Stay sane working from home
2020 was a dreadful year. The Covid 19 virus completely changed not only people’s lives but also their workplace regime. It may never return to what it used to be. People working in offices and in all types of industries were forced to work from home. Gone was the routine of having to get up and commute to work. Gone was the social camaraderie of people in the workplace. In fact it had gone from a normal structure to something totally unexpected and immediate.
At first some people thought the novelty of sleeping in and staying at home was wonderful. As the weeks dragged on the novelty began to decline. Some of my clients reported a feeling of isolation and loneliness. It became quite stressful without a structured routine to follow. The discipline at work that they had been used to was no longer present. The stress resulting from lack of structure and social contact began to take on the shape of anxiety.
Even with technology such as Zoom and Skype it was not quite the same as face-to-face contact. The common question clients were asking was how to overcome this form of anxiety. With over 20 years of experience in helping people deal with anxiety and stress I was able to help them set out a daily plan they could follow.
1. It is important that the work day begin with waking at a certain time. For instance if you would normally be waking at 7AM then that should continue.
2. Now that you do not have to commute to work that time can be spent going for a walk, to the gym or doing something enjoyable. Keeping the body physically fit has a direct bearing on moods. A happy body will produce a happy mind.
3. If you were having regular breaks during the day at the office or workplace you must continue this practice even though you are at home. By not having regular breaks stress can set in.
4. Try to keep some sort of social contact going. Even if there is total lockdown you can still communicate with friends and work colleagues by Skype, Zoom or telephone. Have a few laughs, share a few jokes and try not to be too serious. You will be helping these people as well as yourself as we are all going through the same terrible times.
5. Resist eating the wrong foods. Make sure you have sensible nutritious food choices. Avoid having those snacks and too many caffeine related drinks. Be aware of your physical condition and weight.
6. Move around as much as you can. Leaving your desk even to stand up rather than remain seated will make a big difference. Move your legs under your desk, do some sit-ups in your chair, move your head from side to side; whatever you can do will make a big difference as to how you feel at the end of the day.
7. Don’t neglect your family. Listen to the children when they come home from school as they have a story to tell about their day. Talk to your partner and listen to what they have to say. Don’t forget we are all in the same boat and we must support each other.
Finally just be yourself and enjoy your family, friends and your home. This is a great time to enjoy your hobbies, reading, self-improvement and whatever else interests you. You will be a far better person.