Well here we are. Two months into the UK lockdown as we continue to try to flatten the curve. When this began, I was determined to boss this self isolation thing. I would get up, get dressed, smile and sit at the laptop in my front room for the next 8 hours as I worked from home.
Two months in, I get up with a feeling of dread. I get dressed only because I have to and I sit at my laptop in the front room for the next 8 hours watching the clock tick down to 5pm. Don’t get me wrong, it is still business as usual but my motivation has completely gone out the window.
So far I think my Wi-Fi connection has become my most valuable resource, I’ve gained a few pounds, I’ve practically watched everything on Netflix and I’m more in touch with friends and family that I think I’ve ever been. A bit of a mixed bag.
Anyway, I hit the internet looking for blogs and articles about staying motivated during the lockdown as it is always good to know how others are handling this period of limited human contact.
What I discovered is that one size certainly does not fit all. If I was going to find my way back to being my perky pre-Covid-19 self again, I had to find the things I could relate to. So here’s what I found.
Just because your friend Brenda uses Yoga to alleviate stress and find balance in her life does not mean it will have the same effect for you. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but find your own thing that puts you in that zone. It might be as simple and sitting quietly enjoying that first cup of coffee in the morning.
Force yourself to be positive
That’s right. It can be hard when you wake up with that feeling of dread and it takes effort to be a bright little ray of sunshine but you need to give yourself a mental slap in the face. What does that feeling of dread do anyway except to rob you of your motivation and ruin your day?
Plan your day
Set aside some time at the start of your day, to make a list of the things you want to accomplish. There is something so satisfying about crossing things off your to-do list. If you can, try not to carry things over for more than three days. Not always possible I know but challenge yourself.
I cannot believe I am saying this and anyone who knows me will probably be thinking what the ****? And yes it’s true, I often joke about being allergic to exercise, but remember what I was saying about those few extra pounds I’ve gained? Now keep in mind that just because you put your trainers on does not mean you will be ready for the 5K in a week. Start off with a realistic goal. A 20 minute walk simply to break the day up will do.
Do not feel bad about NOT keeping in touch
All the blogs and articles I have read all seem to stress the importance of keeping in touch. And I get it. Being locked indoors and having very little human contact is enough to drive anyone crazy. But two months in and too much contact is starting to have the same effect. Allow yourself time and space to switch off and have some YOU time… and do not feel bad about it.
Step away from the laptop
Whilst working from home is great, remember to clock off. It is easy to say, I’ll just finish sending these emails and then I’ll switch off. An hour later, you are still at it. No. Don’t do it! I am sure the boss will understand and if you work for yourself, then I am sure the boss will understand (or hire a virtual assistant to do those jobs for you wink wink)
Do not look too far ahead
No one knows how long this will last and what ‘normal’ will look like so focus on today.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. Steve Jobs
Right, that said, I’m off for my 20 minute walk.
Stay safe. Stay positive