How to Prepare for Isolation

How to Prepare for Isolation

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Over the last 10-months, we haven’t really been able to go out and be with family, friends, and loved ones nearly as much as we’d like. In fact, many of us have been in almost complete isolation for months. We have no clue how long this will last, but I think knowing how to prepare for isolation is something we need to talk about. 

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How to Prepare for Isolation

How to Prepare for Isolation

As humans, we are social creatures. We aren’t really meant to be alone all the time. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. COVID is not the only reason we could ever be isolated. We could be isolated for a number of different SHTF scenarios. COVID made all of us think about it more, and how we can better prepare ourselves for being alone. 

So, here are some ways you can prepare for isolation, or an extended isolation if you’ve already been isolated:

#1 Food and Water

Obviously, if you are isolating yourself, it isn’t safe to be out and about where you can have contact with other people. So, the first thing you want to make sure you have is enough food and water stored away since you can’t visit your local store as often. 

There have been talks in various areas about a possible 6-week lockdown, or even longer. This lockdown would mean that you can only go to the grocery store, gas station, or medical facility. With everything shut down, our food supply in our local stores may not last the whole 6 weeks. I would suggest having enough food and water for at least 6 weeks! Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Aim to get food in your cupboard and freezer. 
  • Get your favorite meals, basic staples, and treats.
  • Do not forget to stock up on coffee or tea or other drinks that can help keep you hydrated.
  • Make sure to have essentials such as toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, menstrual pads, etc.
  • Depending on who you believe, you need 1- 4 gallons of water per person per day stored for your household. So, for example for 6 weeks with only two gallons per day, one person would need 84 gallons of water. Are you ready for that?
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#2 Make a Plan to Stay in Touch

You may not be able to stay in touch in person with friends and family, but you can still find ways to stay in touch. Make a plan for who you will be in touch with, what days, and what times. Write down phone numbers, set up Facetime, Zoom, or other chat opportunities. 

#3 Stock up on Entertainment

Being in isolation can get pretty boring when you run out of things to do! How are you going to keep yourself entertained? Be sure to have books, board games, coloring books, streaming movies, or crafting supplies on hand. Here are 13 games I recommend

#4 Don’t Forget Your Pets

If you have pets, don’t forget to stock up on items for them as well. Be sure to have enough food and water for your pets for at least a 6 week period. 

#5 Have an Extensive First Aid Kit

When in isolation for a certain reason, it may be difficult to even get in to see a doctor. My friend has been waiting 6-months to see her neurologist. Not to mention, over the counter meds may be flying off the shelves. So, you need to prepare to take care of minor things on your own. If you aren’t sure what to put in your first aid kits, check out my posts:

Many of these items can be found at your local dollar store, so don’t spend a fortune getting first aid supplies. 

How to Fight Loneliness and Depression

Another factor that you have to think about when dealing with isolation is loneliness and depression. As stated above, we are social creatures and don’t tend to do well alone. Loneliness and depression not only affect your mental health, but they affect your physical health as well. In fact, many studies have shown that feeling lonely in isolation is just as harmful to your body as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 

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So, not only do you need to be prepared with essentials, you need to be prepared to take care of your mental health, too. Here are some tips to combat loneliness and depression: 

#1 Video Chat with Friends and Family to Fight Loneliness

We are social creatures and sometimes we just need to feel a little closer to what has been normal for us. A great way to do this is to do a video chat! You can:

  • Have weekly lunch dates online with co-workers.
  • Play games with friends like trivia and charades.
  • Do creative art sessions. 

#2 Fight Depression and Go Outside

Fresh air and nature have a way of taking you out of your depression state. In fact, studies have shown that walks in the forest are associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods. Outdoor walks have been used as supplemental treatments for major depressive disorder. So, if you are feeling depressed, get yourself up and head outside for a little fresh air. Seek areas that aren’t often frequented by crowds, if possible. Take some time to observe your surroundings, nature itself can have a calming effect.

#3 Have a Routine

Routines can help keep you out of a funk. Try to have a plan for each day. Exercise in the morning, plan to work, craft, or do something that gives you purpose throughout the day. Schedule out what you will do and stick to it. 

#4 Exercise for Anxiety and Depression

Exercising is so beneficial to your health. Regular exercise helps ease depression and anxiety by releasing endorphins and feel good chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being. Start with something like this 10-Minutes Beginner Full Body Workout on Youtube!

