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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Coping in isolation: Time to Think

Session 2: Life in a ‘new normal’

Introduction

This is a photograph of a man standing on a balcony, playing the guitar. His neighbour looks on.
Figure 1 Man plays guitar while his neighbour watches during COVID-19 Pandemic, Turin, Italy 2020

In this second session of the course, you will consider the impact of both time and space on your experience of confinement during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and explore ways of gaining some control and agency over your situation.

Where you live and the space you live in will significantly shape your experience of social distancing and isolation and your ways of coping during the pandemic. Some of you may be living on your own. Others may live in shared accommodation, with extended family, friends or even strangers in institutions or other group settings. You may be in a city, in a high-rise building or a flat with little or no outdoor space. Or you may be in a village or the countryside with a garden or even some land and the additional freedoms this offers. Wherever you live, and however long you are in isolation, there are inventive ways to make the most of the space you are in and the time you have.

Course co-producers and Open University graduates, Michael, a Republican ex-prisoner and David, a Loyalist ex-prisoner, draw on their past experiences of confinement to suggest strategies for living with this ‘new normal’. These include discovering your hidden strengths, structuring your time and connecting with others.

The following short film, recorded in March 2020, shows some of the ways in which people in Italy responded to confinement under COVID-19, through music and song.

Watch the film at the following link: BBC film [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Activity 1 Reflecting on the value of community

Take a moment to reflect on your own situation.

  1. Has any act of community solidarity inspired you recently? This could be something you have taken part in, or something you saw or heard others do.
  2. Did that action change how you felt or feel or about your sense of social isolation and, if so, in what ways?
You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • consider ways of reframing how you think about isolation and confinement
  • reflect on the ways of regaining some control and agency
  • explore practical ways in which you can begin to structure and use your time
  • consider different ways in which you can stay connected while apart
  • know more about the experiences of Loyalist and Republican Open University students in the Maze and Long Kesh prison during the years of conflict in Northern Ireland.
TTT_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus