Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts film “Notting Hill” in London in 1999.

For most of us, this self-isolation period is riddled with anxiety, delirium and endless snacks. Being inside all day has forced the majority of us to become more creative, more frugal, more patient, more grateful and has seemingly spurred a lot of new bakers! While this practice of social distancing is hard, there’s comfort in the idea that we’re all struggling in some way at the moment. At GRAZIA, we thought it would be nice to peek into the lives of other Australian women going through the same thing. Each day, we’ll bring you the honest tale of a woman, just like you, living her best inside-life from her little spot in America, The UK, Singapore, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. We’re all in this together and some shared tips during this shared experience might be the little pick-me-up you need today to shift some of that stale energy.

I’m in Hackney, East London. It’s usually one of the busiest and most bustling parts of London, filled with markets, park picnics, people out with friends for coffees and Sunday roasts at the pub. Now the streets are totally empty!

I’ve been sleeping really early which is unheard of for me… and have been waking up without an alarm at around 8am. I then make a coffee and try to do some sort of exercise, whether it’s YouTube yoga or copying someone’s workout on Instagram (my faves are @trainingbykobi, @wildpilates, @kirstygodso and @sportyandrichwellnessclub). I then shower and try to be at my desk by 9:30am where I’ll work until around 3pm before usually logging off to read or watch something – I’m currently watching Tiger King and Euphoria and reading Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. Then I’ll make something to eat – I’ve been copying a lot of @alexskitchenstory’s meals as they’re super easy and include a lot of pasta – and FaceTime a friend for a virtual catch up over wine. I schedule in different friends each evening so I have something to look forward to! I am also never not in activewear. 

Staying motivated is the most challenging part of self-isolation! I’m like a cat and can very easily nap all day or waste hours doing nothing, but I find if I workout in the morning it helps with my energy levels. I’ve also found my screen time has gone up a lot so I’m trying to stay away from my phone as much as possible!

I wish we had a proper timeframe for this and knew how long we’d actually be cooped up for. I have friends telling me it’ll be a year and a half of madness (!!) and others saying we’ll have it under control in just a month. I’m a real planner and hate the uncertainty. I’m also worried some people won’t follow the rules and it’ll ruin everyone else’s efforts and delay things even longer. 

I have seen a lot of nutty celebrity Instagram Lives. Unless you are James Blake blessing us with a two-hour-long live concert, you likely do not need to go live.

My three tips for managing cabin fever are as below:

Get outside! If you’re starting to feel irritated, go for a big walk or do some exercise. It’s cliche, but I feel so much better and less moody once I’ve moved my body, even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing

Write down a schedule every morning and tick things off as you go, mine includes daily French lessons on Dualingo which, to be honest, I haven’t done in about a week now

Organise FaceTimes as if you would a normal dinner with a friend. I have different people booked in every evening and we usually chat over either dinner or a wine so it actually feels like a proper catch up. 

I will never complain about anything to do with leaving the house with friends; Dinner plans! Birthday parties! And public transport. My best friend lives on the other side of the city and it feels a world away right now.

I’m grateful that the most we have to do is stay at home in our houses. it shows how privileged we are. Also that the world can still be so connected via technology – I can still have after work drinks with my friends, I can still work through my computer at home and I can bond with millions over a wild Netflix show. I’m also incredibly grateful to the healthcare workers, I can’t imagine how exhausted they must be right now. 

Isabelle Truman is A freelance writer and podcast host of afterwork drinks based in london. follow her @isabelletruman and @afterworkdrinks

thoughts?