Making the Best of Self-isolation

Self-isolation. What does it mean and how can we make the best of it? 

by Mary Bailey, Deputy Head (Pastoral) 

Even within the Clayesmore community we will all be having vastly differing experiences of this current situation. While one member of staff I spoke to yesterday is isolating with her husband and having a quiet time working from home and enjoying the sunshine, I am finding isolation anything but tranquil.

I am sharing my home with my husband and our Black Labrador, Elkie, (permanent residents) and my mum, who lives in an adjacent barn, (also a permanent resident). In addition to these, we have with us at the moment, for several good reasons, two (Old Clayesmorian) grown-up daughters and a one year old grandson. As you can imagine, we feel anything but isolated and begin to empathise closely with a tin of sardines!

Being in such a crowded house has made me consider very carefully how to try to maintain family harmony (not to mention sanity) over the coming weeks. Already we are fighting about whether to watch Picard or Ru Paul’s Drag Race, who will empty the nappy bin and why anyone has their phone at the dinner table.

In some ways, our problems will be different from families with teenage children, but I thought it might be a good idea if we in the Clayesmore community shared our experiences, ideas and successes as we go along!

I’ve started to make a list of suggestions that I have found on the web. They seem sensible to me and my family and I are going to try to follow them and see if we can make something good out of this extraordinary time.

Suggestions for Surviving Self-Isolation

  1. Have a family meeting to identify the biggest challenges; identify the strengths of each family member and give everyone a role in making the household run smoothly; get children and young people to agree their own boundaries 
  2. Give each day a structure, even in the school holiday period. Write the structure down, print it off and stick to it
  3. Use technology well and learn how to make it work for you
  4. Try to learn a new skill (YouTube has many tutorials)
  5. Write a journal (I know this sounds absurd, but it could be fascinating in years to come)
  6. Learn new family card games
  7. Limit phone use 
  8. Plan exercise into your day
  9. As a family, learn a poem a week by heart (sorry – I am an English teacher)
  10. Listen to your favourite playlists
  11. Read or listen to the 40 Books to read in your lifetime


Below are some links to books and exercise ideas.

Finally for today, I know that the next few weeks will not be plain sailing for any of us. The links below are to some useful websites which offer mental health support and advice as well as e-safety advice.

So, Clayesmorians and the Clayesmore community – please share your ideas and experiences; good games, isolation cooking, good reads or your learning by heart accomplishments. See you online very soon!