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Coping in isolation: Time to Think
Coping in isolation: Time to Think

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4 Reflection

This is a photograph of a country path, with a city in the background.
Figure 15 Landscape and Belfast city in the distance, County Antrim 2020

You may find it useful to take some quiet time to reflect on what you are living through, your resources and sources of strength and on all that you have learned already from this experience. In this conversation between David and Michael they offer some final reflections of their own on parallels between their past experience of confinement and the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Now listen to Audio 2:

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Audio 2 transcript (Word document) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Activity 6 Reflecting on what you have learned/what you know now

Having listened to David and Michael, take some time to think about your own experiences. What advice would you like to share with others? You might find the following questions useful to help frame your thoughts.

  1. What have you learned from this experience about yourself?
  2. What have you learned about your resources individually and/or as part of a wider community?
  3. If you were to pass on tips to other people in the future facing a similar situation to the one you are in today, what tips would you give them?

Use the box below to capture your thoughts.

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As this course comes to an end, David and Michael have drawn together some tips and suggestions on ways of moving forward from across all three sessions. You may find these helpful now and in the future.

David: Moving forward

We did not see this situation coming. It has been brutal for some people. It is at times surreal. But it has affected us all. Know that we will get over this. It will be easier for some than others. For some life is fast and packed. We have to come back to a day by day living. Slow down. See what is important. Will there be hardship. Yes. And worry. Yes. But life will go on. Maybe in a different shape and with changes, but we will adapt as we have done in the past. My main words of advice are:

  1. Do not panic. There is help and support out there for you. Help others – we all need to help each other.
  2. The more we stick by the social distancing rules the quicker we will get through this time period.
  3. In the future we will come out stronger and appreciate many things that we had taken for granted.

Michael: Moving forward

I am struck once again by how quickly we can get used to new ways of doing things. We did so in the past and we do so today from funerals and ritual to how we communicate, these are all changing. But we adapt and we get used to new ways. So, we must hold on to this. We can do this. We can adapt. We don’t know all the in’s and out’s but we can do it and do it differently. Look at our strengths. The rest we will fall into place as we find ways around these horrendous times. My main points are:

  1. Take the ‘negatives’ and turn them into a plus. For example, think about the pandemic situation not as ‘lockdown’ or ‘isolation’ – but as ‘protection from the virus’, or ‘for my own good’. Look for positive new reports on the numbers of people recovering, not those entering hospitals.
  2. Give yourself positive encouragement. Do this out loud, especially if you are in isolation on your own, but even when just thinking on your own about things - use positive language and say it out loud, so you ACTUALLY HEAR YOURSELF. For example, ‘This is for my own good’ or ‘I am doing well’/‘I am doing my best’.
  3. Use your time to try some new ways to get through the period we are in and try to find positive things you can do for yourself or other people. All this will help get through this situation and come out the other end stronger.