Now that many of us are at home for the foreseeable future we’re having to think about a lot of new things. How to stay sane when working, resting and sleeping alone in a studio flat 24/7; how to accommodate two adults working from home with a child being home-schooled; how to switch off from work when you’re trying to relax in a small space; how to occupy yourself when you don’t have any work to go to; how to keep fit when you’re always inside. The scenarios are endless and the solutions a minefield.
For some top tips on navigating the waves through this unprecedented period we looked online. Here’s a snapshot of tips we found helpful:
• Boost your immune system. Do this by dancing to your favourite tune; taking part in an online yoga class; getting enough vitamins; watching a feed good movie. These are all ways to boost your immunity.
• Structure your day. Have a regular structure for mealtimes; plan out activities and set goals to help you feel motivated. This is important for your mental health.
• Maintain social contact. Pick up the phone and speak to at least one person every day; join Whatsapp groups and share funny videos and inspirational quotes.
• Avoid conflict. When you’re inside a space with a particular group for any period of time, conflict will be inevitable. Remember to schedule some alone time, for example 20 minutes of exercise. If you feel conflict starting to rear its head, take some time out. 15 minutes in a separate space (or with sound-cancelling headphones) can help to diffuse an argument (theconversation.com).
• Go outside – even if it’s just virtually. Play a recording of earth sounds, like birds and rustling trees. Walk around, even if it’s just inside your home (that’s according to retired astronaut Scott Kelly in nytimes.com).
• Keep a journal. Write about your experiences every day. Focus on describing what you are experiencing through your five senses, or write about memories. Writing about your days will help to put your experiences in perspective and let you look back later on what this unique time in history has meant.
• Listen to experts. Trust the advice given from official sources. Keep an eye on the news with a daily check-in but don’t get fixated on it or it could overwhelm you mentally.
• We are all connected. Seen from space, the earth has no borders, says Scott Kelly. The spread of coronavirus is showing us that what we share is much more powerful than what keeps us apart, for better or for worse. All people are incredibly interconnected, and the more we can come together to solve our problems, the better off we will all be.
Futon Company says: Some truly wise words and top advice here from people in the know. For our part, we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – now really is the time to embrace your space! Set yourself a project to get your space in order. Clear out those cupboards, clean the windows, move the furniture around and work out what you need to accommodate everyone’s needs. If space is at a premium, think about investing in pieces that are versatile, lightweight and easy to move around. If the only place you can work from is your bed or sofa, find a way to distinguish between work time and play time, for example a different coloured cushion or blanket – anything that sends a signal. Make sure you have places to store your work stuff, like paperwork and books. Stay safe.