Enjoying my alone time: Rethinking isolation

Shakira Moore

Senior Planner, dentsu X

None of us could have predicted that working from home for more than a month would ever feel normal. I always used to feel a tinge of guilt even considering working from home, and now here I am working from home every day and I don’t feel strange anymore. I must confess that I don’t have the added excitement of a full house - no pets, just plants and they do not say much... So how did I get to this new normal and what can I share with the DAN family when it comes to enjoying my alone time and flipping isolation into an opportunity for physical, emotional and spiritual growth?

Focusing on myself

Since lockdown began, I’ve focused on myself a little more and started paying more attention to areas of my life that I wanted to really excel in. I focused on the physical, spiritual, mental and relational areas of my life and as I started to see improvements in these areas, the successes spilled over into work.

Working late and being too tired was always my excuse for not going to the gym and exercising, so how was I going to tackle this now? I tackled it by dancing most evenings. I am no dancer but there is nothing better than jamming to a curated list of your favorite songs. Each song feels like my favorite and so I had to keep dancing! Before I knew it, I had danced for an hour non-stop, endorphins were flowing, I felt great and I had actually done something physical.

Maintaining a positive outlook

If the inner world is not well, the outer world will reflect it back to you. I am not religious but very spiritual, so this was a great time to draw from my favorite thought leaders and spiritual teachers. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness has been instrumental in maintaining a positive outlook while the world tackles this unprecedented rate of change. As my favorite spiritual teacher, Abraham Hicks, says, “as you think thoughts that feel good to you, you will be in harmony with who you really are.” So, I pay attention to the content I consume and how that influences my thoughts.

In a time when grief, stress and trauma are at the forefront of everyone’s minds, maintaining good mental health is paramount. I understand the impact of secondary trauma and I am honest enough to know that watching too much news can do more harm than good. Ignorance is not bliss but knowing when to shut the world out can be.

Social distance ≠ social isolation

Facing my own mortality has helped give me perspective and reaffirm what is truly important to me, and those are my relationships. So, phone calls and video chats have been instrumental in maintaining those. Let’s be clear, social distance does not mean social isolation. So, checking in with friends and family has become more important to me now than ever. While it’s not the same as seeing each other in person, a good bottle of wine and a virtual girls’ night in can make up for that. As my second favorite spiritual teacher, Wayne Dyer, said, “you cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.

As I spend more time working on these areas, my appreciation for my career, team and DAN family has grown. Working from home has given me the opportunity to evolve into my best self and this is a journey I am happily embarking on.