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For many of us, working from home has become our new normal. While every morning may begin with a Groundhog Day-type feel to it, it’s important to try to use your time to build a positive routine. Below, Sara Picken-Brown, Founder of Valetudo Group and fitness and wellbeing expert of over 20 years, shares her insights on how you can make the most of your time at home.
Building a positive routine in lockdown
Structure your day
We are creatures of habit – routines give us comfort and a sense of security. Creating a new ‘normal’ can be a challenge at first, but sticking to a plan that centres around your wake-up time, meals and exercise sessions is a great way to build routine into your day. Try breaking up the day into 30- or 60-minute blocks to give your mind something to focus on in the present moment, while knowing what’s coming next. Routines also create a sense of structure and control over your environment, which is important at a time where we feel like we’ve lost some of our freedoms. (Check out our previous post on ‘How to effectively structure your work-from-home day’ for more info.)
Take time to manage your finances
Much of the fear and anxiety felt by people around the world stems from the uncertainty of job security. Use this time to review your budgets, income streams and government support. It’s also a great time to research any relevant schemes open to you, like the Job Retention Scheme if you own a small business. If you have been affected by a job loss or salary cut, speak to your financial services providers and enquire into making arrangements to maintain your credit rating to ensure your policies remain active. It’s also a good idea to look at where you can be refunded for trips, events or services that have been cancelled.
Take time to connect with others
With the lockdown in full swing, you may find yourself alone or with members of your household who you normally wouldn’t choose to spend time with. If you’re in this situation, it’s so important to find those you can communicate with. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “at times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family, by telephone, email or social media, or contact a helpline for emotional support”.” . There are fantastic online options to connect with people, like online fitness sessions via Zoom or Instagram Live, or virtual Meetup groups. Finding others like you can give you comfort and the sense that you’re not alone.
Maintain your mental and physical health
It’s so important to look after your body and your mind, especially when you’re not able to leave the house when you want to. Plan and cook nourishing meals and snacks full of fresh fruit and vegetables and get out into the sun and fresh air throughout the day to ensure you’re maintaining positive physical wellbeing. Exercising at home is also a great way to boost feel-good hormones and improve your mental health while working from home! If you have more time during the day during what used to be your commute, why not start a self-care routine? Whether it be taking the time to get dressed and ready for the day, or winding down at night with a face mask or yoga session, putting effort into your body and mind will help while you’re at home.
The information and updates of this pandemic are changing every day. Staying informed is vital to keep on top of the latest government directives and plans, but it’s important to limit the amount of media you’re consuming daily. Choose your news sources carefully, as there is a lot of biased and under-researched news out there. Organisations such as WHO, NICD and universities that properly research the information they publish are definitely better to refer to than tabloids.
As we navigate this global situation, there is a great opportunity to pause and refocus our attention on ourselves and our daily routines. This time allows us to analyse our reactions and our fears. What are you hoping to learn from this opportunity?
Join Coach Sara online for over 50 sessions a month in pilates, yoga, meditation and fitness from just £3/hr via the Valetudo Group.
Find all of Tiger’s blogs to help you navigate the coronavirus situation at our Insights page.
Guest author: Sara Picken-Brown is the founder of Valetudo Group