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How to survive 14 days of isolation with the “fantastic mess”

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HerCanberra columnist Kirra Rankin has just come out of quarantine after a trip to Brisbane.

Here, she details what she would have been getting up to over the two weeks, if she had been quarantined for the full 14 days.

While her quarantine order has been lifted, we’re sure there are other Canberrans out there going through their own quarantine journeys—so this is for you!

“Small wins” is our motto for the next 14 days.

Raising three little kids and running a growing business is epic. Fantastic one minute—a mess the next…let alone having to now manage this situation in isolation for 14 days thanks to a wonderful trip to see my parents in Brisbane.

As soon as we heard about the lockdown, I had a slight flicker of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) reaction, due to my business, Capital Hydrotherapy & Exercise Physiology, being forced to close its doors for four and a half months last year and letting down 12 team members and their families.

The thought of more Zoom meetings, FaceTime pool deck huddles and entertaining kids while trying to support my team was not on my agenda for January 2021!

However, I overcame this weak moment very quickly, and started thinking about all the things I could do to make the next 14 days the best ever for my kids. Mum’s can’t be weak right?…… ahh, not for the next 14 days I can’t!

I’ll crumble on day 15 and sleep all day – haha.

Here are the six strategies I’m implementing into the next 14 days, so if you know anyone in isolation, maybe this will help them:

Have a visible schedule for each day

I love my whiteboard. If you’ve read my previous articles, they always mention my whiteboard; Betty.

It keeps me accountable, motivated, and she’s a good reminder—feels great to put a line through a completed task (small wins!). I usually have five things every day that I want to get done (business, family, strength and conditioning, nourishment and mental health).

Implementing rituals into the day

I’m big on rituals, always have been. Experts say it takes 21 days to make a long-lasting change and I’ll test that theory to see if we can challenge that timeframe to 14 days!

Having daily rituals, allows me to connect back to my purpose. It grounds me and gives me some stability in this very fragile moment.

Some rituals I’ve implemented over the next 14 days:

  • A slow family brekky: How good does this bircher look? Having more time on our side, allows our little family to think more about our nourishment and be mindful of what we put in our bellies. Another small win.

  • Gratitude moment: Each morning we share what we’re grateful for. Today RoXi  (the five-year-old) was grateful for her parents, Ace (the three-year-old) was grateful for Zebbie (his Zebra, who needs a wash desperately) & I was grateful for kids Panadol!. I hope to keep this ritual well into their teens!
  • 10 minutes of mediation
  • Cold—hot—cold shower
  • Mindful quiet coffee—that would be a BIG win.

Schedule a morning workout

A non-negotiable. I certainly won’t be missing a workout in the next 14 days! Getting my heart rate up, and sweating for over 20 minutes sets my entire day up for success.

I’ll be encouraging my whole family to get involved, as I know the benefits. It will be a lot slower start than usual, as we have time up the wazoo, but it will get done. I always have my workout gear ready the day before and pre-program what I’ll be doing.

I’ll be sharing some of my at-home family workouts with HerCanberra on IGTV.

Time block for mental health

Two hours daily for mental health—another non-negotiable. I keep my mental health in check by reading, writing, and sleeping. My husband does his two hours in the shed.

Two hours is hard to find during isolation with a one-year-old, three-year-old and five-year-old, but we schedule it when the baby sleeps, and chuck on a movie and popcorn for the older two. Perfect. Everyone is different with what they need for mental health nourishment.

What do you need to help you stay calm, relaxed and happy?

Team Huddles

I’m in a very lucky position with the way I’ve structured my business (thanks to nine years of hard work!). I won’t be working from home.

The thought of organising regular zoom meetings, with the fantastic mess (one, three and five-year-old) makes me feel sick. I did four and a half months last year—I am done.

I trust my team and I’m forever grateful for their understanding and support. I’ll join a couple of huddles on pool deck if the timing is right—but I won’t put too much pressure on myself. It’s not worth the pain—I’ve learnt a lot of ‘crawling out of 2020’ lessons!

My plan is to check in with the team leader once a week and attend a team huddle once a week. I love our team huddles!

Stay connected

I’m looking forward to FaceTiming my friends in Korea and Skyping my brother in Columbia (who is also in lockdown).

We are writing to some of RoXi’s friends in Brisbane—she will love having pen-pals! I can’t understand her scribble, but it’s the thought that counts…and it occupies us for seven minutes, so I’m calling it a win.

Small wins, that’s all we need for the next 14 days.

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