Today marks the start of my fourth week working from home. And, while I know that I am incredibly lucky to not only have a job at this moment but also to have one that allows me to work from home. Well, it still hasn’t meant that it’s been easy adapting to these new lockdown style rules. But, since we’re coming up to a month, I thought I’d share some of the things I’m doing to keep myself at least feeling like I’m being productive. These are things I’ve picked up and implemented over the last few weeks and, I don’t want to jinx it for myself. But, I almost feel like they have added a little more control and normality to my weeks. So, I thought I’d share them. Hopefully, no matter in what capacity you’re staying home, they might help some of you too…
Make Your Mornings More Normal
When we were originally told we were to work from home my first thought was “that’s me wearing my PJ’s all day then” but, as most of you will probably agree, the novelty of that wears off really fast. So, even on weekends, I’ve been setting an alarm, making my bed, getting dressed and going to get a bit of air with a cup of tea out the back door. It makes me feel like I’m ready for the day ahead. (Even if my only plans are getting stuck into a good book or playing video games…) I’ve also found myself putting on makeup on some days when I don’t plan on leaving the house. Just because, well, it feels more like a normal day. (& I feel a little better about myself with it on!)
Take A Look At Your Finances
Unless you’re a super lucky ducky, this whole lockdown thing hasn’t exactly been kind to peoples bank accounts. (& that’s me putting it lightly). So one thing I sat and spent a weekend doing was having a full deep dive into my finances for the future. Be that the next few weeks, years, or even further down the line. I split where I was looking into three categories. Things in the short term, things for the next 3 months and then general future finances.
In terms of the short term changes, I got a bank statement and went through every transaction from the last month. (& physically cringed at the amount of money I spent on things like iced coffee). But with that I had a full list of my subscriptions and direct debits and was able to cut those right down. For the next few months, I cancelled my travel card and contacted my credit card. And in terms of the longer term, I looked into my savings (they’re currently in a stocks and shares LISA, so… It did really need looking at!) and as to how I’m actually covered for my pension. I’d recently had some changes with the works pension plan and been told we could keep it with them. Or, we could withdraw it into another provider. So, while I’ve had a little more time on my hands. I decided to make sure I’m getting the best deal. (You can also find out a little more about personal pensions on this site.) Overall, I felt so much more in control knowing that I had made some cutbacks and still had hope for my future self.
Have A Night Out At Home
There’s something that can be said for how great modern-day technology is and just how well people will always adapt and overcome. So, instead of our normal Friday (or Saturday) nights out or in, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Zoom with friends having virtual house parties. Or quizzes. Or just enjoying seeing them while we can’t go out. It’s also been a time that there are more options for live, at-home entertainment than ever. (Just look at the number of people live on Instagram in an evening!) Like this Saturday, for example, I spent it watching a 4-hour online drag show hosted by the wonderful Donna Trump on Twitch. I had the stream up on my laptop and on my phone, a group of us were chatting away about it. I had a few drinks and snacks and it was almost as good as going out to a live show. (Plus it was raising money for NHS Medical Mask Manufacture. Which is a great cause, especially with how the world is currently.)
Start A Project (Especially One You’ve Been Putting Off)
I don’t know about you, but for me, finally getting something I’ve been putting on the back burner is so satisfying. And, while most of us have a lot more time at home. Well, we may as well spend some of it getting that project (or projects!) done, right? Personally, I purchased a few courses towards the beginning of the year which I haven’t yet finished. In fact, I hadn’t got anywhere near as close to finishing them as I’d planned to be by now. So I’ve set myself the goal of finishing and getting certified for at least one of them by the time normality returns. Whereas, for example, my friend Becky as soon as she was furloughed said that before she returns to work she’ll finally have repainted her kitchen. Waking up with a goal to work towards really does wonders. Like I’ve told myself by the time this post goes live I will finally have cleared out the cupboards…
Keep In Touch With Your Friends Regularly
Last but certainly not least if there’s one thing that you can do for both your mental health and that of your friends and family. It’s a check-in with them. Every single person right now is struggling in their own way. So reach out, pop your friends a text, call your family. Trust me, you’ll both be better for it. My friend Becky and I have taken to Facetiming each other on our daily exercise. And it’s honestly something I look forward to each and every time. We don’t have new updates, we just talk about tv we’ve watched and such. (Plus, I get to join her in taking her dog out for a walk!) If anyone does need help finding someone to talk to or to get help while this situation is occurring there are some great online resources including Self Isolation Help, a platform for linking volunteers to those who need it.