By Lyndsey Hall
As the lockdown continues and the “new normal” becomes the status quo, you might be finding the isolation and worry increasingly challenging. The government has announced some relaxing of restrictions as new cases of COVID-19 decrease by the day, however we are still unsure if and when lockdown will come to an end and we will be able to return to our pre-coronavirus lives. As different as post-coronavirus life may be.
In the meantime, here are a few tips for taking care of your personal wellbeing whilst in lockdown, and going forward.
Having a sense of connection with family and friends is important for our mental health. Ensure you schedule calls or video chats with your family and friends during lockdown. In addition, there are many online book clubs, virtual coffee groups and online workout challenge groups that you can join in order to avoid feeling isolated.
Routine is your friend
It can be easy to fall into bad habits. Set out a routine that clearly distinguishes between work time and home time/family time. For example, try to sit down at your desk for work between 9am and 5pm. Schedule regular breaks and a lunch hour, just like you would at the office. Schedule dinner for around 6pm so that you have a hard stop at the end of your day. You could also reward yourself with some family activity time or hobby time, at say, 7pm, etc.
If you have the space in your home to have a dedicated work area, try to use that part of your home for work and keep the rest of your home for family time/non-work time. The physical separation of your work area and non-work area helps you to create head space and can help you to avoid being over worked and becoming stressed.
Read our blog on How to work from home more effectively for more tips on remote working and remaining productive.
Keep yourself active
Lockdown means you cannot go to the gym or a public swimming pool but it is important to stay active. Commit to a regular exercise routine and choose one or two activities that you like and that suit your physical capabilities. There are lots of free resources available online including exercise classes, Yoga, Pilates or tai chi lessons that you can follow. It is also important to keep your mind active by reading books, eBooks or the news (but perhaps limit the amount of Coronavirus-related news that you consume if you find it effects your mood).
Focus on positivity
People across the entire world are dealing with uncertainty at the moment. There is no point focusing on the things that you cannot control. We can all control how we communicate and that can provide a sense of positivity during these uncertain times. Focus on the positive and talk about what you can do rather than what you can’t do. If you maintain a positive outlook, you will tend to feel more positive, more of the time. This will also tend to have a positive impact on those around you and those that you interact with.
How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted on your mental health? What tips and tools have you found that help you to stay positive and productive? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on Linkedin.