We’re all in this together, even if we’re physically apart

Stepping onto my balcony, I joined in with the overwhelming chorus of clapping and cheering (with the occasional clang of a pot and pan) for our wonderful NHS and every other amazing key worker. It truly hit home that we are all in this together and we each have a part to play – even if it means we must stay physically apart from our family and friends to ride the worst of COVID-19 out.

It’s safe to say that the Coronavirus has changed the fabric of our day-to-day lives, and society as we know it. In a matter of a few weeks, social distancing, obsessive amounts of hand sanitiser, working and staying indoors have become things we need to process and get used to. Since this isn’t something we can just wish away, all we can do at a time like this is try and make the best of what we have. 

Getting through each day

Beforehand, working from home wasn’t something I particularly liked the idea of, even before Coronavirus reached our shores. During these past few weeks in isolation, I’ve come to realise that we have ways and means to connect, absorb and add value to our professional and personal lives. Being present with other people – on video chat or even via a simple phone call means we can still thrive off each other’s enthusiasm and ideas regardless.

I want to share a few simple ways I have being getting through each day in isolation, which will hopefully make your lives a little easier!

Try to keep your old morning habits

I get up early in the morning as if I was still getting ready for work. Just because my commute time is a short dash to the other room, it doesn’t mean I should get lazy and slip out of good habits. You wouldn’t fling yourself out of bed 5 minutes before meeting a client, even if you lived across the road from them.  What’s the difference now?

Keeping early morning habits will get your day off to a good start, setting the tone for how you conduct yourself professionally in an environment you’re  solely used to relaxing and socialising in.

Add new morning & daytime habits too

I take the time in the morning to practise guided meditation on my balcony (you can do it anywhere which makes you feel relaxed). This helps me reduce my anxiety and makes me feel very focused for the day ahead.

Having positive and constructive things to add to your routine will break up your day, and make you feel like your time doesn’t just blur into one.

Divide areas in your home to work and relax

For the first few days, I made the mistake of working on my bed, my glowing hot computer perched on top of my now slow-roasted legs. When it came time to sleep, I subconsciously associated my bedroom with work and not my comfort zone to wind down and relax, resulting in very restless sleep.

Since then, I’ve bought a reasonably-priced desk with a comfortable chair, perched next to my window overlooking a picturesque square. Dividing certain areas in your home can allow you to clock off from work in one room and relax in another.

Get outside and exercise daily if you can (just the once)

One of my friends recently stayed indoors for an entire week without even venturing outside in fear of catching Coronavirus. Whilst you have to be careful and follow government guidelines for social distancing, for the sake of your mental and physical state, you need to try and get outside if you are able to.

Whether you have a quick stretch in your back garden or have a run or stroll outside, breathing in some fresh air and having a change of scenery will do you wonders.

Contact your family, friends and work colleagues,
you’re not alone!

If you’re feeling alone, or just want to speak to another person, make sure you pick up your phone and contact your nearest and dearest. There have been moments where I needed to ask a colleague for advice on some work, so I picked up the phone and called. A simple message would have sufficed, but keeping in verbal contact with people makes me feel more involed and less distanced from my workmates. The same goes for loved ones. I use any excuse to get hold of my friends for a quick chat. Sharing your thoughts and feelings around your new experiences will strengthen your support network for each another.

Looking for advice and help from a trained Mental Health Professional?

Even in lockdown and with social distancing in place, help and support is out there if you feel it might benefit. Therapists & Counsellors are offering online video sessions.  If you want to talk to a trained therapist about anything mentioned in this blog, feel free to reach out to Maggie Murray. Find out more about how Maggie can help you by visiting her Facebook page –  Maggie Murray Counselling