Strength In Isolation


A lot can happen in seven weeks, a lot has happened in seven weeks.

I lost all sense of the days, weeks, and months when we went into lockdown. While many said it seemed as if all their days were rolling into one, I took very little notice, so I was shocked, and I mean SHOCKED when I found out I had been off work for 49 days. Where did the time go?

I came into this COVID 19 lockdown with revelation, a vision, and a goal. I had a goal but hadn’t taken into account the impact of the mental backlash being home alone with limited access to the outside world would have on me.

For the first few days, I was driven by my goal to get as much work done on my projects, whilst being somewhat concerned about what lay ahead and grateful for the late lie-in. For me, anything past 3:45am is a lie-in.

Was the world coming to an end? Was this the start of the last days the bible spoke of? Would we face famine? What, why, how? Pushing aside all the conspiracy theories, I concluded my best approach was to read my bible, stay connected to God, and focus on my goals.

Three days into lockdown and I had my routine in place. I was all geared to making the most of my day and coming out of lockdown in a good place, nicely positioned for where I was heading in life. My routine lasted all of four days and by week two, I had convinced myself I deserved a week off and did just that.

By the end of week two, with little structure in place, because you don’t need structure to watch Netflix, braid your hair and do nothing, I found myself having to fight harder to stay driven and maintain a level mood. Fighting mentally to keep my goals in view, I set out determined to not only make the most of my time behind closed doors but to come through it mentally, stronger than ever. Now I had two goals that went hand in hand.

Inside Out

My weeks at home have been interesting, from an infestation of mice to sleeping in my car, it has been anything but boring. Yes, I slept in my car, what can I say, I don’t like mice. But I had to toughen up and get militant in that area too. Lockdown has strengthened my strengths and empowered my weaknesses.

Maybe it’s just me, but what better way to grow, than to use your circumstances to develop and stretch you instead of wasting the opportunity of a lifetime. I may never get another chance to dig as deep, remain as resilient, and be as driven and determined mentally and emotionally and spiritually as I have these past seven weeks. Pushing myself and finding out what I’m really made of.

If you had told me I would get through isolation on my own, given my history with depression without getting depressed, I may have agreed without knowing fully what I would be up against. But having lived through it, even I am in awe, thankful, ecstatic, grateful, proud, excited, and committed to building on the muscles I developed during the pandemic.

My Big Win

From as far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to be free. I’ve wanted to be strong, driven, motivated, focused, and determined. I’ve wanted to think differently, act differently towards situations, and not be controlled by my emotions. Being in isolation helped me develop in all the above areas and more.

By choosing each day, not to give up or give in, not to accept defeat. Not to beat myself up and not to procrastinate, I’ve overcome more emotional and mental setbacks than I ever thought possible. I’m still working on distractions that involve the use of my phone, which is part of my learned behavior when it comes to concentration, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

The problem is, most of us, myself included want to feel before we do, it helps if you feel like doing what you need to do. But when you have to get up and go for a run because it will be good for your mental and creative juices. It will help break up your day and position you to thrive instead of die, and you have absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever to get up, let alone run, it all comes down to the choices you make, and that for me has been my big win.

Preserving and making the right choices, commitment over emotions, and my 4 step process is what got me through 1.Recognise the emotion attached to the thought. 2.Think about what you are thinking about. 3.Challenge the thought and lastly, apply the truth! Every day I thank God for this process and the journey it has taken to arrive here!

Exiting Lockdown

I am excited and hopeful with a new kind of energy that comes from within. You could say I am a new person. By addressing, challenging, readjusting, and changing my mindest I am becoming a new person and it is flowing over into other areas of my life.

When I stepped out of my house at 6am on Monday 11th May, I looked the same but I was not the same. I may not have achieved all the goals I set out to achieve, but by achieving my mental, emotional, and mindest goals, I have positioned myself to complete the former with as much passion, drive, motivation, and vigor as I did the later.

This kind of thinking is not available to most of us, its available to all of us, you included. I used to think it was for everyone but me, now I now know I am part ‘of everyone else’, you are everyone else, we are everyone else!

How will you come out of lockdown, stronger, weaker, or indifferent?

If you have found my blog helpful, please comment below, let’s get a conversation going. Please do share it with others you know or feel will benefit from it.



  1. Alison Ryan-Chase 'Alipaly' /Reply

    Omg I was smiling all the way through… got me thinking too – what have I done, which then made me think of Gods question to us on judgement day… what did you do with My Son? Heavy! Thank you Jem, really inspiring and motivational. I pray you had a great first day back at work xxx

  2. Yvonne Gordon /Reply

    Inspiring Jem …. Gratitude is a must and thank God you have experienced what you have to help and support someone else.

    Lockdown has been an experience what I have learnt is nothing stays the same ….. change is constant and this is why I have started ticking the to do list that has been on my bedroom wall, like you I have the vision board but wasn’t taking action to complete anything because of procrastination…. but I’m beating this daily … by Changing perspective thanks for sharing x

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