Will it never end? I hear you asking. As COVID-19 turns more and more of our lives upside down, it’s not surprising we’re collectively feeling increasingly stressed and anxious. When anxiety is coupled with a dearth of human contact as self-isolation and working from home becomes ever more routine, those feelings can threaten to overwhelm us.
Humans are social creatures and we only realize just how dependent we are on social contact when that regular contact is abruptly curtailed by travel restriction.
So, here are 10 easy tips for maintaining your mental health when working from home or living 24 hours a day with your family.
1. Stay Healthy And Remember To Practice Good Hygiene
Probably the simplest way to stay healthy is by practising good hygiene measures. Wash your hands regularly for at least two minutes, using soap and water. It doesn’t hurt to regularly sanitise surface areas in your home either.
If you’re concerned about freaking out, do a little search on reputable websites, so you understand what to do if you suspect you have coronavirus symptoms. Knowledge is power, people.
2. Explore Yoga Or Try Meditation
While we’re on the topic of health, yoga and meditation can both help your mental state. An hour a day of yoga does wonders for your flexibility and mental health. Even ten or fifteen minutes a day meditating will help you maintain your inner zen by keeping you calm and centred.
There are plenty of useful tips on the Internet, plus you’ll great in that cool yoga gear!
3. Eat Healthily
One of the scarier statistics emerging about the effect of social distancing on our health is the rise and rise of home delivery services. It’s more important than ever to eat a balanced diet. You may be working from home, but tracksuits and elastic waistbands is no excuse for loading on the pounds during self-isolation.
Map out a meal menu for the week and try to dial up the fresh ingredients. Processed foods are full of salt and sugar and won’t help you keep the weight off if you’re not getting enough regular exercise.
You’ll be amazed just how much food the average household wastes and how we take our favourite meals for granted.
4. Try Your Hand At Bread Making
Baking your own bread has emerged as one of the boom activities during COVID-19 epidemic. Home-made bread cuts out the artificial stabilisers and other ingredients needed to keep bread fresh on the shelf and the results are scrumptious. Plus, nothing makes your home smell more inviting than freshly baked bread.
Another activity that’s catching on is making your own sourdough starter. It’s basically flour and water but it takes a good five days to prepare, and you have to nurture and feed it like a newborn baby, which gives you something else to obsess over apart from yourself.
5. Brew Your Own Kombucha
Kombucha is a slightly sharp-tasting fermented beverage. Its tangy range of flavours and low sugar content have combined to make it one of the country’s fastest-growing health trends.
It is made by adding a symbiotic bacteria and yeast culture to a solution of tea and sugar. During the fermentation, the bacteria and yeast ferment the tea and the sugar creating a tonic. It’s easy to brew at home and requires minimal equipment.
6. If You’re Working From Home, Work Smarter
Working from home may sound like your dream come true, you can live in tracksuits or pyjamas all day and work from bed or the couch! But then, the fun can soon wear thin along with your productivity.
Make sure if you’re working from home, you work smart. Set up a proper home office if you can. Invest in decent WiFi. There’s nothing more infuriating for your team to be on a Zoom videoconference when your WiFi keeps cutting in and out!
Next, establish a regular work routine and stick to it. Get out of bed, exercise, shower, and eat breakfast then transition into your workday.
Staying in touch and seeing and speaking to your team or colleagues is important too. WhatsApp message groups and Zoom or Skype video calls helps maintain social connections.
7. Your Marie Kondo Moment
There has never been a better time to get your household in order. Channel your inner Mary Kondo and sort through your bathroom and kitchen drawers, before turning yourself loose on your wardrobe and garage.
Identify items you no longer need, that are broken or as Marie says, fail to ‘bring you joy.’ Some stuff, you can even photograph and flog online.
Right now, odds are your local charity needs your unloved items too and would welcome your support, so give generously.
8. Sort Out Those Boxes Of Photographs And Old VHS Tapes
Most of us have boxes of unfiled photographs waiting for us to sift through, adding dates and places. Similarly, there are countless cartons of neglected VHS tapes, audiotapes or 8mm film reels mouldering way unloved in garages, cellars and storage units.
Now is the perfect time to sort through your priceless memories and take advantage of modern VHS to DVD technology to preserve them for future generations. Alternatively, transfer your old media to digital technology VHS to Digital. Once they are digitized, you can upload your photos and videotapes to the Cloud, where it can be viewed anywhere, any time.
9. Gardening In A Time of Coronavirus
There is something about gardening that is good for the soul. Even the smallest of balconies or apartments can be livened up with the judicious use of flowers and plants. Flowers make you feel better and better equals saner in lockdown.
So, get your garden ready. Regardless of the time of year, there is always something to do in a garden. No dig, no bend raised garden beds are fabulous for growing veggies, while flowers and greens can be grown in containers or pots.
Sow the seeds for your mental good health today and get your garden looking its best.
Following these simple tips will go a long way to help you maintain your sanity if you find yourself working from home or self-isolating in a COVID-19 lockdown. These are difficult, challenging times, so cut yourself some slack, be kind to yourself and others, as we all endeavour to get through this epidemic together.