I focused on remote working in a previous article, and am releasing content on my YouTube Channel “The Wellness League” aimed specifically at children and families at home; but this blog takes a look at your down time. Even though under the social distancing restrictions of Covid-19 our 2nd and 3rd spaces (work and social places) have moved to into our 1st (the home), it is possible to retain a sense of separation so that you can also get the “switching off” time that you need.
Here are 7 tips that can give you a feeling of peace and refreshment while doing most things from home.
1. Keep separate areas for each activity if you can; if you can’t, try to clear each away before doing the next
If you can set aside a clear space for work, schooling or exercise, try to do so. If you cannot, try to cover or pack away everything to denote that you have finished (in the same way as we consciously push our plates away after the meal, or even our laptops when we have shut them). I’m suggesting take one step further and clear the table too!
There is currently time to set up your environment in the way that would be most beneficial to you, and so a little effort at the start may well pay off longer term.
2. On a bright day, open the window – and practice mindful breathing
Deep breathing has always had a calming effect and practicing this can help prevent you reaching peak stress, as well as be a great way to calm down.
Breathe in through the nose for 4 counts, hold for 2, and out for 6. You might even choose to remind yourself that you are breathing in energising air, and breathing out all the demands of the day.
To access the guided meditations which accompany my book "The Leader's Guide to Mindfulness" -visit www.draudreyt.com/meditations and use the password <leaderretreat>.
3. Utilise your garden if you have one
With the weather brightening up a little, the garden could be a lovely place for playing games, pitching a tent, exercising and stretching, reading and relaxation.
4. Learn something new
Join an online class or try a new hobby. You might find hidden talents, an outlet for that inner-diva, or perhaps some interesting people to bounce ideas with. The best part of all of course, is as an adult – remember you can choose to leave if you don’t like it!! There are a number of professionals offering online tutorials such as cooking, art, dance, fitness – take your pick. Even wander virtually through some of the museums that have opened their doors, or catch a streaming of a theatrical production.
5. Make your sleeping area distinctly comfortable
Because you will be spending more time at home, try to make your sleeping area as restful as possible. Fresh air and regularly clean sheets are always a good start. It might also be a great time to go through your wardrobes and prepare donation boxes for anything you no longer use.
6. Stay in touch with friends online
It’s not just a case of texting or posting photos on social media, but perhaps decide to watch things at the same time, or challenge each other to a fashion show (before you donate the clothing). A text is no substitute for seeing your face and hearing your voice. Allow your children to video call their grandparents and their friends (Skype, WhatsApp or Face Time are free).
7. Keep a routine if you can
Try to set times for work, or breaks, meals, family time and try to keep them as regular as possible. Certainly try and always change clothing as you would for work. While it is possible to conduct board meetings in your pajama bottoms and a suit top – it doesn’t mean you should. (Yes, no-one else can see, but you know…have some personal pride(!)). This simple act of changing clothes also helps relaxes you when you are outside “work” mode.
Audrey is a chartered psychologist and author, learn more at www.draudreyt.com or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @draudreyt. To request a weekly positive thinking email with more tips and articles please email her firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Positive Email".