There’s literally no escape from it at the minute. It’s everywhere. On our social media platforms, the TV, radio, newspapers, on the streets. It’s creating a lot of uncertainty around jobs and small businesses. They may not survive this pandemic, which would be tragic for the economy and the business owners themselves as they have worked so hard to build it up. For me, it’s causing extreme panic and anxiety. I haven’t been panic buying, but everyone else doing it makes me panic because there may be nothing left when I go shopping tomorrow! A month ago, I finally went to the doctors about my anxiety as it was getting really bad and I was getting no sleep because of it. I saw the nicest doctor ever and she prescribed me Sertraline. The trouble is, coronavirus, is making me feel much worse!
In terms of work, I am extremely lucky. If it comes to it, I can continue working at home, the only difference is I won’t be able to shout across the office to my boss! I am still coming in to work for the time being as we have locked down our office and there are only 4-7 of us at any one time. I have my own desk and computer so I make sure I clean it constantly. I realise I’m in the ‘low risk’ bracket, but my worry is potentially catching it then passing it on to someone more vulnerable. I also worry about my mental health if I have to be at home for a week or more. I know I will go insane!! With that in mind, I thought it would be good to put together a guide for working from home. I worked from home for about 8 months last year, so I am speaking from experience!
1 – If you’re not self-isolating, make sure you go out and get some fresh air at least twice a day. Go for a walk, a run, sit in the garden for half an hour. Being in an enclosed space for 24 hours a day is not healthy for your mind at all. Keep a window open and allow the fresh air to come inside.
2 – Plan your meals and stick to the plan. I’m sure when you go to work you plan your meals, so it’s important to do the same. Pack in as much fruit and veg as you can. When you work from home, it’s SO easy to reach for the biscuit tin or a packet of crisps, but as you’re not moving around as much, you need to be mindful of wha you eat. Plus, junk food will only make you feel sluggish!
3 – Read, read, read. I’m a huge bookworm anyway and I’m constantly buying books, but if you’re not a reader, now is a better time than any to get into it. Pop to your local charity shop (if they’re still open) and find one that takes your fancy. Getting lost in a book is one of the most simple pleasures one can have in life. Do this on your lunch hour, time you would normally spend socialising.
4 – Keep your routine the same. Don’t just lay in bed until you have to start work. I did that a few times and it does bugger all for productivity, let me tell you that! Get up, have breakfast and whatever else you do, then you will feel ready for the day.
5 – Have a suitable workspace. You need somewhere comfortable and quiet to work. Setting up in front of the TV is far too distracting – just listen to the radio and make sure you have everything you need in order to complete the job.
6 – Take small breaks throughout the day. Getting up every hour or so will help you stay focused and not clock watch. When you work from home, the time seems to go slower! But doing what you would normally do at work keeps you sane!
7 – Write a to-do list of work tasks and domestic tasks. In your small breaks, hang some washing out, clean the sink – anything. Being productive will keep your mind and your house clean!
8 – Go to bed at a reasonable time. The days can feel like they’re rolling into one, especially if you’re house bound. However, going to bed at a good time will ensure your mind gets the rest you need.
9 – Limit your social media time. I am on social media a lot as I’m a marketing manager, so I do it for my job. But I’m now trying to not go on Instagram so much in the evenings and spend my time reading instead. Social media can be damaging for mental health as there’s a lot of negativity on it at the moment and fake news. I really love the accounts I follow and I have made it a safe space for me. Block accounts that make you feel rubbish and use it as a positive tool, one for keeping in contact with others.
10 – Be comfortable. Although you’re keeping your routine the same (or similar), it doesn’t mean you have to sit at home in a suit! Wear clothes that are warm and comfy. You’re not in the same working environment, so don’t dress like you are. If you’re a woman, embrace the opportunity to not plaster make up on everyday and spend ages on your hair!
They’re my best tips for keeping sane while working from home. Writing them out have helped me prepare for working from home and this has been a cathartic blog post to produce! I have been overthinking all week and using my creativity is the best space for me!
Thanks for reading and keep safe x