yoga mats in a yoga studio

15 Ways to Turn Self-Isolation Into Self-Improvement

mom teaching toddler king cobra yoga pose at home during COVID isolation.

With the coronavirus cataclysm gripping the planet, these last few weeks have proven to be a great challenge for everyone. We’ve been instructed to stay home, as this is our best chance at “flattening the curve” of new infections, ergo slowing down the pandemic. In addition to the fear of falling ill, many are stressed about how to financially stay afloat at this time. The career lives of many have essentially come to a halt, while living expenses continue to mount.

Being on lockdown at home might seem daunting to many for justifiable reasons. Each of us, however, is handed a wonderful opportunity to improve ourselves in ways that simply wouldn’t be possible in the “pre-pandemic”, non-stop, and maniacal motion we have labelled “busy-ness”.

Yes – there is a silver lining in all of this. We can learn to see the opportunities eclipsed by the apparent obstacles.

Let us take this opportunity to find our sanity within the stillness, and tend to our real priorities. We can make the best out of staying home so that we arise augmented versions of ourselves once all this has passed. Here are 15 ways to turn self-isolation into self-improvement.

1. Improve Your Cognitive Skills

Our beautiful, neuroplastic brains are ever-changing instruments – capable of being shaped as we please. Why not use this time to develop important cognitive skills that will help you excel in every aspect of your life? Check out apps like Lumosity or Elevate. They are cunningly entertaining ways to improve cognitive health.

2. Develop New Skills

Imagine surfacing from isolation with a whole new set of skills to impress your friends, family and coworkers with. You can do that with websites like Skillshare, Lynda or Masterclass. Skillshare is offering a 2-month free trial and abounds with tutorials for artists, designers, writers, business owners and more.

3. Experiment with New Recipes

Even if you’re a total amateur in the kitchen, being on lockdown means you finally give yourself a shot at mastering the art of cooking and baking. It’s a craft that will not only serve as your creative outlet but will also provide sustenance for everyone under the same roof. Need we mention that cooking and baking are also a form of aromatherapy for your home?

4. Make an Incredible Playlist

If you’re a Shazam enthusiast like me, you have heaps of great songs waiting to be part of a meaningful playlist. Don’t put that off any longer! Make those epic playlists today, and share them with others who could use some melodic medicine.

5. Slash Your To-Do List

We’ve all got those to-do list items that keep getting bumped further down the list, under the weight of more pressing tasks. Use this time to finally repair that kitchen cabinet hinge, hand wash your delicates or clean out the pantry, and tick those things off your list once and for all.

6. Hang Out with Friends and Family Online

We often demonize social media, claiming it divides rather than connects us. I propose that it really all depends on how we use such platforms. While texting can erect walls between us and misconstrue communication, video chats are candid and heart-opening, allowing us to connect to one another with more integrity. Launch a video chat at least once a day and talk about the stuff that really matters.
To talk with several people at the same time, try Zoom, a free video-conferencing app.

7. Marie Kondo Your Home

I bet there isn’t a single person who hasn’t thought of how they’d rearrange their dwelling space if they only had the time. Well, now you’ve got oodles of it. Let tidying expert Marie Kondo take you on a cathartic journey of releasing clutter and unveiling your best and most sacred dwelling space.

8. Watch a Free Live Music Show Online

Music is a compelling force, capable of dispelling all our fears and worries. Every musical note is a chance to lose ourselves in the moment and forget about the maelstrom encircling us. Pour yourself a glass of your favourite drink and enjoy a free show on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, and remember: these are the little things that make life so beautiful.

9. Train Your Pet

It’s one of the things we wish we could do with our own pets but never have the time or patience for, right? Get some quality snacks for your furbaby and teach them a new trick. Remember, training pets is all about repetition and reward.

10. Get into Self-Improvement Podcasts

Hundreds of self-help and wellness podcasts that provide great advice for self-improvement are waiting to stream towards your ears. Among this vast selection of excellent podcasts is Mindlove, which focuses on everything from emotional management to productivity hacks.

11. Learn a New Language

With mobile apps like Mango or Duolingo, you can teach yourself a whole new language (preferably one for a country you intend on visiting). By the time everything resumes its natural course and travel bans are lifted, you’ll be proficient enough to get around with ease. A second or third language is not only a useful skill to have on our belt, but it’s also great for maintaining healthy cognitive functioning.

12. Armchair Travel to Famous Museums and Galleries Globally

Over the last several years, technological advancements of the web have made it possible to virtually experience the world right from our living-room armchair. Here are 12 world-class museums you can visit online, including the iconic Louvre of Paris and the Guggenheim Museum of New York.

13. Dust Off Your Instrument and Practice

Recently there’s a torrent of Facebook uploads from people playing their instruments while they stay home and practice social distancing. People are feeling inspired to reconnect with their favourite hobbies now that they’re faced with more time than they know what to do with! Whatever cherished instrument you play, you don’t have to step into the limelight yourself – just get back into your own quiet practice. But hey, if you feel like serenading us, we welcome the entertainment!

14. Join Modo Yoga Maple on Instagram for Free Live Yoga

It’s so important for all of us to keep our bodies moving at this time to combat the idleness of being indoors. More than a week ago, we closed our studio doors in order to ensure everyone’s safety, and we’ve been missing you all dearly. But thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, the yoga action isn’t missing, it merely continues online for the time being. Our free Instagram live classes will have you feeling wonderful as ever, and we’d love for you to join us! We will regularly be posting our schedule on Instagram and Facebook each week.

Here’s how to join:

  1. Follow us on Instagram @modoyogamaple
  2. Find a place in your house to set up for your practice.
  3. Land on your mat on time for class, ready to move and breathe with us.
  4. On your Instagram highlights, you’ll get notified that @modoyogamaple is now live. Click to watch or go to our profile at the time of the class and click on our circle profile image.
  5. If you can’t make it live for class, don’t worry. Every class will be posted in our Live Story for 24 hours afterwards, so you can watch it later.

15. Sign Up for Modo Yoga Online

The Modo Yoga community is not defined by studio walls. Anyone who is actively involved in the community can attest to this, along with the fact that it’s so much more than just yoga that holds us together as a kinship. That being said, the challenges of this time have indeed presented us with the opportunity to expand beyond those parameters. And guess what? Beautiful things have developed. Modo Yoga just launched its online yoga platform, which features classes taught by Modo Yoga teachers all around the world. Now you can practice whenever and wherever you want. What a luxury! Sign up now to get one month free, using the promo code “MPL” (all caps). Click here to sign up.

Yoga instructor guiding students into warrior one pose in a Modo Yoga Maple hot yoga class.

So let’s do some yoga and breathe together; let’s play some rousing tunes and envision better times. At the end of the day, all we can do is have patience, have faith and cultivate a positive outlook for the future. And, of course, wash our hands! It’s gonna be ok – there’s no need to panic. Let’s make the best of this time and focus on improving ourselves along with the lives of others. You’ve got this! If you do need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll see you at the next live Instagram yoga class!


Kyneret has been practicing and teaching yoga for over a decade. She began as a yoga teacher for Modo Yoga Maple in 2012, and has recently set off on a nomadic adventure to South East Asia. She remains active within our Modo community as a blog writer.

When not writing, she is fully immersed in the day-to-day adventures of travel life and actively seeks out as many foreign yoga experiences as possible to further her knowledge and skills! You can follow Kyneret’s travels on her instagram account @planes_trains_autoimmunity