We asked the Expatclic community to share their top tips for staying sane while in confinement. They gave us more than just tips. They painted the complexity of this situation at all latitudes.
Every month on our Facebook group, we post a poll. We love to be in touch with our community. They love answering our questions. Given the COVID-19 situation, one of us suggested we create a poll asking for participants’ top tips for staying sane while in confinement.
Exercise is absolutely the number one activity Expatclic women resort to to face confinement all over the world. Lots of Facebook groups and private online lessons have sprung up, many amongst our members. Silvia gave us a wonderful yoga lesson via zoom, Claudia did the same with a Pilates session, while another Claudia, queen of Silent Disco, got us to us dance on different rhythms. Erika, Italian fitness instructor in Bucharest, created a fitness practice especially for Expatclic.
And it is quite understandable that exercise has become even more important now: not only can’t we walk in the open for as long as we like, as we did before, but we also eat more! Among the five top tips for staying sane in confinement is cooking, especially when this involves mixing and kneading. And since many from several countries in the world are suffering from a shortage of yeast, our Giuliana has taught us how to make our own yeast at home.
There are two more “intellectual” activities our women have chosen to stay sane while in confinement. The first one is to pick a project to channel one’s energy. And this, given how amazingly creative the Expatclic community is in ordinary times, should not be a problem.
The other one is reading. It is worth stopping to analyse this in depth. Despite this ranking third in the top tips, many report that reading in times of Corona virus proves more difficult. For some, focussing on a book is quite challenging, unless the book is very light and entertaining. Others have less time.
Having a whole family, maybe with small children, at home 24/7 increases the workload to keep everything organised and under control. Smart working has also meant an increase of working activities for many.
Claudiaexpat had the idea of starting a Literary Tea. Every Friday a bunch of Expatclickers gather to discuss books and situations surrounding books. Many of them have reported an increased motivation in reading since it began (and a longer list of book titles to buy!).
TV has an important role in keeping us sane. Taking advantage of the wonderful discounts and offers many channels propose, our women enjoy good movies rather than the usual TV series.
Also important is having a stock of humourous videos about the situation and going back to watch them regularly.
It appears to be equally important to have a strict routine for weekdays, to differentiate them from “freer” weekends, but also to dress up and apply make up even if it is just for a video call.
Ranking a bit lower were other tips like:
- have at least two online rendezvous per day
- Gin & Tonic (!)
- thinking of when we’ll return to normality
- puzzles, board games, and crosswords
We thank all those who participate in our polls. The Expatclic community has never been so solid. So I want to finish with my top tip for staying sane in quarantine: belong. Be part of a group and share your experience and feelings. Open up to others and offer your support to a network. It will make you feel less lonely and more useful.