How to stay structured in a lockdown

Aggie is having a go at making working from home more purposeful – here are her top tips

Good morning people – it’s another day in lockdown. Since some of us, like me, will be working from home for now, I’ve been thinking about how we might be able to structure oudays in an environment that we don’t usually associate with structure. 

Using these tips may help you to get through the week with more ease, but by no means do I always manage to follow them – however, the day certainly flows better when I do. So here are some things I do and am trying to do to make the days and weeks go smoother. 

I hope this helps! 

1. Rise early and go to sleep early

This is a tip I am yet to fully achieve myself, but every time I do get up a couple of hours before I start work I feel a lot more relaxed throughout the whole day. It gives me time to exercise, eat and relax before getting to work, which helps me retain happiness levels over the whole week. 

2. Have one thing that you look forward to in the morning

Mine is tea and toast, as simple as that. Start the day well and hopefullyit should carry on well. 

3. Do some exercise or meditation in the morning

My friend Baixue doing rooftop yoga in New York

We can’t all be this blessed with a view, but I’ve found exercise or meditation in the morning is important even if its running around your living room (and you can still take your one walk a day). Its so important to check in with your mind and body in the morning. 

I like to do some yoga at the start of the day and if I manage to get up earlier, I will do some journaling and meditation too. Giving myself this time makes me feel less stressed throughout the day, and it reminds me that my health matters as much as work and restrictions do. 

4. Shower before the day begins

This one is courtesy of my housemate who kept showering at lunch and did not recommend. Treat yourself to a wash as you normally would, at the start of the day. Unless  you’re usually an evening washer, in which case, use his habit to signal it’s the end of the day, as you normally would. 

5. Take a lunch time stroll or run

Ah yes, the best time of the day, time to take a walk.  Make your choice, is it 6am, 7am, 1pm or perhaps 5pm? If it’s the same time every day it will help you maintain your structure. I personally prefer to head out at lunch to get some fresh air between workloads. 

6. Have a creative half hour when you finish work

Taking time to unwind and be creative is what I enjoy doing anyway, but now that I walk for ten seconds instead of twenty-five minutes to get home, I tend to use this new time to unwind and write or play some guitar. This helps me relax, and again it’s a way of checking in with myself. With all the stress we are constantly exposed to on the news I think it is so important to have a good relationship with yourself during this time and to make your mental health a priority. 

7. Eat three meals a day

It is so tempting to fill any gaps of attention which you would have spent on getting tea at work with browsing your kitchen cupboards. I am lucky that I haven’t got loads of snacks in to distract me, what I do instead is try not to skip meals and continue with three healthy meals a day.

It is important to stay healthy and focused on work during this time and you can use your meals to help maintain your schedule as your would in a regular working day. 

  1. 8. Make time to contact family and friends

FaceTime or Skype is amazing during this time. It may not be physical contact but at least it reminds you that other specimens exist except your housemates and your cat. I have regular calls and Skype sessions with my family in the Netherlands, Bilbao and Cambridge. My brother sends me videos of him and his partner swingdancing in their living room and my sister of my niece learning to walk. The beauty of technology. 

  1. 9. Don’t drink too much.

Try not to drink too much alcohol to fight off boredom. I know it may seem fun to have regular catch ups over a glass of wine with your friends on Skype, but hangovers and alcohol anxiety will probably affect previous steps mentioned and your mental healthPlus this could be a great time to reshape old habits into healthier ones. 

  1. 10. Last tip – create your own timetable

If you’re someone that is completely thrown off by this whole situation because you usually have and like a structured day, then go ahead make your own timetable. Do whatever you can during this strange time to keep yourself feeling balanced, and if planning your days helps then give it a go! 

 

We will go outside again for unlimited amounts of time one day – this too shall pass. Hang in there and look after yourselves and each other! 

How do you bring structure to your working from home life? Let us know on social media

 

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