As a new year gets started all around us, the UK is heading, sadly, back into lockdown. For most of us, this is a distressing development. It means the curtailment of freedoms, not seeing family and friends, and additional challenges for work and childcare.
One way we can try to meet these challenges is to consciously examine our routines and look for new ways to organise our lives that lean into both the challenges of a locked down life and the opportunities it affords us. Some think that it’s focussing on the unique opportunities of the long, dark winters that help people in Scandinavian countries develop the resilience to get through them and there are similar opportunities to look for in the winter of lockdown.
If you’re working from home for an extended period, it can be all too tempting to lie in bed until it’s time to clock on, enjoying the extra rest. However tempting the duvet is in the darkness of January, it may provide a boost to your energy, motivation and mental health to get up earlier – though whether that’s as early as you would if you were commuting to the office is a decision for you. Getting up earlier in the morning gives you more time for yourself, and helps you divide your working time from your personal time.
Whether you choose to spend your mornings exercising, working on a personal project, catching up with friends and family or simply enjoying a more extravagant breakfast than normal, it’s time for you, and that’s important when work stress (and pandemic stress) could be spreading.
Getting up before your kids might be a challenge, but the chance to catch up with work or relaxation undisturbed could make all the difference!
Unwinding in the Evening
When work comes to an end for the day, it’s important to draw a line between business and your personal life. If you’ve got no geographical distinction between where you work and where you rest, resting can become more difficult, so it’s useful to come up with a routine that underlines the end of the working day.
It’s a good time for a workout, or you might want to use the last natural light of the day to work on an art and craft project. Setting up a monthly subscription for crafts means you’ll always have something new to work on, and spending half an hour with an embroidery project or sewing kit when work finishes is a good way to tell your brain it’s time to relax.
Putting the time you’d spend commuting to a different, more productive use when you’re working from home is a great way to find a positive amidst the stress and disruption and find opportunities for new routines in lockdown!