Tips for Thriving During Isolation from Mollie Hughes

Posted on 27th Apr 2020 in ESMS, Guest Speaker

Mollie skiing in Antarctica

Mollie Hughes, an Edinburgh based explorer, faced an extreme form of isolation when she skied across Antarctica. She is the youngest ever woman to ski solo to the South Pole, a journey that took her 58.5 days, as well as holding the world record for the youngest person to climb both sides of Mount Everest.

Recently she gave an online talk to our Sixth Form, during which she shared some helpful tips on not only surviving but thriving during periods of isolation.

We thought that these tips might be useful for the wider ESMS community, as we face our own forms of isolation during lockdown. Although, of course, our isolation is not as extreme as Mollie’s!

Mollie believes that during times of isolation it can be helpful to break each day down into chunks and to take regular breaks to keep focus. This is something that she did as she skied across Antarctica, with nothing to see on the horizon apart from more snow!

However according to Mollie, the most important element required to thrive, and not just survive, is headspace.  This means giving yourself time to think without any distractions.

Headspace helps you to:

  • plan ahead
  • recharge
  • open up your creativity
  • explore who you are.

Taking Mollie’s advice, we encourage our community to ensure that they prioritise their own headspace each day. Try to use this time in isolation as best you can and to work on positive goals and outcomes. For example, we can use this time to reconnect with ourselves, or with friends and family online, work out what we want from life and to learn new skills.

Mollie finished her talk by saying that she believes that in order to learn and appreciate anything in life, we need to control our fear, build resilience and self-belief and reiterated the importance of headspace.  

Thank you, Mollie, for sharing your tips and inspiring us with ideas to help us all during this period of relative isolation.  

If you’d like to view Mollie’s full video, follow this link.


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