Keeping calm for genealogists during self-isolation: Top tips for mindfulness

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07 April 2020
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Looking for some sound advice while researching at home? Here's 5 tips to help keep you positive during self-isolation.

TIP 1: Create a routine that suits you.

Set your alarm in the morning and stick to it. If your aim is to start your family research by 11am, make sure all of your chores and to-do list is done by then so that you don’t have any distractions.

Get your space organised so that you have everything you need to make your genealogy progress for the day– whether this be a book, a website, a chart, a social media account or anything else. Then before you finish, try and get organised for the next time you research so that you can dive right back in.

QUICK LINK: Read our top 3 websites for researching your family tree at home

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TIP 2: Focus on one thing at a time.

If you try and cram too many things into one day of research, it’s likely you won’t get everything finished and you may start to feel frustrated. So set yourself achievable goals. Start small as your work your way around your family tree. For example, Wednesday’s objective is to find your great-great grandfather’s job history. This could take you half an hour, or a full day. Keep things simple and you’ll soon be on your way to starting another family tree.  

QUICK LINK: Check out this beautiful daily planner on Amazon 

TIP 3: Keep taking breaks throughout your research.

Make a cup of tea, text a friend, read a chapter from a novel or sit in your garden for 15 minutes. Clear your mind of any chaos before starting again.

Take as many breaks as you’d like. Too much research can be quite overwhelming so it’s important to keep your mind and body focused, calm and relaxed. Plus, it’s also good to rest your eyes from computer screens and lots of documents (that sometimes require squinting to understand the writing)!

TIP 4: Stay refreshed.

It’s not rocket science. But we all work better when we’ve had a good breakfast and are drinking plenty of fluids. Have a bottle of water by your side (but not too close to any precious documents or devices) and remember to top it up throughout your breaks. And add a slice of lemon for a sweet taste.

You can also try making your own iced coffee or use up the fruits due to go out of date in your fridge and make a tasty smoothie. No one likes a hungry belly!  

TIP 5: Don’t beat yourself up if you hit a brickwall.

Remember, there is ALWAYS tomorrow. Not everything will go to plan every day. But that’s one of the exciting things about family history. There’s lots of twists and turns you will discover (good and bad) but it’s all part of the learning process. The more you do it, the better you’ll become. And think of the stories you’ll be able to tell?

Happy researching 😁

P.S, why not check out our new podcast? It's another great way to practice mindfulness whilst learning something new about genealogy. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!