My Life in Isolation: Toni Tone

Toni Tone

Toni Tone is a social content creator, who specialises in dating, relationships, empowerment and finance. She is best known for her writing on Twitter, which averages over 30 million impressions a month and places her in the top 0.1% of Twitter users worldwide.

We caught up with Toni to find out about her life in isolation…

Where do you live? What does isolation look like for you there? How has your local community been affected?

I live in a village in Oxford which is typically quiet even without isolation, but the rules regarding social distancing have made it even more still. The area I live in is surrounded by lots of greenery, so I guess I’m lucky in that sense. I’m able to go for a walk without running into anyone because we’re surrounded by fields, so thankfully being at home doesn’t feel too claustrophobic for me.

I’d say there have been some major changes to how Oxford generally operates as a whole though. It’s a city centred around academia but the closure of buildings within Oxford University and Brookes means students have gone home, and so have tourists, which has made things eerily quiet.

Can you talk us through your daily routine in isolation?

My routine currently involves me waking up around 8.30am and heading to the kitchen to make breakfast. Then I head to the bathroom to have a shower and get ready for the day.

Once I’ve freshened up, I usually hop on a conference call to discuss work and tasks to accomplish in the day. Then the rest of my day is spent answering emails. During isolation, I’ve gotten really in to Instagram Lives, so part of my day is spent planning those.

How has your life changed since being in isolation?

I would say that isolation has really emphasised the bond that I have with my family. It’s brought us even closer, and I’m thankful for that.

On the work front, isolation has encouraged me to become more creative and think of new ways I can engage with people online. However, I’ve also found myself becoming more stagnant – which isn’t great. I’m significantly less active so that’s something I need to work on.

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during this time?

I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned during this time is the importance of nurturing the relationships we value, and not taking them for granted.

As an example, my grandma recently tested positive for Covid-19 after contracting it in the hospital following being admitted for an unrelated issue. It hurts that I can’t visit her, hug her or simply see her. We’re close and I try to see her regularly (she lives in Brighton) but the pandemic has really highlighted to me how important support networks are and how nothing is ever promised, so we should spend as much time with our loved ones as we can.

Thankfully she is doing better and recovering, but my advice to people once this is over would be to visit your loved ones regularly, tell them you love them, and show them you value them while they’re here.

What are your self-care tips at home?

I think for people who work at home, it can be so easy to get lost in your work because you’re in a familiar space. It’s not like being in the office and escaping on your lunch break – because you can’t. So it’s important to block out pockets of the day for yourself.

Make sure you don’t skip meals, take short breaks, and walk away from work. I think it’s also really important to set boundaries if you live with other people. I don’t live alone, so at times I have to be vocal about needing my own space/time to focus on myself.

What advice would you give to others that may be struggling?

If you have a support network, speak with them. Open up about the ways you may be struggling. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, there are a range of channels you can look to for support either over the phone or online. These include the likes of Young Women’s Trust, CALM (Campaign Against living Miserably), Big White Wall (for students), NHS, and many more. In addition, try your best to focus on things beyond the pandemic.

Maybe reduce your news intake, get regularly fresh air by stepping out into your garden, onto your balcony, or even by your front door. Creating a routine also helps. Have regular meals, take regular breaks, and if you’re working, don’t work outside your usual hours.

If social distancing is affecting you, try to make the most of video calling, phone calling and social networks to stay connected to people.