There is no question that for many of us the world has been flipped right on its head. Self-isolation, quarantines, and social distancing are not only the new norm, but could go on for days, weeks, or months to come. It is a daily struggle to not be able to head out into the world and live life the way we want.
To keep my mindset as positive and productive as possible, I made a conscious effort to transition from my pre-pandemic daily life to one that is more practical for my current situation. I found from talking to many of my single clients that they were dealing with some of the same issues in their lives, but also doing so alone and with the continued goal of finding that forever partner they have always dreamed of.
Online dating is still alive and well (except for maybe the meeting in person part), but one thing that I did notice was that many singles are just not in the right place mentally, to continue to date effectively right now.
Even before the COVID-19 took over our lives, I always taught that being a smart and effective single means you have a positive and composed mindset that allows you to screen in good and screen out the bad.
Short of that, dating can be a futile activity. I started offering up some solutions to my clients to help them try to settle their minds and create more balance in this otherwise imbalanced current lifestyle. These are my top tips on how to cope with loneliness during self-isolation and become your own date first.
Here are a few tips to help you date yourself while in self-isolation. These can help you feel good about you, and if you feel like it, later move on to date others in a healthy way.
- Set up a schedule and routine
Generally speaking, human beings are creatures of habit. A life without any semblance of routine can lead you on a path of decreasing self-worth. In addition, procrastination and disavowal of goal setting may send you head-on into a world full of anxiety, or even depression. That’s why I recommend implementing at least five days of routine into your daily life (it’s ok to leave those weekends free-flowing).
This routine starts with you getting out of those pajamas, taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, putting on makeup or shaving, and attacking your day. Try to create a to-do list for each day of the week. Studies have shown that checking items off to-do lists can release Dopamine, offering up a much-needed positive jolt to the system.
Tasks you may want to consider putting on your list include: business (i.e. staying in touch with co-workers, researching biz books, podcasts), household (cleaning different areas of your home), personal (friends or family zoom/calls/texts/emails), or dating (for example make at least 3 online connections a week).
Whatever it is you can do to keep your days from consisting of just sitting around and lamenting your current situation will go a long way in helping both your mind and body alike.
- Set up a game night or Netflix watching party with your friends/family
Last week I decided to do something I’d never done before in my coaching career. I set up a virtual game night with a group of singles. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but it turned out to be super fun for us all. We all decided that we would dress to impress, put on a little makeup, and also invite our favorite glass of wine.
For the game, I kept it simple by printing out some funny and engaging party questions I found online, like: ‘how old is the most expired item in your fridge? or ‘if you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?’. As I researched what other fellow self-isolationers were doing virtually, I found that some were playing poker or card games, trivia games, Pictionary, Charades, or the online game “Word with Friends”.
If games are not your cup of tea, then maybe a Netflix movie night is in order. This is when you and your friends or family cover your coffee table with your favorite drinks and snacks and watch the same Netflix movie at the same time. Video chatting APPs like Zoom and Facetime and Houseparty are out there for you to take advantage of, you just need to make a little effort to make it all happen.
- Draw strong boundaries with the news
One of the unfortunate aspects of our 24-hour news cycle is that we’re constantly bombarded with news of the pandemic and the seemingly constant bad news for our global society. Because of this bombardment of negativity, I suggest you limit the amount of time you spend checking out your news feeds to about 30-60 minutes a day. I do my news gathering each morning and then make an effort not to hit up any news outlets unless it comes from an important alert.
At the same time, I also try to find some good news in the world, which by the way there is plenty of if you want to look for it. I would recommend the good news sites like Covid-19 Good News and actor John Krasinski’s (The Office) YouTube Channel SomeGoodNews . There’re plenty more out there so plan to add those searches to your day, which may just end up putting an unexpected smile or tear of joy on your face.
- Try to get outside
This may be more problematic for some more than others, but your body needs and craves sunlight to function properly. Whenever you can do your best to take a safe and responsible foray outside. If you are in a city that still has open parks and hiking trails, make sure you practice social distancing rules as they still apply.
It is a good time to walk in the park, at a nature preserve or on a beach boardwalk if it is still possible. If a walk is not in the cards for you, then maybe just sitting on your roof or balcony and soaking up a few rays. The sun will do you good, I promise.
- Take up a new (or old) hobby on online
Get on a karaoke app and sing with your friends online, create a virtual book club or do a virtual museum tour! Or use the time to plan the future you dream of. There are vision board classes for you to take that will allow you to build a visual representation of your future goals; including what you will do once your self-isolation period is over.
Or take the time to learn. You can choose to take inexpensive classes on a myriad of topics or hobbies on sites like Udemy. There are classes on painting, guitar, piano, crafting, gardening to name a few. This is the time to break out of your comfort zone and do something different (or even the same), by exercising your mind in a way that allows you to grow both inside and out.
By no means have I exhausted the list of possibilities that can help you date yourself in a way that is both fun and productive. It’s so important for you to continue on that path to be the best YOU, to help you feel the best you can in these circumstances. And if that’s taking all pressure off yourself and relaxing, with a book and maybe occasional online yoga class, that’s just fine too!
The COVID-19 virus has greatly affected our lives, true, but if you take a few simple steps to improve the quality of your life today, you’ll be in a much better position to re-take control of all aspects of life, now and when the virus is long gone. I believe that with all my heart and soul and my hope is by reading this… you do too!
If you need more support reach out to Amie here. Amie Leadingham is a Master Certified Relationship Coach. Her greatest accomplishments come from seeing her clients find lasting love, and she offers a 30 minute Free Relationship Readiness Review here. Amie has been named one of LA’s “Best Dating Coaches” by DatingAdvice and featured in a variety of media outlets including the CBS Network, Fox 5 News, People Entertainment Weekly Channel, HelloGiggles and Martha Stewart Weddings. Grab her free eBook, 5 Dating Traps Keeping You Single here.