#5 Exercise Your Brain

Not only does your body need exercise, but your brain needs mental stimulation as well. To exercise your brain, do crosswords, Sudoku, or play a trivia game. You can even download and play these games with others on your phone. Here’s a list of Online Games to Play With Friends by Thrillist!

#6 Stay Busy

Being bored gives you more time to think about how bored, lonely, and depressed you are. Try to keep yourself busy! If you have run out of ideas, here are some things to consider:

How to Prepare for Isolation

Final Word

Knowing how to prepare for isolation is key to keeping your sanity and good physical health. Isolation is definitely not what we were meant for, but remember, you are not alone in this unique situation. Stay connected online, keep yourself busy, and stay active. You are prepared for this! May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Old People Playing A Game Deposit photos_77930830_s-2019

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  1. I watch the show “Alone” and one of the contestants stated “if your going to spend a lot of time alone you’d better like yourself”.
    I even see the complete fear of folks when they talk to me about hunting and they says things like “your going to be alone for 4-5 days!?!” My answer is usually “if I’m lucky” because I relish the time.
    You will cycle through emotions as you spend that time so yeah you need to be in a good place. Depression will destroy you even quicker than when your around others.

    1. Hi Matt, great comment! I enjoy my time alone, I’m not a hunter but I can picture you out there in the fresh air, with binoculars, enjoying the sounds of our earth. I agree with you on the depression destroying people. Life is so good! Linda

    2. Matt ~
      I love my alone time!! Back in the 70s, I worked for the Forest Service on fire lookouts. I generally worked 4 weeks before having a day or two off. I always said that the job would either make you hate yourself or would make you love yourself. Fortunately, I was the latter!

      1. What a cool experience to have had.
        I always say it’s ok to talk to yourself, it’s ok to answer yourself but start to worry when you say “huh?”

  2. I kept to a routine. I made sure I got dressed each day, cleaned the house, etc. I spent alot of time outdoors during the summer and fall, too. I have a ton of books which helped alot plus I sew and quilt. I joined a charity for sewing pillowcases for hospital patients and they supplied the fabric. Its been wonderful. It definitely helped to keep busy yet I still got lonely even with my family.

    1. Hi Robbie, I love hearing you sewed pillowcases for hospital patients! Plus, they supplied the fabric, what a blessing to you and the patients! It still gets lonely, I get it. I used to live close to family, but haven’t for about ten years now. I wish I had never sold that house up north. My neighborhood is a lonely place, it was even before the virus. We have to do what we have to do to stay sane that’s for sure. Keeping busy is awesome and going outdoors helps me. Linda

  3. I have too much I want to do. Crafts to make. In fact yesterday I helped my daughter decorate her masks for her work. Only 4. She works at a church nursery. We used 4 different colored hands and Nursery in silver glitter. We used iron on vinyl. They turned out pretty well. I love doing things like that. I have to make a bowl Cozy today for our dear daughter-in-law. I’ve made 3 others so far. I’m also making a felt doll. Like I said, too much I want to do. And this is plus the decluttering/downsizing I’m trying g to get done. And cooking and housework and laundry and and and. LOL

    1. Hi Deborah, sometimes it’s so awesome to have crafts to do, I love those cozy bowls. I feel like my decluttering never ends. I really want to move, but it’s not in the cards right now. But I’m making a plan but it all takes time. Oh, the glitter, oh my gosh, I remember never getting rid of glitter months later!! LOL! Life is good, enjoy what you’re doing. Linda

        1. Hi Deborah, oh my gosh, I wish you had taken a picture of the glitter!! Although every parent can visualize glitter for years to come. I have the giggles because kids love glitter, lots of glitter. Great comment! Linda

          1. Hi Linda! How do I send a picture? I took a picture of what we took the letters out of (called weeding) I did have to tape it down to show it. It curls up. LOL

  4. Hi Linda, In the winter when it’s too cold outside to do much of anything, I think of projects I either need to do or want to do in the coming summer. When the weather is nice enough to be outside, I go for walks with my dog. I love being in the woods along because it helps give me a clear mind, and relieves any stress I might have (which I don’t normally stress about anything anymore. Not worth it and it never solves anything.) I do have a craft project I am currently working on hoping that at some point I can once more do craft shows again. I either watch tv or movies I’ve purchased. I have a huge movie library so I have lots to watch. I’m not much of a socializing person so I really don’t miss being around people much. I do Hermit quite well, but that’s me. Basically, I live a simple life, not needing much because I have all that I need and if I could move further into the woods where my nearest neighbor is 2 or 3 miles away, I’d really be happy.

