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Self Isolation at Home

I thought I would share what my self isolation looks like and what is helping me get through the days, as it may help you too now that we are all at home.

I have been in self isolation for 16 days now after coming home from Amsterdam. I missed the curfew after Australia locked down all international travellers arriving home and so I needed to self quarantine as soon as I landed.

I went from riding bicycles along the canals and grocery shopping for fresh produce daily in busy food markets to self isolation pretty fast. Looking back it feels like another lifetime ago. People gathering, crowds, laughter… I’m sure you feel the same way.

Above left: The house and backyard / Above right: hanging out the washing in the sunshine.

I’m self isolating at our house over on Stradbroke Island. There is fresh air and I have a backyard to escape into. I am incredibly lucky and I acknowledge this every hour with myself.  I’m finding that time spent in nature, even if it is just my overgrown backyard, is really helping me get through this moment in life and in ways helping me accept what is happening in the world, which feels utterly overwhelming and sad.

I’m finding pleasure in the small things, like pegging out the washing in the sunshine and then glancing out at it throughout the day, watching it dance and dry in the wind on the line.

Above left: The living room in the evening, with candles and the fire lit/ Above right: dinner time in the kitchen preparing something wholesome.

I start preparing dinner earlier than I usually would. It feels so much more relaxing and calming these days to start it earlier and actually enjoy the process of making a meal. Chopping the vegetables, stirring the pots and pans.

I also light candles and the fire. It has become an early evening ritual and something I look forward to doing. It’s not exactly fire weather yet, though there is something magical about that golden glow.

Above left: A self portrait in the mirror of the bedroom/ Above right: a glimpse into my bedroom

A glimpse into the bedroom – where I wake each day thinking it was all a bad dream, and then remembering it wasn’t…. I’m still finding it hard to totally accept what is happening in the world.

Above left: An old shell mirror hangs in the outdoor shower / Above right: layers of beautiful paperbark, on a tree in the backyard

I have found having cold showers daily helps when my mood starts to shift. The cold water is really energising and makes you feel alive. I usually do this in the mornings, to try to start the day off well.

Above left: Some basic essentials like oats / Above right: breakfast in the kitchen while reading a magazine

Above left: Making the bed with fresh clean linen/ Above right: airing the pillows in the sunshine to freshen them up.

Sleep is very important right now and I’m trying to make the bedroom a really special restorative sanctuary. I’m washing the sheets twice a week and drying them in the sun on the clothesline.

I also sit the pillows out in the sunshine to help freshen them up. Sunshine is very good at killing bacteria.

Feeling the clean and fresh textures on my skin at bedtime is something I’m finding really nurturing and comforting and this helps me sleep.

Above left: A pineapple growing in the backyard/ Above right: ‘Anna’ the goanna, climbing a tree in the backyard

Above left: My makeshift office set up in the hallway/ Above right: Escapism in the form of recipe books and interiors

I go through cookbooks and blogs online looking for comforting recipes and also nutritious ones. If I don’t have all the ingredients I will make do, improvise.

To be honest I have always taken my health for granted and I have pushed my body and immune system pretty far. In light of what’s happening I’m trying really hard to make some changes for my health, because really, health is all we have.

Above: A new body of work captured in isolation ‘Elephant Ear Study’ and ‘Gum Leaf Rains’ . Natural details from around the backyard

When I feel myself getting low, I grab my camera and head into the backyard to explore and see what I can discover.

I have actually written a ‘Photography Class’ in case you may like to discover your own backyard while in isolation.

I’ve found being in nature to be so vital right now. I never thought too much of my backyard until recently. It’s an overgrown small bush block and a bit of a mess actually.

Nothing too fancy grows here as the island is a big sand dune. We have always kept it ‘unkept’ with wild grasses for the kangaroos and goannas and the little marsupials to hunt in at night. But now this space has taken on such a higher purpose.  One to create work in, escape into and be inspired by.

Above left: Lighting The White Sage Smudge Stick to purify the air / Above right: beeswax candles have become such a ritual to light each evening

I burn White Sage Smudge Sticks every few days and walk around the house letting it waft into all the rooms (do I sound like a witch?)… I really enjoy this process as it’s calming and helps purify the air.

As do beeswax candles. I would be lost without these particular ones from Queen B. They are made from Australian beeswax and naturally clean the air by releasing negative ions.

They burn so golden and so bright. I have them in all kinds of shapes, though I really like the simple tea lights the most.

Above left: Another evening ritual is to light the oil burner and burn ‘On Guard’, the essential oil from Doterra/ Above right: Trying to keep things healthy with daily greens supplements.

I constantly have an essential oil burning in the house. The oil is called ‘On Guard’ by Doterra. It helps with health and immunity and again purifies the air. It has an energising and uplifting fragrance of wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon bark and more.

When I was travelling back from Amsterdam I literally splashed this oil everywhere on the plane seats where I was sitting. At home I also rub the oil onto my pulse points. An Instagram friend shared her tips and told me to rub some onto my lower back and on the bottom of my feet before bed, after a shower.

It’s getting hard to find right now, so if you are interested check it out sooner than later.

Above left: Making a comforting banana bread in the kitchen / Above right: The banana bread out of the oven, warm, with butter

I’ve been baking this Banana Bread of late and it’s such a great one for brunch or an afternoon snack. I wrote a post on it and shared the recipe here.   It’s very comforting and works well with apples and pears if you don’t have bananas.

Above left: A fish delivery from my local fish shop / Above right: The local bream about to be baked

The small acts of kindness go a long way right now. I discovered a surprise on my doorstep from my local fish shop.

A home delivered local bream which was something I had been craving as I can’t leave the house. Such a simple gesture goes a long way in these times of need and vulnerability.

Above: Sunset in the backyard

Above all else, what’s helping me the most right now is being present and appreciating life. Watching the natural elements each day. Whether it’s raining or sunny, the sun rising or setting, it’s about being aware and appreciating what we each have in front of us right now, and being grateful.

Stay safe, wash your hands and talk soon!

Kara x

PS – don’t forget to try my Photography Class .


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2 Comments to “Self Isolation at Home”

  1. I just discovered your website today. It’s so lovely. You add magic to the most mundane moments and everyday objects. Stay well and keep inspiring us!

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