too?

Thanks to lots of lovely friends sending me regular messages, I’m in danger of overdosing where giggles are concerned but I’m not complaining. I’m scrolling past all the doom and gloom on social media, I really don’t need any more any more conspiracy theories thank you very much.

Yes, times are tough and they might get tougher but a titter or two never did anybody any harm…

Don’t put off till tomorrow…

With so much time on my hands, now’s the ideal opportunity to do some of the things that have been languishing on the back burner for a while. But I’m taking it steady, having already learned from the housework mistake back in week one, and breaking them down into small bites.

There’s no way I’m going to do all that cleaning in one day and trying to declutter in one fell swoop, whether it’s my wardrobe, personal paperwork or the folders on my laptop, is never going to work – where this one’s concerned, I’m taking inspiration from the well-known tale of the tortoise and the hare!

Do something different

The possibilities are endless here – how many times in the past have you said ‘If I wasn’t so busy, I’d love to try…. (fill in the gap yourself here)’?

I’ve already picked up where I left off a couple of years ago, learning Italian in preparation for a return to my beloved Amalfi next year – I’ve signed up to a couple of online business courses – and, after solving a boiler problem with the help of good old Google, I’ve discovered a hidden talent for plumbing!

Give it some thought, give it a go – who knows, you might uncover a hidden talent or discover a new passion of your own…

Shop till you drop

Not something I ever have a problem with but I’m taking a slightly different approach right now.

Yes, I’m still browsing my favourite websites looking for the perfect handbag, especially after coming across the equally perfect excuse as I was re-reading a book called Style Clinic just last night : No bag will ever make you look fat.

And if I keep looking I’ll find the dress I simply can’t resist for when I finally get to go all those post-coronavirus parties, the shoes that look super-stylish but don’t crush my toes or the boots that add the finishing touch to my favourite jeans.

Every time I succeed, I’m adding that must-have to the cart with a whoop of delight – that’s the shop bit done, now for the drop, clicking on the the beside the item I almost bought before I move on to one of the more sensible tasks on my to-do list…

Focus on the future

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when life returns to normal?

Now”s the time to plan ahead – and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve got a separate list of post-pandemic plans…

It goes without saying that I’ll be back in the gym the minute the doors re-open and back on air every Sunday morning with my GAT co-presenters.

I’ll be picking up on some of the things that were put on hold – getting my two lovely lady gardeners back to finish what they started and redecorating my house to name just a couple – and in the meantime there’s nothing to stop me picking out the plants and paint shades I’ll need.

I can while away the time researching and planning a special treat, whether it’s a spa day, the shopping trip to end all shopping trips or that return visit to Amalfi.

It’s all about staying positive and having something to look forward to – and what’s top of the list?

Of all the questions I’ve asked here, that’s by far the easiest one to answer and I bet your answer’s exactly the same as mine – spending time with friends and family, meeting up for coffee, sharing a meal and, best of all, sharing a hug!


How to make remote working rewarding work

A few words of wisdom from Rosalyn today, as she shares her thoughts and advice on a subject much in the spotlight at the moment…

For many small business owners and freelancers, working from home is nothing out of the ordinary but, with the UK in lockdown for the past three weeks – a situation that’s likely to continue for some time – remote working has become the new norm for many more people now.

“Remote working is, rather like a virus, an unseen and often unsettling thing that creates dis-ease. The sense of isolation can be crippling,” says Ros in a recent post on her website.

“We are basically tribal people and our wellbeing is tied to connection. The greatest punishment you can give to a person, apart from something physical, is to isolate them. In prison, this will be solitary confinement. A sailor marooned on an island. People sent into exile. It’s all about disconnection.”

So how do you connect, especially if you’ve been forced into quarantine or self-isolation during these troublesome times?

Find out what Ros has to say in her blog post, where she offers not only practical advice about how to take care of yourself but also shares her her own Fab Four antidotes to the virus of lonely home working

  • Find a tribe
  • Invest in systems
  • Track your time
  • Be transparent

You’ll find the full post here and, elsewhere on the website, plenty of other good advice and offers of support from the Girls Around Town‘s wellbeing guru…