Green plants on a desk next to a laptop

Controlling your well-being through Covid-19 Pandemic

We are all currently living in extraordinary times. Most of us are living in lockdown with getting out of our homes only briefly and for absolute necessities. Whether you’re a frontline keyworker, working from home or have been furloughed; we’re all finding it tough to adapt.

 

Being restricted in the same four walls, weeks on end is not normal and has led to a lot of us suffering from boredom. We’re all holding out for our 1-hour escape time outdoors each day. Some of us have kids seeking attention 24/7, others of us are extroverts who crave social interaction however I think we can agree we’re all finding times when we’re getting asked by the TV if you’re still watching it. The answer is… “Yes, I am!”

 

Have you experienced that feeling of wanting to pull your hair out because you’re so bored of sitting around all the time? And what do you do first? There’s so much time to fill; then you have a moment of panic because you feel you should be filling your time wisely but have no motivation to even get started. So, you just end up sitting around for a little while longer. I know… I’ve been there.

 

For those remote working, we’ve all experienced days when we are feeling uninspired and self-motivating can be a challenge. You stare at the screen a little while longer, hoping that something will spark a lightbulb moment. But how are you supposed to bring that spark of initiative back? Another cup of tea, I guess! Tea makes everything better so they always say.

 

Personally, I’m a highly motivated individual who loves to write a list. No exaggeration, I make lists for EVERYTHING. I plan out my entire day which even includes eating breakfast, lunch and dinner (as if I’d ever forget to do that). Don’t get me wrong, I do get times when I’m just so unmotivated and really struggle to get out of that bubble. I’m only human after all!

 

Back in March when I was asked to work remotely, I asked myself ‘Would working and living each and every day at home get boring or drive me insane?’  Those were my main concerns. With this in mind, I made it my mission to ensure that I had enough things to keep me occupied during and after my working hours. I (obviously) made multiple lists and wrote down anything I could think of to complete in my working hours and all those things to do around the house. In the first two weeks I planned lots of virtual calls with all my loved ones. My only rookie error here was planning too many at once which I found overwhelming. Where was the time to myself? I had to accept that this is going to last for some time, it’s not just a couple of weeks’ worth of time to fill.

 

So, I, ironically, very quickly learnt to slow my weeks down. I also read several blogs and watched webinars on how to cope with self-isolation and remote working, together with listening to what my friends and family were doing. I think I’m probably now just as busy as I would normally would be, but with more self-care time. For those wondering what ideas were on my lists, keep reading!

 

Top Tips for Remote Working:

  • Plan tasks for the day, inc. timeframes for each task
  • Catch up with colleagues, visually on video calls and over the phone
  • Put your headphones in, listen to music and zone into work (don’t forget to put your work phone in front of you to see if anyone’s calling!)
  • Listen to different genres and eras of music each day – something you can control
  • Keep your personal phone out of sight
  • Make sure your workspace is clear and tidy
  • Work near a window for lots of natural light and fresh air
  • Add greenery to your workspace, pick up a plant for your desk on your next weekly shop
  • Join in on webinars to up your skills when times are quiet
  • Eat lunch in a different place to your work area
  • Exercise at lunch time for at least 20 – 30 mins by walking the dog, going for a run or having a little stroll (even just around your garden if you’re lucky enough to have one). If you’re exercising outside, try different routes each time to mix it up

 

General Day to Day Top Tips:

  • Get a routine in place that works for you
  • Get dressed every day, don’t just live in your PJ’s
  • Make to-do lists and plan tasks for the day. Set yourself mini challenges to complete
  • Set yourself a long-term goal or skill to master during the lockdown
  • Make a list of things you want to improve or housework to complete around your home and slowly work on a task or two each week
  • Spread chores out throughout the week
  • Take more ‘me time’ and enjoy it
  • Slow down and take your time in everything you do – what’s the rush?
  • Spend time in different rooms when not working, it can help reduce boredom
  • Keep hydrated
  • Eat 3 meals a day and have a couple of snacks
  • Cook fresh food and vary your meals
  • Try cooking or baking something new each week. Or even improve one recipe each week
  • Ensure you are doing activities away from the TV and your mobile. Stop going through every Netflix series there is. Put some music on in the background instead
  • Plan for a film night once a week with those that you live with or virtually with loved ones
  • Make evening plans a few times a week with housemates or by video with loved ones. Try virtual dinner dates, quiz/games nights, pamper nights or anything to suit your interests. You could even dress up for the occasion!
  • Keep a note of everything you wish you could do right now, when lockdown is over you can get started on your list.

 

I understand it is very overwhelming being told to do something so restrictive with no real end in sight. Being in your home all the time can be tiresome. As you can see though, there are many ways to adapt to the lockdown and to appreciate the time you have at home. Don’t let the negative thoughts rain over your parade and make your current situation the best it can be. Look after your well-being.

 

Relax, slow down and take a big deep breath. Open your eyes and appreciate the amazing people and objects surrounding you at home, all those things you worked so hard to achieve. Paint the spare room you’ve been putting off for 5 years, enjoy time with your housemates and most importantly, get inventive and creative.

 

I hope you can take away a few ideas to start brightening up your days through this time. Let’s make it a time to remember! Stay home, stay safe and save lives!

 

Written by Jo Hastings

May 2020