Updated: Apr 14, 2020
I haven't known what to do to help and then, I figured, I'm so use to staying at home and finding the positives from it that I would share the wealth so #ILLUSTRATIONINISOLATION is my 30 day, easy going guide to help anyone who'd like to get involved during social distancing and isolation. There's no pressure to do it all, do it in order, or stick to exactly what it says, but these are just a few small reminders to move, stay creative and focus on things that may help you feel more comfortable whilst stuck indoors. I will be doing each task each day (or trying to!) and then illustrating about the task too 🌞 you can do the same, or just draw something, or take a photo of yourself doing it - I would love to see who's getting involved and seeing if it's helpful to anyone besides myself 😂 it's good to maintain a sense of connection and community in these times, it's hard and can be lonely, and it might go on for longer than we hope, but at least we can pick out a few wonderful bits from life and enjoy them together
1. Walk Somewhere New (safely and in your local area)
When we first moved to our new home in November, my depression was so bad that I didn't leave the house much. The village we live in is renowned for lovely walks and beautiful old black & white houses and I feel its something I haven't been appreciating since living here. So, this morning at 8am I threw a jumper on over my pyjamas and went for a 40 min explore. I thought going early would mean I wouldn't have to avoid so many people, and I was right, just a couple of friendly neighbours who all kept at a safe distance! I visited the churchyard to look at the magnolia blossom and said hello to some runaway chickens! Leaving the house at least once a day is, sometimes, pretty impossible, but this morning felt very rewarding 🌿
2. Read A Book
I knew my depression had gotten very bad when I stopped reading. I stopped being able to focus on the task for long, or create an imagery in my head to make it enjoyable. Since going back on medication, I've been reading almost everyday. I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after starting the series at the end of January - I have been LOVING IT! I also read How To Be Bored by Eva Hoffman in which she mentions the important of reading, specifically fiction books. Whereas non-fiction, fact based texts are great and, obviously, very important to read, they can bare the weight of needing to remain informed at all times and knowledgeable of all the things you believe other people to know. Fiction, however, allows your brain to get creative, to play, to cunjure up imagery that is for you and you alone. Picture heavy books ie. graphic novels are really great if you're struggling to concentrate but still want to read 📚
3. Dance to your Favourite Songs
On Saturday, my friends and I partook in our first session of 'Social Discoing', where we basically danced at each other on Zoom into the wee hours of the morning! Dancing is good!! It's emotive, it's passionate, it's fun, it's freeing! I love nothing better than blasting out my favourite songs and thrashing my body around until it aches! Swipe to see the top songs that always get me moving 🤘I think we all need a good boogie at the moment, it is Friday night 💃 thanks so much to @nicholasillustration for guiding me through this animation (I made a GIF, oh my goodness, sense of achievement ☑️)
4. Do a Task You've Been Putting Off
Sometimes, the simplest tasks can seem really difficult. For me, when I'm really low, hanging up my clothes becomes one of those things I put off... and off.... and off until I'm left with a pile of clean laundry somewhere in the house. Mine is currently sitting on top of my desk (not the most practical place for a mess, but I have made myself a temporary workspace in the living room). It's been growing bigger over the last week or so, as my clothes just get thrown from the airer. It makes it more difficult to get dressed, scrambling through the pile to try and find a pair of pants or the t-shirt I want! By the end of the day, they'll all be hung or folded and my brain will feel clearer. It's just felt like impossible achievement but I know I will feel so much better for doing it 🧦
5. Try Some Yoga Poses
I haven't done yoga in a very long time. It's one of those things that I know will always make me feel better but I just never make it a priority to do. So, this morning, I did a really simple yoga flow on YouTube from yogawithadriana which I really enjoyed because a lot of it was just lying on the floor and twiddling parts of your body to wake them up! It was a really great routine to start back up with and something that would be nice to do each morning on waking up. The lying down is definitely a massive appeal to me in yoga!!! 🧘🏻♀️
6. Do A/Some Painting
How are you feeling? I've been very up and down, some days achieving so much and other days only managing to shower. It's OK to be feeling this way at the moment and my therapist gave me some really great advice for it last week, so I've digitally painted them for you to see! One of my acts of resilience is to dance around the living room!!! But the one thing I did this past weekend was to paint an old sideboard I'd inherited from my great Grandparents' house. Being in the house more due to isolation has made it even more important to create a space I enjoy and feel relaxed in, so this upcycling project was great for taking my mind somewhere other than anxious thoughts, getting creative in a different way, and making the living room look much brighter!
7. Make Something To Go In The Window
I've seen how people have been putting rainbows and messages in their windows as a sign of support and community in this time and I thought it was such a lovely idea, which is why I included it as one of the little tasks on my list. I hadn't quite known what to make but I wanted to make something that reminded us all to stay hopeful 🎊 I've made this available as a downloadable A4 poster in my Etsy shop (click SHOP at top of page) so you can print it off at home and pop one in your window - if you like! Please let me know if you do 🌈 such an important time to let others know you're thinking of them.
8. Look at the Cloud Formations
Can you tell its only my second animation?! Haha I spent most of the afternoon making this jerky little flirty cloud, whilst watching some real life clouds out of the window. It was pretty clear today but as the day when on there were some fluffy lovelies up above the church spire just outside our house. My profile photo is my friend, Clarence the Cloud. He was creating when I asked myself the question - "what if the Earth is just a cloud's garden?" ☁️☁️☁️
9. Arrange a Videochat
One thing I've found really beneficial for my anxiety during the pandemic is connecting with my friends & family via videocall. Usually, I would try and avoid this as often as possible because it would make me feel more anxious, but I've found it's been a really handy tool to keeping me feeling social without any of the guilt for cancelling last minute or having to chose an outfit, or having to leave the house at all! I can be in the comfort of my own safe space but see the beautiful faces of the people I love, and just hang up when I want to!! Had a lovely chat with three of besties the other day so screenshotted it to draw!
10. Feed Your Plants
Spring is here which means we can start giving our plant babies a little extra help with some plant food. I honestly think the secret to growing plants is talking to them nicely though. Most mornings when I come upstairs, the first thing I do is look at each plant individually and talk to it about how it's growing, compliment it on its beautiful leaves and give it a bit of a boost! They are gentle creatures like us - we need to be fed kind and encouraging words to thrive too 🌱