People share how self-isolation has had a positive effect on their lives

Most of us have now spent several weeks in self-isolation and it’s completely normal to feel like you’re going a little stir-crazy.

But it’s not all doom and gloom out there – in fact, for many people, self-isolation has brought positive experiences.

Suddenly, we find ourselves with so much time on our hands – so, what are people doing?

Because it’s Friday and we all need some light in the coronavirus darkness, we asked 13 people to tell us how self-isolation has improved their lives. Here’s what they told us.

Francesca, 28, lives in London

I’ve actually been able to think a lot more meaningfully about self-care in isolation.

I’m isolating alone – and I’m realising more than ever I have to look after myself in the absence of anyone else.

Even things like making sure I warm up my towel on the radiator after a shower or make the good cafetière coffee – I’m seeing the importance of the little things and reaping the benefits.

Haddy, 42, lives in Essex

As I’m not doing the school run, I’ve saved on petrol.

I have also had more time to spend with my kids, having been thrust into homeschooling. This means I can see where they are at, and I’ve seen an improvement in my six-year-old son’s handwriting.

We have been able to do more fun stuff together, like playing swing ball in the garden and taking walks in greenery, so we have gotten closer.

Finally, it’s given me more time alone to reflect. I’m excited about the lasting impact this time will have on the future.

Julie, 61, lives in Malmesbury

Self-isolation has had a positive effect on my live because it’s made me get into the garden more and actually tackle it since it used to look a mess.

Elizabeth, 28, lives in London

I suffer with depression and anxiety, and to my surprise being at home has actually made me happier than I have been in months.

It’s made me realise that I used to wake up in fits of panic about the day ahead, my commute, my workload etc. and I am vowing to live my life differently once lockdown ends.

Despite living in a London flatshare with no communal spaces I’m doing really well, I really thought I would end up going absolutely off my rocker.

Sara, 33, lives in Greater Manchester

I’ve revived my old hobby of letter writing.

I currently have pleurisy [inflammation of tissue between lungs and ribcage] so things like exercise (the way I’d normally cope with such a situation) are not really an option at the moment.

So I thought that writing letters would be a good way to pass the time while also being able to contribute something positive to society. I’m writing to friends, family and isolated older people from my church.

So far, it seems to be really well-received (even if they are a bit rambly!).

Hester, 42, lives in Reading

We are loving being at home – both children have Aspergers so they are just enjoying there not being any pressure.

My son is saying this is his dream life, as he gets to stay in. Our dog Rosco also loves having the children at home all day.

We are enjoying the days doing some fun homeschooling, playing games, hanging out and watching films.

My husband and I work together so are quite happy and used to spending lots of time together anyway.

Bhavin, 46, lives in north London

I’ve finally started working on some plans I’ve had for helping people with reading and learning difficulties.

I’ve also starting learning new skills for working, to get ready for when things open again.


It’s been great to have the time to really cook.

Instead of throwing some breaded chicken and chips in the oven at the end of a long day, I’ve been attempting new recipes and trying out things I wouldn’t normally do, like making pies.

Having three hours at the end of the afternoon to make food has really made my days go a bit quicker, even if the food I’ve attempted isn’t always successful.

Jasleen, 31, lives in Leicester

I have a 20-month old and initially went back to work full time when he was just 8 months old and he went to nursery.

I decided to scrap that after a few months and freelance but I was so busy that he ended up staying in nursery four days a week anyway. 

Now, although I am freaking out about what to do with him all day every day, it’s a bit like I’ve got some of my maternity leave back which is really nice and it’s a positive way for me to think about the lockdown. 

Also I split with his father about a year ago and we’re civil but I feel there’s an extra effort at this tricky time.

Daria, 30, lives in north London

I’ve been using my spare time to educate myself about everything from retinol to vitamin C, so I’ve been perfecting my skincare routine. Normally, I wouldn’t spend so much time on it, but these days, it’s not like I have any other plans.

Plus, I can’t see a professional and my face is looking especially dull these days (I’ve tried faking it with some blush but I still look like a ghost of my social life).

Like most people, I’m hoping I’ll emerge out of the lockdown looking like a dewy goddess, able to do the splits and with a basic grasp of Italian. But we shall see.

Natalia, 32, lives in Devon (currently in Spain)

I’ve been super ill the last few weeks with all the symptoms and though it’s been a bit of a nightmare and obviously horrible to be ill, the biggest positive takeaway is that it’s allowed me to really stop – which I only just realised I do very little normally.

Working for myself and from home and loving what I do means that most of my time is consumed by that. Even when I’m taking time out to go for walks and be creative, I’m still ‘doing’.

So to literally be forced to do nothing, even when it feels like I might be getting better has been very interesting and a big positive for me. Especially as I am a pretty impatient person.

Now I am going to make sure I have nothing days much more often.

Lucille, 38, lives in Suffolk

I have more time to help my five children with their homework.

We bought extra revision cards and books to help in subjects they’re struggling in.

They’re happier and I can see an improvement already. Also, self-isolation has given me time to spend on fun learning courses – which I’ve been meaning to do for ages – as well as bake bread and cakes every day and go for walks over the fields.

Natalie, 30, lives in London

I am talking to my family and friends who don’t live in London a lot more.

I FaceTimed my granddad for the first time ever this week and he was so happy. It makes me wonder why we didn’t do it before?

I’m really enjoying more quality interactions with my loved ones. I am appreciating time on the phone with them much more, and making time to speak to everybody most days.

I think this could, ironically, bring us closer.

Do you have a story to share?

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