Nadia and Chelsea | Isolation Diaries

We check in with Nadia and Chelsea who have been self-isolating in their homes in Canada for the past two weeks. We ask what they wished they'd known, what they'd like to say to themselves two weeks ago, and what they've accomplished on their isolation to-do lists.

Nadia, Senior Designer

What do you wish you had known before going into self-isolation?

I actually like having time to myself ( I kind of knew that already) but there are going to be days when you just don't want to get up and conquer that day. Make a plan or schedule for the next day and reach out to a friend, I find that laughing always helps. Also, routine and manual activities are important, they give you something to accomplish each day and will help you to deal with/accept your current reality.  

What you would like to say to yourself before going into isolation?

Uncertainty is demotivating,  so don't focus on what you can't control.

Some days are just going to feel bad. You can set out with the best of intentions to make the most of each day, but they can't all be good,  and that's ok. Sometimes you need a day to mope. 

You will miss going to the office. I personally really like where I work, the space I am in and the people I work alongside. 


What on your list of '10 things I want to accomplish while in isolation' have you achieved? 
I finished two books, almost finished my audiobook.  I have been exercising and took out my chin-up bar.  I danced and filed away some papers ( not all of them, It really isn't fun).  Had no cauliflower to cook, it will be one of the first things I buy when self-isolation is over.

Chelsea, Executive Assistant


What do you wish you had known before going into self-isolation?

Everything is going to get harder before it gets easier, but everything works out in the end.

What you would like to say to yourself before going into isolation?

You're going to get a lot less accomplished than you had planned, and there's nothing wrong with that. You just have to take it one day at a time.

 What on your list of '10 things I want to accomplish in while being in isolation' have you achieved?

Reading my list, and realizing how few of the things I accomplished, momentarily made me feel like I had somewhat failed myself. In reality, I've accepted that I just have to take each day as it comes. There will be days where I haven't accomplished a thing that can be seen as 'productive' - but those days are essential when there's so much uncertainty in the world.

Some things from my list I have accomplished are -

  • Try to teach my old dog new tricks.
    - Currently trying to teach her *not* to roll in the mud the second she leaves the house. She has accepted no rolling (a win) but has decided sprinting full speed through mud is still okay (work in progress). 
  • Read the books on my nightstand instead of using them as Instagram props.
    -Yes! Oliver Sacks' 'Ceci est ma femme - The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat', and two poetry books by Trista Mateer (Honeybee & The Dogs I Have Kissed)
  • Finish painting my kitchen.
    -So, turns out, you need paint to paint your kitchen. Along the same vein, I have begun peeling wallpaper from my hallway, an extraordinary time-consuming feat that I have never had the time nor motivation to do.
  • Make pierogis from scratch.
    -Yes! My Ukrainian sister-in-law gave me her grandmother's recipe. A five-hour affair, but that has allowed me to be eating those very pierogies as I write this now.
  • Finally learn the Single Ladies dance.
    -After rewatching HOMECOMING, I realized that any attempt to recreate anything Beyonce has done would be a bastardization, and not fit for this world. I would never wish to tarnish anything that woman has done.

Is there anything you'd like to add to your new list?
Just keep cooking. Cooking has been an essential part of my being since I moved out. I've always loved making elaborate dinners for others, I find it incredibly meditative and fulfilling. When you're cooking you don't have the ability to dwell on anything else that's going on. It's a welcome break from the chaos.
Alison Roman's 'Dining In', and Mandy Lee's 'The Art of Escapism Cooking' have both been essential in the last ten days.
Answer phone calls and texts - easier said than done.
Finish removing the horrible wallpaper. The only thing worse than ugly wallpaper is a wall with half-peeled ugly wallpaper.