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We Asked People What Their Self-Isolation Routine Looks Like

A black and white collage of photos of Ainsley Bailey, Emily Garcia, John Tracy and Jennifer Sibayan in that order. The background is a gradient of colours with a pattern of clocks.
“I wouldn’t mind going back to the past, but moving forward I know what to prioritize in my life.” Illustration by (c) Reset Fest Inc, Canada

Mental Health

We Asked People What Their Self-Isolation Routine Looks Like

Everybody's new normal looks different.

With social distancing becoming the new normal, opening apps have become synonymous to opening doors and the urge to sleep or stay awake till odd hours makes it feel like a never-ending jet lag. With the COVID-19 reality check, we asked people from around the world what their isolation routine really looks like minus the Instagram filters and this is what we got. 

Jennifer Sibayan, student, Malaysia

Black and white photo of Jennifer Sibayan with an illustration of a clock on a colourful gradient background.

Photo courtesy: Jennifer Sibayan

“My day begins at 11 am or sometimes later,” Sibayan told Re:Set. The monsoon season sets the perfect mood for her to binge watch Netflix after lunch and of course, check social media but assignments? Those have gone on the back burner.

“During the lockdown, I often dance…every day almost. I absolutely love it,” she said. “I enjoy my routine but I need to go back to doing assignments once in a while too.” 

Sibayan lives with her housemates and is away from family while in school. On an ordinary day, her afternoons would be filled with studying and assignments. But, she hasn’t let the shift in a routine stop her from feeling productive. She plans her entire week out on a calendar and whether other tasks are accomplished or not, she says she makes sure not to add assignments on that list to avoid the stress.

 John Tracy, voice coach, singer and songwriter, Canada

Black and white photo of John Tracy with an illustration of a clock on a colourful gradient background.

Photo Courtesy: John Tracy

“I shave and take care of myself daily because I feel more confident when I am not in my pajamas all day. I still get dressed for work every morning,” Tracy told Re:Set.

Even in lockdown, Tracy’s habits have remained almost the same. “I imposed this on myself because I tried to maintain my previous schedule. This was a major factor in maintaining my productivity,” he told Re:Set. 

Tracy is up with the sun by around 7:30 am and then starts work immediately. First emails and then tackling his to-do list for the day whether that includes reworking social media posts or publishing them ahead of time. Adapting to the COVID-19 situation, the voice coach continues to teach classes online, and focuses on his songwriting and composition, while keeping the rhythm of work moving. 

“For me, it is important to remain active and social, and I spend a lot of time with friends and family over the phone and video chat,” Tracy told Re:Set. “I began reading, and learning how to use a sewing machine,” he added. “I wouldn’t mind going back to the past, but moving forward I know what to prioritize in my life.”

Emily Garcia, teacher, Mexico

Black and white photo of Emily Garcia with an illustration of a clock on a colourful gradient background.

Photo Courtesy: Emily Garcia

Garcia’s self-isolation hobbies include a flower garden and a compost bin. What does she do with the rest of her time? The part-time teacher’s day begins before dawn with a glass of water which is followed by a walk listening to a podcast and doing what she does best, writing. With a cup of coffee, of course.

“Right now, I am writing a marriage memoir and hope to start querying literary agents in June,” Garcia told Re:Set. “I’m currently reading Chanel Miller’s memoir “Know My Name,” and it is amazing. After dinner, I might watch or probably read something again before it’s lights out at 10.”

The lockdown has been beneficial for Garcia as it’s given her a chance to make progress on her manuscript, however, she does get lonely staying away from family. Her husband and daughter alternate between living with her in-laws so Garcia gets space to teach her online classes. 

Ainsley Bailey, sales manager, United States of America

Black and white photo of Ainsley Bailey with an illustration of a clock on a colourful gradient background.

Photo Courtesy: Ainsley Bailey

“I have picked up game streaming a bit, but it’s not something I think I want to do consistently,” Bailey told Re:Set. His mornings kickstart with a run for about three miles depending on how he is feeling that day which he says is primarily to maintain a routine and his sanity. “I recently received my home pull-up bar and now I’m waiting on my exercise bands and weights to come in, I miss the gym. 

Bailey enjoys his new normal because he is at home, a place where he feels safe. “Without my daily running routine, I’d be depressed. This has also drawn me closer to people who feel or have felt the same way that I do,” the 37-year-old added as he is also spending quality time with family. 

 

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