If you’re fortunate to be able to work from home (or even if you’re just working your way through that box set), adopting a few new habits could be the key to keeping some routine, optimism and happiness going. While it turns out that working at home isn’t quite as fun as we’d always dreamed (at least not during a state of emergency) – you’ve got this.
Be brave Pingiters, one day soon this will all blow over and we’ll look back at this time as The Spring That Must Not Be Named.
Stay home, stay safe
To reiterate government advice, the #1 thing you can do over the next few months is come into contact with as few people as possible. At home, do what feels right for you. It’s okay to politely decline accepting your neighbour’s Amazon packages if it makes you uncomfortable.
Create the routine you’ve always wanted
When all your days start to look the same, it’s important to set up a routine for yourself - even if that means a bit of exercise and a shower in the morning, making your bed, taking regular breaks and braving the outside world once a day (even the garden will do). Don’t be afraid to be a bit more flexible with your time, if you need to take a slightly longer lunch break to go shopping and make up the time at the end of the day, no one needs to know...
Pomodoro your way to productivity
Pomodoro are tomatoes, right? Wrong! Ok right, but we’re talking about the time-chunking technique named after said tomatoes - or the kitsch 1980s kitchen timers shaped like them. The Pomodoro technique works like this: decide on the task to be done, set a timer for 25 minutes, take a five minute break. Repeat four times, then take a longer break. Your productivity will shoot through the roof.
If anxiety and emotions are threatening to get the better of you, take a few minutes to practice mindfulness. One great technique to ground yourself is to take note of five things you can see, five things you can hear, five things you can touch, and so on. Alternatively, you might choose to think about the things in your life that bring you joy, or simply focus on your breath. It really works.
Talk to humans
This is going to be important in keeping you sane while stuck at home. You might have your professional conference calls with colleagues and clients, but it’s important to talk about stuff other than work now and then. Pro tip: set up a really official, professional conference call with your mates and then talk pure nonsense for half an hour. If you want to kick things up a notch, get the dog involved.
Crack out your slow cooker
Finding it hard to get your hands on your normal shopping? Pro tip - throw anything you have in the slow cooker at the beginning of the day and you’ll feel like a domestic god/goddess - with dinner ready to go as soon as you are. To that end…
Eat good food
Treats are allowed at a time like this, but take care to nourish your body and mind as best as the apocalyptic supermarkets will allow.
Keep on top of your to-do lists and tasks. Trello for the win.
Whether you’re joining a live exercise class on your laptop, doing 10x sit-ups, 10x press-ups, and 10x crunches every hour, or getting outside for a run - exercise is more important than ever.
Don’t undo all the hard work of your mindfulness by melting your brain with news updates. Give yourself a limit, maybe you just get the headlines first thing - then put it to the back of your mind as best you can.
These are uncertain times. Many of us will be spending more time at home than we have ever before, many will be out there on the front line. Stretch, look after one another and dream about that first day we’re allowed to go out and play!