ADVENTURER and former submariner Neil Hunter is familiar with the realities of isolation and the simple existence it creates. Here, he shares his insights and perspective on dealing with the COVID-19 lockdown - and how to turn it to your advantage.
Neil writes: The past few weeks have seen our lives turned upside down and provided numerous challenges for us and our families.
Before this recent turn of events, many of us may have longed to escape the rat race with its endless to-do list - and now we have the time, we can turn this to our advantage.
I have some experience of spending a prolonged time away from loved ones and in isolation, whether it was during my time in the Royal Navy spending weeks without contact with the outside world on a submarine, or during my 67-day Atlantic crossing in a rowing boat.
But by far the greatest test though was my recent solo ski across Antarctica. I only had my own company for the 51 days it took to reach the South Pole from Hercules Inlet on the edge of Antarctica.
Whilst the experiences and practices may differ to what many are going through in their own homes right now, there are also quite a few parallels.
The thing I like most about these expeditions is the simple existence. Life is reduced to the basics like having food, water, fuel and shelter. Nothing else really matters.
In my experience, this has given me time to reflect on life and the things that are most important, the things we take for granted and people we don’t make enough time for. It has enabled me to press the reset button and appreciate things I would normally take for granted.
With more time on our hands now, we can go back to basics, de-clutter and press that reset. Here are a few simple things that have helped me during periods of isolation but are very transferable to our current situation.
I appreciate everyone is having different experiences but these strategies have been invaluable to me and hopefully can be applied to whatever situation you find yourself in during lockdown.
To read about Neil's incredible solo expedition, click here