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As more and more of us are opting to work from home, practise social distancing, or even imposing self-isolation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, here are some tips for keeping up morale.
Many people with disabilities, chronic illness or low mobility will already be familiar with the trials and tribulations of spending most of your time at home, but for the more able-bodied, the weeks ahead may require a new outlook. While RTL Today has already covered tips on how to make the most of working from home, here are some additional ideas to get through life under the new measures.
DO make the most of online resources - be it streaming services, educational resources, or hobbies. We are fortunate to live in a time where so much is available to us at the push of a button, so if you're getting antsy, binge your way through a boxset. You could even schedule "movie nights" with friends, where you all watch the same film at the same time; or try out Netflix Party, a service which synchronises playback between different users.
DON'T abandon routine - while it is obviously perfectly fine to change your regular routine, try to keep to a rough timetable. As tempting as it is to spend all night catching up on Netflix, keeping to usual bedtimes and wake ups will be better for your health - both physical and mental. It is also useful to stick to a gentle routine with children during school closures, to help keep the structure they are accustomed to.
DO switch off if you have to. The relentless news cycle can induce anxiety in even the most chilled out of personalities. If you find yourself getting too stressed, put your phone down and step away from the news sites. Meditate, play music, read a book, watch a film - anything to take you away from reality for a short blessed respite.
DON'T work non-stop - make sure you give yourself regular breaks as you would if you were working in the office. If you have outdoor space, make use of it, even if it's just five minutes of fresh air. Otherwise, pop the kettle on for a cuppa and pretend you're catching up with colleagues - maybe organise a group chat or video call?
DO put on some music - whether it's the radio or a banging Spotify playlist, a soundtrack to your day always helps!
DON'T be tempted to snack all the time. I know, it's hard, your cupboard is right there calling to you... but overeating will make you sleepy. Have a glass of water instead.
DO find creative ways to distract your children - although school-age kids will be doing home learning and following online resources, it won't fill the whole day the same way normal classes do. If you have young children, it could be tricky explaining to them why they have to stay at home, particularly now playgrounds have closed. The good news is, in the age of the Internet, there are a plethora of well-meaning website with countless activities to keep little ones. My favourites are the 5 Minute Mum, Toby and Roo, and I also love Cosmic Kids Yoga on Youtube!
DON'T sit in the dark - luckily, the days are getting longer and spring is just around the corner. Roll up your blinds and set up a workspace near a window for some vitamin D.
DO look after your health - don't underestimate the impact that enforced isolation or staying indoors can have on your mental and physical health. Whether you're working from home, undertaking 24/7 childcare or both, try to take some time for yourself when you can, and practise some self-care.
If you have any tips, please share them with us in the comments - we could all use them over the coming weeks/ months!