Social distancing; quarantine; isolation and rising death tolls– all terms that send shivers up my spine.

We are social beings – right? We thrive on being included and involved. So, the prospect of any isolation and all that it entails is beyond terrifying. It goes against our basic human instincts.

As a person with a chronic condition (more susceptible to the virus), initially seeing the media alerts, articles & restrictions was a huge relief. Notifications of the ramifications of others not social distancing. I admit to feeling reassured that if everyone else did their bit in prevention, I could carry on. However, as hours have passed & the virus (& associated panic) has spread, I’ve realised that I can only control my own response & reaction to this global crisis. Not the response & reaction of others.

So, I’m choosing to be proactive about this and not reactive – to minimise my own risk (& that of those around me) by changing my own behaviours & routines – and that means greater social distancing on my part.

Sounds easy huh? But it’s not!

The prospect of social distancing terrifies me.

Since my stroke in 2005, overcoming obstacles in my every day has become the norm. I have learnt, that I need to tackle these in order to manage my physical & emotional wellbeing. So, getting out there, just showing up & avoiding any form of isolation has become habitual. Whether it’s been writing my book or going to rehab, establishing a routine has been the foundation in making the obstacles I face each day, easier to withstand.

Suddenly, this has got to change. What worked before and the routine that I have developed over time, no longer serves me.

But, just like I had to relearn to swim to fulfil the ‘time out’ that running provided me pre-stroke, I now have to reflect on what works in the present circumstances. So rather than my regular face-to face yoga classes, I’m now doing yoga online. In fact, in my routine I’m now forced to be creative with my rehab, even trying hula hooping!

Establishing a routine, I know is paramount in adopting a new way of being. You never know, in doing things a bit differently you may spark a new talent like hula hooping! We can still be social beings even when practising social distancing.

Rather than feeling engulfed by fear, see this as an opportunity. Be proactive!