The world is currently facing an unprecedented and challenging time in its history. No need to explain the strain that people, health services and economies are under every single day.
Each and every individual must adapt the way they go about their everyday and working lives in order to support the greater good of their countries. This means that all of us need to do our part to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our communities safe and well.
But during these surreal and sometimes scary times, how do we stay motivated and sane? What makes us get out of bed every morning and how do we keep on going – no matter what is going on around us?
Well, for me, it is about striking a balance between work and home. It’s about making sure that I’m doing the best job I can do from my home office, while (more importantly) making sure that I’m spending time with my loved ones and keeping them safe.
The Office Environment
I’ve tried to replicate my work office as best as I can at home – with the added advantage of having a fridge very close by. This makes me feel as though I am at least working in the same way and as much in an office environment as can be. I also make sure to take regular breaks to switch off from emails and tasks for 5 minutes or so. But, by far the most important thing for me is that when I’m done working for the day, I pack away my laptop and phone, and I DO NOT look at them until the next working day. Because there is no commuting or separation from the usual work and home environments. It’s easy for the two to combine – resulting in a feeling of “ground hog day” or inability to separate working time from relaxation time.
The Relax Environment
As well as the steps above to make sure I have a clear distinction between work and home, I make it a point to divide up my day between morning and afternoon. I do this with my lunch break and use that hour to exercise (as the UK Government has allotted as one hour of exercise per day). We’re lucky we have a dog and he will not let us forget about taking him out for his daily walk! However, if you’re not a dog owner, or must go out, then it can be tricky to stay motivated and get outside. But the outside world has so many benefits right now!
You’ll see people – albeit from a safe distance – but still different people that you see day in and day out. And there seems to be a real buzz of community spirit right now, as we’re all in this together. So, people give you a wave or say hello when you see them. These small interactions make a big difference to your mental health.
Obviously, the health benefit of getting exercise is great for your body and mind, but also getting some sunlight and vitamin D helps build your immune system. This goes for diet too – eating healthy things like bananas, beans and yoghurt are all great for your immune system and help you to feel more energised and less lethargic.
Get those odd jobs done. Most of us have a whole host of jobs that need completed around the home. Whether it’s washing the car, clearing out our closets or finally tackling some DIY. Completing these tasks gives you a real sense of achievement and makes you feel as though you’ve used this extra time we’ve been given wisely.
My final trick to staying mentally healthy is keeping in touch with friends and family. We live in a golden age where communication has never been easier. And while it’s sad we can’t see people face to face, and we’re missing birthdays and events, we can at least see people through our phones, tablets, laptops, TV’s and a whole host of other devices. I make sure I contact those closest to me at least once a week via video chat to make sure they’re safe and well, but also to let them know how I’m doing.
This post has just been an insight into how I’m keeping myself motivated throughout this pandemic, and of course there are lots of other ways people are looking after themselves and their loved ones. But I hope it gives you some idea of how the little things make a big difference.
On behalf of NDC Technologies, we hope you and your families stay safe and healthy. Let us know if we can be of any assistance.