By Beatrice Tridimas
When Spring has finally sprung, We are usually starting to plan how to spend the long summer months, not planning how to spend the endless weeks of self-isolation. The current global health crisis is scary and utterly unpredictable, but it also gives us an opportunity to count our blessings.
So, what is the coronavirus really teaching us?
1. How to work from home
For those who gag at the opportunity to take your first call from bed, to have a constant supply of tea and snacks, and wear trackies on a conference call, WFH might be a welcome treat. But for others, self-motivation can sometimes be more exhausting than getting up to sit on a tube full of strangers.
Working from home truly is the marmite of working environments.
But now that WFH is pretty much the only working environment, it’s time to find a routine that suits you. Here at KeiSei, we’re pretty used to WFH, so here are a few tips to get you started:
- Try and stick to normal-ish working hours. It can be hard to know where to draw the line when WFH. 10 extra minutes in bed might become an extra hour, which might mean working through lunch time or not taking a break to stretch your legs. Giving yourself a set time to start and stop is important in establishing a healthy routine and giving your mind a well needed rest.
- Some mornings I relish the opportunity to finish writing whilst still tucked up in bed, but I do still have a dedicated work space. It’s important to physically separate work from play as associating where you relax with where you work can have a negative impact on how you wind down and, ultimately, how you sleep.
- Get dressed as if you’re leaving the house, even when you’re not. It can be SO tempting to stay in pyjamas all day, but a key to getting your head in the game is looking the part or, at least, attempting to!
- Exercise! Minds work better when they’ve had a chance to sweat. It’s hard to work out at home, we get it, but even 10 mins of stretching sat at your desk will get that mind buzzing and your creativity flowing.
Finally, if you are able to WFH, take a minute to remember what an incredible privilege (even if it doesn’t feel that way) it is to self-isolate and keep working without a significant impact to your income or livelihood. Appreciate those who are still out there working and to who we owe so much.
2. There are certain things we can live without
Our inability to take self-quarantining measures seriously demonstrates a society that is desperate to keep going, to be everywhere, to constantly keep moving. That isn’t a bad thing. But take this opportunity to learn to do without.
While at times it can be claustrophobic or cabin fever inducing, staying at home gives us the opportunity to take a step back, to slow down. It’s important to take note of the small things that often pass us by but that actually keep us going in our everyday lives.
Appreciate taking an extra five minutes in the shower, having the time to make a fresh smoothie before you start work, and spending more time with your family. Think of this time as an opportunity to enjoy simplicity.
Here are some of the things our editors will be trying to get back in touch with themselves during quaratine:
- Learning the art of manifestation by enrolling on this course lead by Eva Dixon. We want to come out of self-isolation ready to MAKE S*** HAPPEN!
- 14 days seems an intimidating amount of time to be stuck inside, but here at KeiSei we’re thinking of it as the perfect time to self-discipline, to learn something new, or pick up good habits and drop bad ones. Why not challenge yourself for 14 days? You could try this 14 day detox guided by Mandy Keillor from Studio Australia or 2 weeks sugar free – you might find something you want to keep up!
- Negative news and fear-mongering social media are IMPOSSIBLE to escape. Add on top of that emails, google hang outs that don’t work and kids at home 24/7…ew, right? We’ll be trying to clock out of that and check in with ourselves everyday by taking 10 minutes of zen. However chilling out works for you – DO IT!! And if you’re struggling, try an online meditation class like this one!
- Also check out if your local gym or favourite class is going online – it can be so much more motivating when you have familiar routines to get you going!
3. There are certain things we can’t live without
Seeing the shelves of loo roll wiped clean by approximately 8:07 AM every morning might make you aware that there are just some things we can’t live without. And whilst, ideally, we do all want plentiful loo roll, the hoarding of such represents a country that has the privilege of not being able to live without loo roll.
Next time you queue up outside Sainsbury’s to grab, snatch or politely shove your way to toilet paper, just remember you’re lucky you can’t live without it, because many others have to.
And, when we’re finally free to roam the streets, go to the pub or hit the gym again, don’t forget to truly appreciate your freedom. Modern life is chaotic and it is SO easy to take our freedoms and privileges for granted. Now is a pretty good time to appreciate everything that we do have and consider how much our freedom means to us.
Another lesson that excessive loo roll buying teaches us is just what lengths people go to in times of crisis. The rampage at check outs, the fighting, the bullying down supermarket aisles is all quite ridiculous, but it symbolizes a nation that feels under threat.
Let this inspire even the tiniest inch of understanding as to just what people will do when they’re desperate, whether fleeing war, poverty, persecution or, even, illness.
And don’t forget to cut yourself some slack! It’s easy to feel unproductive, or like your letting yourself or your colleagues down when you’re stuck at home and results are far from visible. But, you can’t feel guilty when pretty much everyone you know is inside trying their best too!
5. We work better together, even when we’re forced apart
There’s no one to blame in times of crisis! There are too many factors, and no one could have predicted an outbreak of this scale.
We must work together to overcome the worst. Even though we might be physically separated, we can stay united in spirit. Collectively staying at home benefits the whole community. Even if you don’t care to do it for yourself, do it for your neighbour, they might need it more than you!
Here are a few things you can do to support your local community:
- If you have elderly, vulnerable or key worker neighbours who are struggling to buy the food they need, offer to go to the shops for them – just don’t forget to disinfect everything before you drop it round!
- Collect spare food from your neighbours and donate it to families who rely on school to feed their kids.
- Download Zoom for a conference call coffee morning or start a virtual boogie with your mates over FaceTime.
- Stay at home!
A note to close...
Whilst living at home has its quirks and benefits, it can be utterly, mind-numbingly dull. Staying inside gets to everyone after a while, so it’s really important that you take time out of your day to monitor your mental health.
Make sure you’re still taking time for you. Keep up with friends, share a glass of wine over face time, tune into your favourite podcasts and stick a face mask on in the bath.
And don’t forget when you’re feeling a bit lonely, your friends or your neighbours probably are too! If you know someone who lives alone or with family they don’t get on with, a friendly call, or even dropping by some extra tins you picked up in your last panic shop can go a million miles.
Stay safe everyone!