BIMBeing: The Journey #38
#38 – Isolation…
Photograph by Magda Ehlers from Pexels.
With the Governments daily announcements upping the anti, it seems as though the Covid-19 crisis is going to get far worse before it gets better; there are certainly challenging times ahead for us all. As I discussed in post #33, flexible working is an invaluable resource at a time like this, but as this situation gets worse our preparations will need to stretch beyond laptops and VPN’s.
The current crisis is alien to any of us that didn’t live through the war (which I imagine is 100% of our readers); never in most of our lifetimes will we have experienced anything quite like this. The gradual shut-down of the country will be impacting businesses and individuals in all corners of the UK (and beyond), financially in particular, as well as physically and mentally. We all have a lot to juggle right now as we try to continue our lives whilst complying with the official advice from the government; stop socialising, try to keep our jobs, look after our family and friends, support any vulnerable neighbours, home school the children (if you have them), stay healthy and try not to completely lose our minds in the process. It will therefore be difficult to maintain a level of physical and mental well-being, but these are essential if you want to come out of the other side of this crisis in good shape.
A few basics then to keep us going:
If you can work from home, you certainly should, but being physically isolated from your colleagues does not mean being cut off altogether. It’s crucial that you remain in contact with those you work with, and not just through email or text. Pick up the phone and have a conversation or better still, get onto a video call. Seeing and speaking to people will go some way to keeping you sane during the coming weeks and months. The video call will also ensure that you and your colleagues alike are at least getting out of bed and getting dressed in the mornings!
Likewise, keep contact (digitally) with any family and friends. Get on the phone or behind a web-cam in order to keep communicating with those around you. Use it to check in with elderly relatives or just to catch up with a few friends; physical isolation should definitely not turn you into a total recluse.
It’s important to keep some sort of routine, even if you’re not leaving the house. Set an alarm for the mornings, get up, get washed and dressed, eat a decent breakfast and so on. If you wake up at mid-day and lounge in nothing but pyjamas for the next few weeks you’re going to rapidly plunge in to poor health, physically and mentally. For most, keeping a basic routine will at least mean you start each day well and are likely to remain at least partially productive in isolation.
Again, just because you’re at home all day where nobody can see you does not mean that you should eat chocolate for breakfast, a Rustlers microwave burger for lunch and nothing but wine for dinner. Diet is very strongly linked to mental health as well, not just physical. Eat sh*t = feel sh*t, it’s that simple. Stick to regular meal-times and eat something wholesome at least, there’s no excuses, particularly when you’ve now got even more time at home to prepare a good meal.
Daylight and Fresh Air
Do not spend the next few months shut in a dark, airless room without stepping outside. To start with, if you are staying indoors make sure you open the curtains or blinds and flick open a window from time to time. A bit of daylight and fresh air will go a long way. Also, isolation (at the moment anyway) does not mean you cannot step outside of the 4 walls in which you sleep. Go into the garden (if you have one) or walk out into some public open space to get some real fresh air and sunlight. Your body absolutely needs this, just ensure you’re keeping your distance from everyone else. Absolutely do not go out in big crowds, just listen to the government advice.
As I discussed in post #33, the environment that you setup at home will have a significant impact on how productive you will be. Beyond that, it will also affect your health. Being forced into working from home at short notice may mean that you don’t have the time to setup an Instagram-ready home office environment, but you’ll need to do something to get as comfortable as possible. If you can, work at a table, sit on a proper chair rather than a sofa, set your screen at the right height and sit where there is natural light entering the room. If you can’t, try to make the environment as comfortable as possible. The last thing you need is to spend 3 months with your head tilted downwards looking at the screen on your lap; this will cause you a lot of discomfort after anything longer than a day or two.
Again, your body needs this. Even cutting out the daily walk to work will have an impact on most of us, so you need to do something. The gym is shut, so that’s out of the question, but everything else remains an option (at least as of last nights announcement you are still allowed 1 trip out in public for exercise – so use it). Take a walk, jump on your bike, jog around the park, do some press-ups in your front room; if it means raising your heart rate then you’re doing something right, do some star jumps on the bed if it gets you moving. Just don’t spend your isolation laying permanently horizontal, or slouched endlessly on the sofa. Stay as active as possible, for your physical and mental wellbeing.
To summarise, look after yourself. Try not to vegetate during this unknown period of time because it will seriously impact your overall wellbeing. My solution? I’m currently trying to build a home gym, in spite of having no space, no equipment, being confined to my home and having a budget of £2.50. Still, if there’s a will there’s a way…
Stay safe everyone.