Coronavirus self-isolation: How I’m handling my 14-day quarantine

Note: This was originally written for Ideapod’s newsletter subscribers. You can subscribe here.

Hello Ideapod reader:

I’m currently on day 2 of self-isolation in Melbourne. With the world going into lockdown, I felt coming to my home country was the safest thing to do. Australia requires anyone entering the country to go into quarantine for 14 days.

If you’re worried about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world, I suggest checking out what Bill Gates has to say about it. For years he has said a pandemic like this one is the greatest threats to the world. But he has a message of hope: lockdowns may only need to last for 6 to 10 weeks, if countries can do them properly.

Some Ideapod readers have asked me to share how I’m approaching my 14-day self-isolation. As many Ideapod readers already know, I’m not here to tell you what to think or what to do. Instead, I’m sharing these in the hope they will inspire you with how you approach your own social distancing.

Below, I’m sharing three key things I’m focusing on right now. I then share some more personal reflections on this current moment.

1. Health, immunization support and exercise

I’m in self-isolation with my brother, Lachlan, as we were traveling together. We have decided to do three workouts per day. One is a cardio workout, another is strength and the third is yoga. We have found some great instructional videos on YouTube.

We are also eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, along with vitamin C supplements and multivitamins. We’re also having a shot of ginger every day.

We’re lucky to have the support of a community in Melbourne to help us out with groceries. Please note we have decided not to stockpile more than a few days ahead as we do not want to contribute to panic-buying.

I’m not an expert on health but I’m taking recommendations from friends of mine who are real experts. Soon we’ll be bringing this expertise to Ideapod. Stay tuned.

2. Learning from home

I have so many books and online courses I have been wanting to do. It’s quite incredible that I can access some of the world’s wisest teachers even while in complete isolation.

The most important online workshop I’ve been taking while in isolation is Out of the Box. This is by Rudá Iandê and produced by Ideapod. Obviously I’m a little biased, but I don’t know of any other set of teachings that take you on such a deep and profound journey of personal transformation. I have also noticed many of our members taking more classes in recent days.

We’re living through an extraordinary time. Many things will change in the world. It’s an opportunity for you to use this time to change yourself at a very deep level. I share more of what these deep changes have been for me in the closing remarks to this email.

Of course, Out of the Box isn’t for everyone. Some people find it a little confronting. It’s designed that way so that the changes you experience are deep and so that you commit to the life you truly want to live.

If you are more interested in a passive kind of learning, I recommend checking out MasterClass. They have some of the world’s most well-known instructors teaching and deliver the lessons in a Netflix-style format. I’m watching a few of the lessons every day while in isolation.

3. Stepping up my meditation practice

Finally, I decided to step up my meditation practice.

If you’re someone who finds it difficult to meditate, I recommend checking out the video I created about the meditation practice I learned from Alan Watts. I’m someone who always thought I wasn’t able to meditate. But once I learned this practice, it became so easy.

YouTube video

This approach to meditation takes away the focus on a mantra or breath. There are many meditation practices that ask you to focus on these, and I’m sure they work well for many people.

But for me, the directive to focus on something always brought my “inner critic” to the surface. I would judge myself whether I was doing it properly. I would try to figure out whether I had reached a meditative state.

Instead, I take the opposite approach of actively listening to every sound around me. But I do this without identifying the sounds. Instead, I let all of the sounds around me be the chord of a song.

Then I do the same thing with my body, feeling whatever is happening in my different body parts. I don’t identify these feelings or judge them.

Finally, I do the same thing with my breathing, noticing that the breathing has been happening all of this time without me focusing on it.

I use these insights to allow my thoughts to continue, but I don’t focus on my thoughts. I just observe my monkey mind move around in circles. It never stops. It’s always happening. But I manage to create a bit of separation with the “me” that gets so wrapped up in whatever those thoughts are.

If you want to read a longer explanation of this meditation technique, check out this article.

You’re a sovereign being

The current crisis really sucks for a lot of people. But there is one thing I want to close with in this email.

The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to remind all of us that we are sovereign beings. We are all going into our shells, hibernating from each other and withdrawing from society.

While it may not be immediately apparent, we are also withdrawing from many of the social structures that shape how we think, how we act and who we are.

When you withdraw from society and go into isolation, what do you find inside yourself? What is the connection you feel deep within? What is left when everything around you goes away?

We began Ideapod originally as a platform for the free exchange of ideas. Over time, I learned that so many of our ideas are replicas of someone else’s minds. We are easily manipulated by powerful actors in society and exist to serve the agendas of others.

Now is our moment to take our power back. We can claim sovereignty of our existence on this planet. It begins by going deep into our caves and lighting a fire inside ourselves.

I don’t want to tell you what to think and how you should claim ownership of your sovereignty. There are so many ways you can do this.

For me, Out of the Box has been the set of teachings that have helped me enormously. But it’s not my only source of inspiration. I am also continually inspired by Noam Chomsky’s understanding of the world and the role of human creativity. Alan Watts has a similar approach to Rudá Iandê when it comes to personal development. This essay on the trickster guru by Alan Watts is absolutely brilliant. I also have some good friends I’m inspired by who are coming to Ideapod soon.

I suggest searching for your sources of inspiration and embracing them now during these current times. Let’s claim our sovereignty in whichever way is most appropriate to each of us.

All the best,
Justin Brown, Ideapod

P.S. If you’re interested in joining me on my learning journey while in self-isolation, there are two things you can do right now.

The first is to register for our free masterclass on personal power with Rudá Iandê. He shares his life story and some of the basic principles of Out of the Box (he focuses on spirituality, family, love and work). It’s a perfect way to get started with Rudá‘s teachings.

Secondly, you can follow me on Instagram. I’m sharing more of these insights there on a day-to-day basis, along with what I’m up to in self-isolation.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Justin Brown

Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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