Updated: Mar 23, 2020
Today I thought I could start with ROUTINE and STARTING AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON. All of our lives have been turned upside down and that can be very stressful and difficult to process.
The first step in combating this is limit the amount of change in your life, keep to your regular ROUTINE! If you get up at 8 on a weekday, keep doing that. If you normally have a shower first then sit down for your breakfast, don’t start having breakfast in bed. Don’t start living in your pyjamas, this can be a slippery slope into the quarantine blues. Pyjamas are strongly associated with sleep, so it’s not surprising that wearing them all day keeps you in unproductive mood. For some people, the psychological effects of wearing lounge clothes can hamper motivation. I am not advising that you put your suit and tie or heels on around the house but come on, at least put some jeans on. No matter your opinion on the COVID-19 situation and how long it might to carry on for whether that be 2 weeks or 12 weeks, if you are not working, it is not healthy to do nothing for the whole time. The brain needs stimulation and a sense of accomplishment in order to produce Serotonin (happy chemicals). So, I come to my second piece of advice; START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON. Maybe you have said to yourself that you’ll use this time to read some books or finally fold that washing in the spare room. If not, find something you want to complete. Now start it! Don’t keep putting it off, time can run away with you when every day is the same and before you know it Corona-virus has mutated into a super monster and there’s no time for laundry Mum we need to run!! (COVID-19 doesn’t actually mutate as far as we know) Be strict with yourself, personally I have made a deal with myself to do my chores and “projects” in the morning and can only do the “me” things after lunch. Not only do I get stuff done early on but it also kick starts my day with a positive thing and can set the right tone for the rest of the day. On the other hand, don’t cause yourself stress. You are allowed to relax and slow life down a bit, maybe you normally finish work at 5 but are always exhausted, now you can finish at 3 or 4 and binge a bit more of your favourite show. It’s about finding balance. For my folks who are working from home, routine and starting as you mean to go on are just as important. Research has shown the biggest factors for successful working from home is boundaries and environment. Boundaries entail keeping work in your work space and work time, don’t take phone calls around the house with you, work at your desk and not in bed, start your work day when you’d arrive at the office and finish when you would leave (especially if you are employed by a company, no fibbing on time sheets people). Choose your environment thoughtfully. Try to keep out of communal spaces especially if you have children; they are in quarantine too and nothing can be more frustrating than not being able to go into your own kitchen and this reduces the likelihood of interruptions as well. Remember to take regular breaks; make a cup of tea in replacement of your usual Starbucks trip, call your favourite colleagues over lunch to replace the normal lunchtime banter. The long and short of it is: · Stick to your usual routine · Accomplish something everyday · Boundaries and Environment · Start now Next time I’ll be talking about Kids, how to keep them happy and engaged. What are you folks doing to keep in the routine? I look forward to reading what you have accomplished today.