As the world retreats inside we are finding ourselves living in a “new normal”.
People that have never worked from home before are suddenly having to deal with a big change in their daily lives.
The transition from working in an office to sitting in front of a laptop in your own home can seem daunting, but there are ways that can help it become a positive and productive environment.
Here are five small ways to help with this transition:
- Be prepared. Having a laptop or mac that is compatible to your company IT systems is vital, but you can also make good use of your smartphone or tablet, especially for video calls. Just make sure that your WIFI connection is working.
- Be comfortable. Create a working space that works best for you, if possible, with a table and chair and lots of light. Don’t forget to get up and move around during the day. When you get your steps in creativity might be sparked.
- Be structured. Try to get into a new routine quickly. It might be tempting to sit around in your pyjamas but getting dressed can really help get you motivated for the day ahead. Even if it is into a T shirt and shorts. Breaks are really important too, even if you end up cleaning out your cupboards!
- Be as if you are still in the office. Have regular team meetings over video calling services such as Google Hangouts, Microsoft Team or Zoom, to chat about everything from the best food delivery to the number 1 trending film on Netflix. Just don’t forget to leave the meeting before going to the bathroom! Create a WhatsApp group with the team to share jokes and funny pictures to each other throughout the day. You can still have a laugh! Humour is ok.
- Be understanding. The usual home situations might be looking a bit different right now. Prepare yourself for your own mini disruptions during virtual meetings. Mine is my new rescue cat who is very lively! Also, remember that other people at the end of the line are likely dealing with a similar situation.
Being indoors for a long period of time can be hard on our mind, body, heart and soul. Here are five small ways that we can do to help us through it:
- Breathing. When you first wake up try a simple breathing exercise for a few minutes to calm your mind before starting the day.
close your eyes
breathe in deeply through your nose
Breathe out slowly through your mouth as if you are trying to make a candle flicker
Repeat this for 3-6 minutes
When thoughts arise gently acknowledge them and return your focus to the breath.
You might be surprised at what creative thoughts pop up!
You can also download a meditation app such as Headspace, Freemind, Inside Timer, Calm.
- Fresh Air. If you have a balcony or garden use it! Drink your tea or coffee out on it every morning
If you don’t have one, turn off the AC, open all of your windows and let the air flow in.
- Enjoy the little things. Try and think of 3 things every day that you are thankful for. These can be as simple as your local grocery store having your favourite snacks in stock and delivering them to your door. You may also want to think about the things you will be grateful for in the future. Like being able to catch up with friends face to face and giving them a hug.
- Keep moving. There are plenty of free You Tube videos available to do some exercise. Joe Wicks The Body Coach is a popular one. Also check out your local gym and yoga studios social media accounts as some are providing online sessions. Schedule workouts with friends to do at the same time. Even if you can’t see each other you won’t feel alone.
- Keep connected. There are plenty of online groups around to suit any interests from music and food to funny memes. You might have noticed these when scrolling through your feed but never thought about joining them before. Now is the time to click like. You can always unfollow them at a later date. I attended a virtual festival at the weekend! It was great fun!
Ultimately there are things we cannot control such as the amount of toilet paper at the store, how long this is going to last, if others follow the rules of social distancing.
There are things we can focus our energy on like having a positive attitude, turning off the news, finding fun things to do at home, our own social distancing and acting with kindness and compassion.
If any of you have visited The Green Planet in Dubai, you may have seen Lola the sloth.
Sloths symbolise harmony with the world. They also represent peace, calmness and balance.
Something we all need right now. So, let’s all be like Lola for the next few weeks.
Stay safe and stay home.