We are facing strange times; in the midst of a pandemic. Confined to our homes as never before, our daily routine has changed. What routine? It has all gone.
The hours and the days are beginning to roll into confusion. What date is it? What day is it even? It may be tempting to stay in bed for longer and to go to bed earlier, just to help pass the time until this nightmare is over.
Those who work from home miss their colleagues, they don’t have their familiar office environment anymore and so their home becomes the work space too. There is a blurring of boundaries. Too many distractions are going on and family may be getting in the way.
How long will this continue? We do not know. How on earth then do we cope?
To maintain a sense of security and normality we need to plan. We need to plan ahead to what we may do, rather than see unfilled time stretching ahead of us. This may be getting out of bed at a similar time each day, planning tasks for the day the evening before, small, do-able things that will make us feel productive and which give us the sense that we have achieved something.
Try to find a space in your home dedicated for the short term to work in. A corner with a desk; somewhere you can leave at the end of the day, just so there is a clear boundary between your work and living space. It will be important for you to mentally leave work behind in order to relax.
Leaving the work space is usually achieved by walking through the door to go home. Find another ritual if you are working from home; you could have a scented candle burning and can blow it out to indicate the end of the working day. Another ritual which may help, and is relevant, is to wash your hands. Literally wash your hands of work. These ritualistic acts tell the brain it is time for a change.
Plan to speak on the phone or have a video call with family or friends at a certain time of the day, just so that you all have something to look forward to in the day.
Plan treats throughout the day – a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, a good book to read, a stroll in the garden, feed the birds, plan to watch your favourite TV programme. The importance of this is to have something to look forward to so that it lifts your spirits.
Get dressed up. It is tempting to lounge around the house in nightwear or sloppy clothes, not even bothering to brush our hair sometimes. This can be a real treat when we are on holiday, but when the days become weeks we can start to feel uncomfortable with ourselves and appearance and our self-esteem can quickly plummet.
So, put on those nice jeans and a favourite top, put on your lippy, sniff that perfume, splash on that aftershave and cologne, have a shave, make yourself look good – you will start to feel heaps better.
You will find a way to get through these weeks; humans do adapt quickly and you will find your own way to cope.
Always remember, you are more resilient than you think!
Please ensure you follow all the government advice and remember to stay at home, stay safe and save lives. For regular updates check out the government website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus