Martin’s top tips on isolation

Our regular newsletter columnist and Ageing Better Middlesbrough member Martin Peagam is back...

Our regular newsletter columnist and Ageing Better Middlesbrough member Martin Peagam is back. He’s written about his experience of school detentions and shared his top tips on coping with isolation.


Hi Everyone,

Well, the last time I was in isolation was many years ago at school. They called it ‘solitary detention’.

I never really saw this as a burden though, because I always found something to do to occupy my mind.

I firmly believe that if you stay positive and occupied, we can all get through this uncertainty.

So, how do we cope with being isolated in these strange times? Here are my top tips (based on my experience of being in detention all those years ago).


1.  Take advantage of the situation. In detention, I used the time productively. Not just writing out a sentence 100 times. I planned my upcoming wicked deeds.

I’m not suggesting you do that however. You could think about what you will do when this is all over, like where to go, what to do and who to visit.

You could also learn a new skill. There are plenty of free online courses available, or you could just put that recipe book to good use and cook up a storm!

2. Eat well. This took some doing in detention. Sneaking some sweets in my pockets to surreptitiously chew whilst avoiding the teacher’s gaze wasn’t easy… but you don’t have that problem.

All you need to do is eat regular, healthy meals. Plenty of fruit and veg is always advantageous, but there’s nothing wrong with the odd sweet treat.

3. Follow a routine. In detention I would cross my legs, switch my pen from one hand to the other, and look to the left and right at my surroundings. It filled in time.

Get yourself a routine. Get up, get washed, get dressed and make the bed. It’s good for your mental wellbeing. It also avoids you looking foolish if a neighbour unexpectedly appears at the window.

The order of your routine is entirely up to you, but don’t get dressed then have a shower!

We will all get through this. It’s going to be difficult, but keep faith. Time flies when you keep yourself occupied.

Take care of yourselves and stay safe.


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