    1. Hi Pam, oh I love your comment! I am alone a lot because of where I live. Mark golfs twice a week, which is great, he loves it. It gives him some time to socialize. I have two dogs, Shih Tzus that keep me company. I never thought I would be a loner, ever. Well, I am now. I’m happy making friends through my blog even though we will never meet in person. But the interaction is so awesome here, I love it! What is your craft that you are hoping to start selling in crafts shows? I love going to those, by the way! I am decluttering so we can move when the time is right. I want a bit more land for growing our own food. Life is so good, Linda

  5. Hi Linda, I’d love to have 5 to 10 acres off in the woods somewhere where I too could grow a garden and have some chickens and maybe a cow for milk. My dream! Crafts – In my past life, I was what would be called a professional crafter. For about 18 years that’s how I made my living. Then, I got burnout. Took several years off, then started back but only doing a few craft shows. I got burnout again about 3 years ago and it wasn’t until the beginning of December 2020 that I got the itch to do something again. I started out working with leather all those years ago. I made stuffed animals out of leather and rabbit fur. That was when I was doing Renaissance Festivals. After I quite doing that (18 years is a long time), I made old west costumes for a local establishment in the Phoenix area. Went through a bad divorce and ended up back in Texas. Then I taught myself to crochet. So, now I am making the Scandinavian Gnomes. I love them! I’m having so much fun bringing each one to life. I made 4 during Christmas as gifts and everyone loved them. Right now, I’m just working on the little ones. I redesigned the pattern to make them more like the real ones and building stock. Then I’ll start working on the larger ones and do the same thing. When my hands don’t bother me (I have bilateral tunnel carpel), I actually can get two done in one day. Craft shows here are no where lucrative as the ones I did in Texas, but one that I do I really enjoy doing, but I also know these guys will not go out of style like a lot of stuff I’ve done over the years. So, that’s it in a nutshell, so to speak.

    1. Hi Pam, there is so much joy in creating items for others to purchase and enjoy. The Scandinavian Gnomes sound awesome. My dream is also to have even 1 acre, chickens (maybe), but mostly really good soil and grow everything year-round would be wonderful. I would plant lots of fruit trees. It’s not going to happen, but oh well. I need to make do. Life is still good! Linda

  6. Linda this was a wonderful post. I’m so blessed to say that we can check off every area you listed!! My 95 year old mom got an iPad and learned how to FaceTime and play casino games on it!!! My sis and I are out of state from her and we each video chat with her at least twice daily!! It truly is the next best thing to bring with her and we are all so grateful!!

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful ideas!!!!


    1. Hi Deb, wow, I’m impressed she likes using the iPad! It’s such a blessing for others to talk to her and for all to see each other’s smile even if it’s on a computer. I LOVE it! I love hearing this, thank you for sharing! Linda

  7. I don’t mind the self- imposed isolation that winter, snow and bad roads normally bring. My current issue is just how much these lock-downs are medically necessary, or are they politically motivated.
    When it was going to be 15 days for hospitals to prepare, I was fine with that. Then April became May, June became July, and even when the numbers were relatively low, the likes of Andrew Cuomo kept fear mongering.
    Now the number are up, we shouldn’t have holidays with the ones we love. However Cuomo has declared 6,700 strangers, many probably drunk can go to a football game. What part am I missing?
    I didn’t mind the first two weeks, I actually finished the photo albums I had put off for years. But we have run out of things to clean!!! Every closet, ever drawer, ever cabinet. We my husband start shampooing the basement carpet, you know bordem has set in.

    1. Chris… if I may I’d like to post some thoughts. No doubt this has been a very challenging year and we Americans have faced boundaries that have never been placed upon us… at least in my own 67 years… mask, distance, stay home, share shopping responsibilities, watch church on line, or attend in person, eat out or stay home at all times, fly home to visit 95 year old mom or have her learn to FaceTime…and on it goes! I have thought about this a great deal since I’m a retired RN.

      I am a conservative Christian and have many “no masker” friends who are adamant that our “rights” are being tromped upon. But after much thought, prayer and discussion, I just don’t see it that way. This virus is called “novel” because we’ve never seen it before. There is still so much we don’t know… so in light of this, I ask God to grant me wisdom as I work through the issues this pandemic has caused.

      I mask, I use disinfectant appropriately, I distance to the best of my ability, and I serve others in the ways God leads me to. I do this because although not perfectly effective, these measures do have an impact in keeping others and ourselves safe. I also do these things out of respect to front line workers, funeral service people, and families who have tragically lost a loved one to COVID-19… in my very neighborhood in fact.

