Self-isolation, what is the opportunity?

self-isolation cronavirus

With self-isolation a key response to suspected coronavirus symptoms, many of us are making contingency plans. In the school playground today, I heard people discussing the practicalities of working at home. They discussed using their laptops and talked about holding meetings through video-conferences through Skype and Zoom. They welcomed the opportunity not to commute. Some even felt that their productivity might actually increase because of it.

Parents of young children are considering the possibility of school closures too. Working parents are naturally very concerned about how they will manage if their children are not in school for many weeks. On the other hand, at least one young mother said she was half looking forward to spending some quality time with her children.

Self-isolation can be a chance to consider making deep changes

It looks like many of us will have to self-isolate at some time. Hopefully even if you are ill, you will recover and it will eventually be a thing of the past.

When you face a difficult situation, a classic coaching question you can ask yourself is ‘What is the opportunity that this is?’ There will be many challenges in self-isolation, but there can be some benefits too. Depending on your responsibilities and commitments, it could be a time to make some improvements to your situation. At the most practical, if you are well enough, it could be the time to do that redecorating. You may have some clutter that you have been meaning to get on top of. You can sort out your paperwork.

These sort of crises do bring us back to the reality of our own mortality and that of our loved ones. Suddenly we become aware that most of the things we are pre-occupied with during our week, are inconsequential in the scheme of things. When we’re buried up to our necks ‘in the thick of thin things’, as Steven Covey puts it in ‘The 7 Habits of Effective People‘ , it can be a struggle to get your life on track. When you have a chunk of time where you have no choice but to slow down and focus on your immediate space, you can consider where you are heading and what changes you need to make along the way. Imagine what you could achieve if you spent a bit of time working on yourself.

Video conferencing can come into its own

At one time getting coaching or therapy would have required a face-to-face session in an office somewhere. Modern technology has moved us on from this. Video-conferencing software is now very easy to use, and most homes have a fast enough internet connection to handle it.

I am finding a significant increase in the number of clients who work exclusively through online video-chat. When I first started working this way, I was unsure how effective techniques like Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnotherapy would be over distance. I have been pleasantly surprised that with adaptation, they are just as effective as face-to-face.

In fact for some clients, Skype or Zoom sessions can have significant advantages. Some suffer from Agorophobia, or have physical problems that mean it is hard for them to get out. Clients who live in remote areas can also find it much easier not to have to travel to and from the therapists office.

Being able to work through video-conferencing means you can choose the best coach or therapist for you, too. You are not limited to who is available in the local area. You can choose someone who you feel you can relate to.

So if you find yourself at an enforced loose end. Or if you find yourself bored and frustrated by the four walls you are compelled to stick to, why not take the opportunity to get a new perspective on life so that you can have something to look forward to when your period of isolation is over.

Robert Sanders is a therapist and life coach, supporting people in their present and helping them create their future.