Let’s face it, work-from-home seemed like a dream come true on Day 1 but a week-in and we’re bored beyond belief, agitated and totally Netflix’d out. We’ve all heard the Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to physical hygiene but what about mental hygiene? How do we ensure we stay positive & calm during this period? Let’s start with what NOT to do.
- Do NOT wake up thinking it’s the end of the world
- Don’t spend all day scrolling through your feeds reading cases of death counts, how fast the virus spreads, & videos of horrible deaths from the virus
- Don’t forward the above to everyone you know – you might not be infecting people with the virus but you’re infecting them with negativity
- Do NOT watch Contagion!
- Don’t engage in useless debates about how ineffective current strategies are & how the gov’t should be doing x,y,z instead – if you’re really concerned about all this, think of how you can help others in this time, even if it’s just to lighten the mood and make someone laugh
The more ‘normal’ you behave on a daily basis, the easier it will be to remain sane. I’m not saying be in denial. Be informed. Prepare for the worst but remember to HOPE for the best. In order to have hope, you have to be mentally strong. How do we ensure we maintain that hopeful & positive mindset?
First off, deep breath & smile! 🙂
1. Stick to a Routine. This is not a lazy Sunday this is a normal work week. Make sure you keep yourself occupied through-out the day and make mental rules that will help you stay on track. For example, I have a rule not to turn on the TV until 6pm no matter what.
2. Create a Dedicated work station. I’m seeing so many people with laptops in bed and on the sofa. This is not conducive to a productive workday! Set up a space in your house that is your dedicated ‘work-zone.’ Put your pen-holder, notepad, coffee cup, etc. on your desk as you would have at work. Don’t have a desk? Do it with your dining room table. As you’re stuck in the same space all day, it’s important you demarcate ‘work’ area vs. ‘relaxing’ area (e.g. sofa, bed)
3. Dress smart. Do you go to work in your pyjamas? Hopefully not! Once you get up make sure you put in the effort to get dressed and look good. Looking good helps you feel good! Put in the same amount of effort you would if you were going out. Put on that make-up, wear those tight jeans. If you’re in loose pyjamas all day you’ll be lethargic & more likely to cheat on your diet by munching. Bonus: every time you pass the mirror you’ll feel better when you see a polished version of yourself (as opposed to a scary, unwashed hair-monster!)
4. Exercise. Even 20 minutes a day can have amazing psychological effects. Make this part of your routine and set up an area at home to ensure this happens daily. Gym closures suck big time! But we have enough around the house to get a decent workout. If you live in a building with stairs, perfect. Avoid the lift (less hygienic anyways) and use the stairs to get in a bit of cardio.
5. Eat clean. Ok, your top priority might not be to get shredded right now but isn’t this the perfect opportunity to curb those temptations? You can’t order-in nor can you eat out. Now you have no choice but to cook all your own food! (It’s your mentor’s dream come true. They can finally calculate your macros effectively). Staying on track of your diet will help you feel like things are normal & help you see the silver lining in all of this.
6. Connect Emotionally– social distancing is the need of the hour but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with friends & family. Use this extra time to video-call people. Seeing someone smile or hearing them laugh just might make your day!
None of us have gone through this before and when you stop to think about the ramifications it is scary. Corona is not in your control. The good news is how you react to it is. We might not have a vaccine yet to eradicate this virus, but we can take steps to keep ourselves mentally fit & be the strongest version of ourselves to fight this thing together!