      I’m not trying to be preachy but hope my comments encourage you in some way. All of this WILL pass in time. We will develop herd immunity to the point that novel COVID-19 is like other viruses we have to deal with. But the trauma our front line workers have faced will be with them forever. The grief due to family or friend loss will be a life long burden to bear.

      I’ve decided that regardless of what others do or think…regardless if there is or is not a political motive…I HAVE to do what I believe is right… and that is to do what I can to protect others and myself. And to find creative ways to be a blessing to others.

      Peace and Joy in this Journey


      1. Thank you so much Deb for your wisdom and input. All four of our children are first responders, law enforcement or essential workers, meaning we can’t even see them because of their contact with the public. I know you are right and we will continue to stay safe in our home. I miss my grand sons terribly, but like you I will do my best and trust in God to bring us thru it. Thank you again and God Bless

        1. Oh Chris…you are so welcome…and please tell your four children thank you for their front line work! They have such tough jobs!!!! And I’m right with you on missing our littles…we facetime them on a regular basis which we all enjoy!

          Peace and blessings…Deb

      2. Deb, perhaps you do have “no masker” friends who feel their “rights” are being tromped upon.
        Their views are as valid as anyone else’s views.
        I would ask you to be mindful that there are also MANY folks who don’t wear masks due advice from their health care providers &/or other exemptions.
        People need to just stop with the mask judgement – so disturbing.

        1. Amy… yes I am very mindful of medical concerns causing people not to mask. My comment is not meant to sit in judgment but a statement of my personal experience and why I choose to do what I do in this pandemic. I appreciate your reminder though. Good for all of us to not be in contempt of the motives of others.

      3. Deb ~
        I am on the same wave length you are. I am not nor have ever been in the medical or first responder fields but… I believe that masks are going to be a way of life for me in the future. To me, masks are simply a minor inconvenience to help protect me and others! I don’t think I will ever go without a mask at stores. Another “inconvenience” are not hugging. Ha! My church is a real huggy church! I am not sure I will ever be that close to someone not in my own family! Sounds sad and it will be sad but I feel that it is a small price to pay to protect self and others. In 2020 I only went to church physically about 6 times – had surgery Jan 2020, went to church with a friend a couple of times, then could drive myself and went a couple of times, then lockdown. I finally did go to church a couple of times this fall – masked and 6 feet from anyone – but just didn’t feel very comfortable. So, it is on-line church at least until the vaccine is available to me. Then I might head back to church at least a couple of times a month.

  8. Number 4. Don’t Forget Your Pets. May I make a suggestion that if you have pets that are on medication regularly, I would consider talking to your vet about obtaining more for the future and store it in a cool, dry place out of sunlight. We never know if that will be an issue getting it if things continue to go south. Your vet may not do that, but if you explain why you would like it, possibly they will. All they can do is say “no”. If they do you can rest a bit easier.

  9. For people in areas where they are treating this virus like a plague I imagine it has to be difficult. In my area people still move about and most seem rather relaxed. People do wear a mask and businesses have taken precautions and people conform, for the most part, but it isn’t too bad.

    I don’t know a lot of people so I am used to feeling alone except for the occasional chats or when I go out and I talk to people in the stores. And now that my older brother isn’t here anymore it feels different even though my father is in the house. The problem is that even at my age he continues to feel that he needs to find things for me to do and I am tired and I have so much to do that I feel pushed and needlessly reminded of it.

    He’s initiated so many projects that I have been forced to move things 3 and 4 times. And since he did not install shelving when he should have, things are piled up and thus it’s a big, hard to clean up mess. With organizational tools it can be done easily. Mounting TV’s on the walls, shelves, book cases, racks, hooks, etc., would make for an easy cleaning and organization. He thinks getting rid of stuff is the answer, but it’s not. Other wise we’d have nothing and I’m not wealthy enough to replace hundreds of dollars worth of anything.

    He’s going on a trip in few days and so for me right now, I am looking forward to being able to work by myself and with nobody bothering me or wasting my time. I don’t like having to be home waiting for people to show up when they please, waiting for packages, or house sitting in general. And I’m often woken up to the sound of loud talking, cars and trucks or just my father walking through the house or talking on the phone. Being home should be quiet, but not for me.

    I don’t want to be busy working just to satisfy someone else’s need or desire to see things getting done, but rather working on something that is profitable money or that I enjoy and have an interest in doing or learning. And without feeling another person’s impatience or being pressured to hurry or being second guessed on what, how or when I do a thing. It’s all unnecessary stress and annoyance. And that irritation in the midst of this pandemic causes me some grief.

