Lockdown – Working & Life
The impact of lockdown on our working lives means:
- We find ourselves in a surreal environment that we were not expecting and didn’t choose
- We are possibly working from home instead of going to the office
- We might not have a great working environment, noise, space, comfort etc.
- We don’t have the opportunity to bounce ideas off other people spontaneously
- We are trying to support the rest of our family at the same time as staying ‘professional’
- We may feel isolated and miss the interaction with our colleagues &/or customers
- We are wondering when this is all going to end and we may feel a lack of control over our future
Taking back control
Impact Question- What can I do about it?
When working from home
- Work for a couple of hours then have a break. Enjoy the freedom & allow your personal timeclock to work at its optimal. (Are you a morning person or a night owl?) (But make sure this fits with your work commitments and colleagues’ requirements.)
- Isolation: Working on your own can be intense, which is why it’s important to have frequent breaks and do something completely different, even for just 10 minutes.
- Working environment: Try to work near a source of natural light and create a workspace that you can leave in place, if you can.
- Sharing ideas: Short discussions by phone or Zoom etc. can be used to bounce ideas off colleagues and this will help ease feelings of isolation. They will probably appreciate it too!
- Supporting family: If you’re trying to juggle your own work with your partner’s, as well as your children’s home-schooling and other needs, try structuring the family around a timetable so everyone’s needs can be met. And be kind to each other.
- Surreal environment: Look for the positives the current environment brings, such as: no commuting, no boring meetings to attend in windowless rooms, no need to dress smartly, you might even be saving money!
- Lack of control Try to avoid focusing on the news and focus on what you CAN influence.
Tiredness – people say they feel tired, even though they’re doing less.
Seven possible reasons why:
- Less physical activity starts to slow the metabolism and can make you feel sluggish
- It also reduces oxygen intake, meaning increased levels of carbon dioxide leading to tiredness
- Reduced exposure to daylight reduces the brain’s production of melatonin and serotonin
- Feeling stressed about the virus, job and financial security and lack of control reduces sleep quality
- The blue light produced by electronic devices can cause sleep disturbance
- We might be “comfort eating” (and drinking!) instead of eating healthily
- Loss of routine and structure can be demotivating and cause anxiety. These are all perfectly normal responses to the current situation, but need to be addressed to improve the way we feel at the moment.
To combat this potential tiredness issue
- Plan a daily exercise routine, outdoors if possible, and vary your route so it doesn’t become a chore
- Get as much natural light as possible
- Keep moving and do stretching exercises – and breathe! In through the nose and out through the mouth
- Try to switch off all devices (phone, tablet etc.) at least two hours before you go to bed
- Plan your meals to ensure good nutrition to help your energy levels and immune system
- Limit the number of treats you allow yourself (although a bit of what you fancy may do you good)
- Avoid dwelling on the current situation and don’t get too hung up on endless repetitive news bulletins
- Book calls with family and friends to keep in touch with your social network as well as your professional one
- Count your blessings and focus on the positive, because there are still lots of reasons to be happy
- Remember you’re not alone and everyone else is going through all this as well
Focus on the things you can control and try not to get stressed by those you can’t.
- Music can soothe the soul to relieve stress – Sing & Dance
- Read – Positive material
- Comedy – Positive uplifting humour on TV, listen or read
- Be active – Plenty of exercise, walking, yoga, pilates on TV, listen or from books
- Whether it’s cooking, baking, painting, gardening, handicrafts or DIY, creating something will give you a sense of achievement and control
- Rationalise your wardrobe;- reorganise your cupboards, clear out the shed or garage, r
- eview books, CDs, vinyl, DVDs
- Make time to relax and focus on your breathing
We can’t travel at the moment, but think about your “happy place” and believe that one day you’ll be back there!
Take back control by planning your future
- Financial planning
- Home improvements
- Create your “bucket list”
- Career direction and self-improvement (education & search opportunities)
- Think about what’s changed for the better during lockdown and what you’ve achieved.Tick things off YOUR to do list.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve not done it all. Count your blessings!
This won’t last forever and you will get through it. Everyone is finding this difficult and each of us will have our own reasons to feel stressed or unsettled. If you’re struggling, ask for help. Friends, family, colleagues, employers will all want to help.