CEO Story: How I survived isolation and social distancing


A few years ago I have unknowingly chosen self-isolation and social distancing. There are many lessons I have learnt and I would like to share some of them with you today.


I unintentionally chose to self-isolate myself five years ago when decided to abandon corporate career and set up my own business.


I had no idea that this move comes with extreme loneliness and spending lots of time alone at home. It came as a surprise really.


Of course this happened because I stopped going to work and started working from home. This move removed me from my usual social circle, usual routine, habits and a regular pay check. I was also driven by the fear of failure so was working long hours. My friends and family did not understand my choice and it made me  seeing them less often. I was also under huge financial pressure and uncertainty and that prevented me from going out and spending any money.


So here I was – a typical entrepreneur working from home weekdays and weekends  and not seeing many people at all. The highlight was a walk in a local park pretending I am walking a dog or a run to a local shop.
I forgot how to dress up and was behind all the social trends. The worst thing was that everyone else was getting on with their lives pretty well. I felt like an outcast.


So what did I learn and how did I cope going through such an essential albeit painful stage of the entrepreneurial life – let’s call it rebirth.
I believe In a way we are all collectively experiencing rebirth now but it should be so much easier because we are doing it together.


I invite you to see this time of collective hibernation as an OPPORTUNITY for personal and collective rebirth or transformation if you wish.



Lesson 1: Use this time to get to know yourself.

You have been running from a meeting to a meeting and your life has been dictated by the tight daily schedules of all kinds. Today you have the most precious resource TIME. It does not have to be all work anymore. Use this TIME to re-connect with yourself, get to know yourself.
The most simple step is to start daily journaling by asking yourself: How am I feeling? What do I need right now? What can I let go off?

You will be surprised!



Lesson 2: Find your perfect routine.

Take time to find a daily routine that works for you. How much sleep do I need? When am I the most productive? When do I like exercising? Do I need an afternoon nap? When should I have my meals?

Don’t just automatically replicate your working day from when you were in the office. Create your own version!
Really learn to listen to your body and follow its needs and rhythms. It will make you healthier, younger and will give you energy.



Lesson 3: Explore your dreams.

There are things that you probably wanted to do but always postponed as never had time to do them.
It can be writing a book or a poem, learning to play a musical instrument, creating your own recepes, painting, starting a blog, producing fitness videos, gardening, reading etc.

Do them now! Don’t delay. Use this time as an opportunity. Avoid endless Netflix series and persistent news updates. Do something creative instead and not work related, something that you have been postponing for a long time. It is your time now!



Lesson 4: Learn how to meditate.

We were so fixated on the external world that we completely missed out on exploring our inner worlds. The influx of online meditations right now is not a trend it is an invitation for you to try – to try to look within yourself and find immense treasures you did not know were there. It will take some time but it is so worthwhile.

Start meditating!



Lesson 5: Deal with your mind.

Please Remember that your mind is not designed to make you happy. It is there to protect you. So it is doing its perfect job right now – buying you lifetime reserves of toilet rolls so you are safe.
But are you???

Your mind is doing its role of protecting you but when it is in a panic mode it likes to catastrophise, think too many negative thoughts and make you numb to the needs of others.

So work with your mind.

Writing a simple daily gratitude list is a good start. It will help you to re-focus on positives.

Ensure you have goals, daily or weekly ones. Our mind likes completing or achieving so  make sure you achieve something ideally first thing in the morning. It could be a simple 10 min morning workout or making yourself a healthy breakfast.



Lesson 6: Learn to enjoy simple things in life.

Appreciate the slowing down of things. Don’t waste it. Don’t dwell on it.

Find an opportunity. Learn how to enjoy simple things: a sunshine in the garden, your dear ones next to you, a good joke, a beautiful sunset outside your window.

We completely forgot how to do that. Our minds need to be constantly entertained. But we won’t be able to spend all our time online.

We are not designed for it. We need to remember how to live a simpler life connected to the pace of nature.

Create simple daily rituals with your loved ones.




I will share more of the lessons and stories along with my colleague Dr Kasia Wilk at our webinar on Wednesday.

We will explore the topic of finding opportunities during the times of crisis. Please join us and REGISTER here.



If you are looking for an emergency wellness programme for your staff please click here.

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