    I’d love to work on my food prepping skills and organize my survival gear. I could actually create myself a bug out bag or practice using my animal calls in case I need to hunt for food. I just need to have shelving and storage systems and then I can get the house looking neat and yet a more functional, livable place. And be better prepared for emergencies. If I can execute things properly, even if a repair needs to be made, it shouldn’t create a big mess (Don’t people realize how messy drilling and sanding can be) and moving an entire room’s contents back and forth…. a huge waste of energy and time.

    1. Hi Frank, wow! I would be so frustrated too! I don’t do well with people “telling me” what to do if it’s a waste of time. Can you get some shelving while he’s gone and put “your stuff” on it? I can tell you are really tired of living like this, I’m so sorry, Frank. Life should not be like this. Can you move somewhere else? I wish I could, but it’s not in the cards right now. I want to live where there are like-minded people. I also want the peace and quiet of gardening outside. I’m so sorry, Frank, may the next few days give you some well-deserved peace and quiet. Linda

  10. Hi Linda,
    I have to have a daily plan and do have projects that I work on. Every morning, I plan on how my day is going to be. I’ve been crocheting and are currently working on baby Christmas hats to hopefully sell this year. I have a goal to build my inventory up. Next, will be bunny rabbits. I workout every morning to start my day. This helps to keep me positive throughout the day and it really works. I love being outside but it’s been too cold so I haven’t done much of that. I am planning to start a little garden and have my seeds ready to go. My husband is going to build a few garden beds soon. I have been reading, and keeping what I like to call
    “My Covid Journal “ updated. I like to write about my thoughts during this time and what’s happening in the world related to Covid. I think this will be interesting for my children, and grandchildren to read one day. Cleaning, I enjoy cleaning and organizing so I have plenty to keep myself busy. I haven’t made it to the closets yet but are headed there, lol. My husband and I have begun to play Board games together.

    I don’t see my family at all besides virtually. I’ve only seen my youngest grandchild twice since she has been born and she will be one soon. I’m unable to see her for her first birthday which is hurtful for me, but I just don’t want to be one of those people that take the chance of possibly infecting others. I haven’t been able to wrap my arms around my children and grandchildren since the beginning of all of this. I know, and pray we will be able to do this at some point and this is what keeps me going. I look forward to reuniting with my family safely.

    I want to thank you for sharing. I’ve learned so much from you. It’s because of you that I’m prepared. I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Nina, thank you for your kind words, they mean the world to me. I love hearing you are writing down your thoughts during COVID!! And what’s happening in the world. I have not seen any of my kids or grandkids for months. It makes me sad, but I have to stay well and I don’t want to spread the virus. Oh, darn the first birthday of your grandchild, oh that is so sad. I love cleaning and organizing. Sometimes it seems a bit overwhelming but then I watch “Tidying UP’ on Netflix!! Then I get the “energy” to just do it. Life is good when we have a plan! Linda

  11. Linda ~
    We really needed this post at the beginning of the pandemic/lockdowns!! I like being alone but I also like interactions with others. So, the isolation hasn’t really had a huge impact on me. I did use grocery delivery in the beginning. Well actually before the pandemic hit here in Washington as I had shoulder surgery in Jan 2020 and couldn’t drive! I never felt good about asking people to shop for me!! I was just able to drive myself and go shopping when the lockdowns happened. So, I was isolated before the pandemic and it just continued.

    I have decluttered my 2 bedroom apartment and now starting to go through things again!! I am calling it my pre-spring spring cleaning!!! As soon as I am done, I’ll start over. Perhaps 2021 will be my true downsizing year! (something my daughter really wants me to do!). I made hundreds of cloth masks at the beginning of the pandemic, gave many away and kept enough for myself. Now I am on a mission to make a few more that fit better. I know I can purchase masks now but I really do like my homemade ones. I am also working on projects for my daughter and her family – quilts, doll clothes, etc. I am really just trying to downsize my fabric stash! I have also, via YouTube, taught myself a number of other crafts.

    Well, I better get busy in my kitchen – going through all the drawers and cupboards!!

    1. Hi Leanne, it really does feel good to declutter, even though it really never ends. Well, at least in my case. I think this isolation time has taught us all a lot. We had time to “chill” and think. We had time to look around our house and clean, sort, trash, sell or donate stuff. I also called a few friends that I hadn’t talked to in years. I love that you are making quilts and face masks, and doll clothes!! I love hearing this. Linda

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