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Self-isolation, empowerment and self-growth 

redglow young women inspiring young women

Although it may feel difficult in the face of a new breaking news headline for what seems like every hour, try take this time to yourself and embrace it. Make the most of it!

Let these five steps for surviving the crisis inspire you to make the most of it. Learn things to carry with you into post-lockdown life, and embrace this period of self-growth:  

1. Read.

I know it sounds obvious, but now is the time to delve into those books that have sat on your bookshelf for years collecting dust. Those books you have always planned on reading but never got around to doing so. Use this time to get lost in a book in the way you would with TV series – it is possible!

Not only is reading proven to make people feel happier, it can help broaden your mind, enhance your imagination, strengthen your writing abilities and improve your focus. These are all skills that can follow you through life.  

2. Learn.

Take this time to educate yourself on something you have always been interested in. Or maybe a topic that you have heard in passing and pondered, but never pursued any further. This can be anything: from listening to podcasts on black holes to starting an online diploma in business studies. There are brilliant sources of virtual education at your fingertips. Set yourself targets and see yourself progress.  

3. Start a journal.

At times this experience might be emotionally challenging. Take time to step back, recognise, and write about your feelings. Or even, write about your day – what you did, what you learnt, your high point and your low point. This can help you regulate your emotions. It can give you skills, such as a greater sense of confidence and self-identity. It can inspire creativity and goal setting. Lastly, it can give you chance to reflect on your self-growth in this unprecedented period.  

4. Stay social.

Organise virtual catch ups with friends and family. Self-isolation does not have to prevent your Sunday morning natter and coffee. Friends make things more fun. They make you laugh. They provide comfort and support. Take advantage of being able to stay in contact with loved ones during this time – a privilege that hasn’t always existed for people in troubling times.

Moreover, if possible, volunteer! Vulnerable people will need help – whether this be food shopping or cooking – there is a chance to support your community. Regardless, whether you are on a Skype call or running to TESCO for the elderly, you are staying connected to others.  

5. Time for self-care.

It is great to keep yourself busy and stimulated through these days, but this should not come at the cost of self-care. It is easy to feel lost without the structure to your day gained from work, university or school. So try to keep this structure. Maintain regular sleeping patterns and go outdoors (the garden is enough!) Spend some time to engage in things you find relaxing: be that cooking, meditation or yoga. Tips 1-4 are useless unless you look after yourself.  

In all of this: find meaning. Remember what you are doing, and why it is important to you. Stand back and look at what you are trying to achieve on a broader level and put everyday difficult sacrifices into some perspective. Give meaning to what we are experiencing and how you want to grow from it. This will pass, and we will withstand the impact of it better together, having learnt and grown from the experience.  

As part of the Red:GLOW project, we have been asking young women to share their experience during the Coronavirus pandemic. This is a submission by Grace Hillerby in the U.K.. Find our more about Red:GLOW on this link.

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