The UK is going back into some form of lockdown for a month and no one really knows if the month will be enough to stop the rise in covid cases. These are uncertain times and more and more of us are finding ourselves isolated more than ever. I have been talking with friends and for the ones working from home, we all agree that we seem to do more when working from home and as the days blend into each other, one has to make a conscious decision to set time aside for themselves. The balance we had with work and home has now been distorted with people putting in more hours and making little time to do things that refreshes them. I think we all need to start looking at ways to refresh ourselves as more and more countries go into lockdown.
No one knows when or if life will ever return back to what we knew before covid happened. I have been working from home since March and had it not been for my friends, I would have been isolated throughout the lockdown. With no one really knowing what the future holds, I wanted to bring a few things to our attention as we wait for life to get back to whatever our new normal will look like;
- Take a break when you feel tired – This is something I struggle with, I always have a list in my head I need to complete and never seem to take the time to sit down and take a break. Someone once told me that doing nothing to refresh yourself is not being unproductive but rather a needed respite to aid productivity. We are in a global crisis and it is ok to stop and take time for yourself whenever you need it. We don’t have the luxury of going out with loved ones to unwind when needed, it is therefore important that we take breaks in our day to rest, especially if you are working from home.
- Ask and accept help when you need it – I don’t like to ask for help – I hate being vulnerable and especially do not like to feel like I am being a burden. I started decorating my home a few weeks ago and I had several friends offer to come and help me but I I found one excuse after another to discourage them from coming to help. It finally took a couple of them showing up at my door and forcing the help on me; and you know what, I really needed the help. Combining decorating with work and life in general was tiring and I was near burning out – it was through these times that I realised that I had needed help even before I started decorating. Sometimes we don’t want to burden other people but this is why we have community – you offer help when you can and take help when you need it. If you are feeling worn out or need assistance with something that you are unable to do on your own, reach out, ask for and accept help when it is offered.
- Take some time out in the day for yourself – I have not been able to do this for a while due to all the work that was going on in my home – I do love to set some time aside to read, watch a good movie, listen to music or write. This improves your mood as a person and gets your creativity flowing. It’s so easy to occupy our days with work and doing things for others that we neglect ourselves and our needs. But taking time out in the day to do something you enjoy is never a waste of time – you need to look after yourself so you can look after others in your circle. If you are not already doing this, then I encourage you to set aside some time in your day for yourself so you can unwind and do something you enjoy.
- Remember to eat well and hydrate – I think I speak for a few people when I talk about the weight gained since being home in lockdown. I have been sat at my desk working away and munching on several snacks a day to occupy me that I did not notice gradually piling on the pounds. However, I have recently consciously started watching what I eat and ensuring that I stay hydrated through out the day. I am not as active as I used to be – when planning my meals, I think healthy to ensure that I am not eating too much junk. Plan your meals and ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need and not gorging on sugar to keep your energy levels up. Being home all the time can come with some low moments and its so easy to reach for a sugary snack to get your energy levels up – it’s ok to satisfy a craving every now and then but it must not be a substitute for a healthy meal.
- Move when it all seems a bit too much – I live inside my head and like to rethink situations and scenarios and eventually my thoughts affect my mood. I am learning to stop myself when I play over situations and scenarios by audibly speaking to myself to stop. When it all gets too much, I go for a walk or drive – breathe in some fresh air and then come back home. Yes we cannot control what pops up into our head, but we can control how long we focus on it. Most things that we play over and over in our heads may never happen and the things that we replay from the past have already happened and there is nothing we can do to change them. Let them go – take what you can handle when they present themselves and let go of what you cannot control. Life is for living and things are hard already as it is so don’t court trouble by worrying about what could happen or how things should have played out. Enjoy your journey where you are and trust that just as you overcame previous obstacles, you will overcome whatever challenge life presents to you on your journey.
- And finally, Sleep – go to bed on time and if you can, take a nap when you feel tired. A friend told me how she felt so tired working from home one afternoon – for her lunch break, she took a quick nap and felt much refreshed when she woke up. Sleep has so many benefits for your body, mind and soul. So if you feel tired, please sleep.
As more countries go back into lockdown, let’s observe the new rules as they come out and practice social distancing to minimise our chances of catching covid. If you need someone to talk to during these uncertain times, reach out to your friends and family – if you are not able to, please reach out via the contact me page and will help where we can. Stay safe and let’s continue to share our experiences to effect the change we need.
Doing nothing to refresh yourself is not being unproductive but rather a needed respite to aid productivity.Tweet