How to keep healthy whilst working from home during a crisis
With the current physical distancing regulations in place, many of us in the event industry quickly realised that, as social beings, this kind of isolation requires us to create a ‘new normal’, and to pivot to virtual to keep things going for now.
Elana Kruger, Marketing Manager, comments: “Describing the current lockdown as ‘social distancing’ is incorrect. It is physical distancing that we are practicing, because in reality we are more connected socially than ever before with the use of WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom and WebEx meetings. Another term that needs clarification is ‘working from home’. At the moment we are required to work from home during a crisis, which bears very little resemblance to the usual working from home as a flexible working option. I think for this reason we need to be very realistic and honest with ourselves in terms of personal expectations during this time.”.
How to support your health during the lockdown in 10 practical steps
As a side note, it must be said that this check-list has been created by the General Manager of Church House Westminster, Robin Parker, who himself experienced an additional extra two weeks of isolation before the lockdown officially started. As such, over the extended time period, the list below has helped him to put his health first, whilst working from home during this crisis.
- Plan a routine
Map out your daily schedule, particularly for the start of the day. Set an alarm, get up and be at your set work station by a pre-planned time. However, be aware that it is a flexible schedule, and at times it can indeed be broken or adjusted!
Keep in regular touch with your colleagues. We all need each other at times likes this. Use Zoom or other platforms to chat with colleagues, and add fun virtual socials, like a pub quiz or birthday drinks.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
The impact of the pandemic is new to all of us, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do something or if you are having a bad day.
In line with current Government advice we are allowed to exercise outside once a day, so make full use of breathing in the fresh (and less polluted) air. Otherwise make use of all the online yoga, HIT and pilates classes from the comfort of your lounge.
- Work mode
Put some background music or talk radio on while working, and don’t listen to the news all day!
Especially if you are self-isolating with others, make time and focus on what makes you happy.
- Plan dinner
Good nutrition at the moment is especially crucial to keep healthy. Make your meal something to look forward to at the end of the day. You have the time, so be creative.
- Sign off
If you can control your hours, don’t work too late. Work will still be there tomorrow
- Take regular breaks
Get up and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes. Many of us won’t be working in designed workplaces and will be using laptops rather bigger monitors.
- Fun times ahead
Get into a good TV series on Netflix or any other on-demand player, so again you have something to look forward to in the evening. Adhere to a sensible and regular bedtime routine to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
The trick is to find what works for you because we are all different, facing our own personal challenges due to the lockdown. To show this, the team here at Church House Westminster has shared below their own personal recommendations following a couple of weeks on lockdown.
Sharnez Ritchie, Senior Events Coordinator
“I’ve been taking my vitamins and making healthy drinks with echinacea and turmeric to keep healthy. I listen to music a lot to zone out and make a point in reaching out to friends and family to keep connected online. I have also worked out a few times, and really look forward to doing more of this”.
Alison Forsyth, Operations Manager
“I have been using two simple mechanisms since the lockdown. Firstly, each morning I make myself a list of things I want to do that day and cross them off when I’ve done them. I rarely cross off everything on the list, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I just shrug and add the outstanding things to the list on the following day. Secondly, I set myself one task for each day; this can be something enjoyable (like reading) or if it is something less enjoyable (like cleaning out the oven), then I will give myself a treat once I’ve done it.
Veronika Kabrun, Sales & Marketing Assistant
“My top wellbeing tip is to do a short exercise each morning before starting work. I use YouTube and select a different routine each morning. This helps me to start the day right and gives me more energy for the day ahead. I also try to eat more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates, whilst avoiding any unhealthy snacking. I find that my physical health and eating habits during this time directly affect my wellbeing.”.
Sue White, Head of Client Relations
“At home, we are playing lots of retro games and we’ve also organised a couple of pamper nights. Every evening as a family we cook together, which is a first for me as I don’t usually cook! We also do a lot of baking at the moment and planning on doing bread for our next challenge. We also take new walking routes and find that we are discovering things in the local area we did not even know existed.”.
Marina Papadopoulou, Business Development Manager
“I pretend in the morning that I am going to the office, so I would wake up early, enjoy my breakfast, have a shower and I always try to wear nice clothes. I am also writing down my goals for each day and I am trying to achieve them during my working hours. After I finish work I don’t check any work-related emails.”.
Sarah Ross, Senior Events Coordinator
“Firstly I always get up at the same time, which is pretty easy as I get woken up at 6 am anyway. I get ready for the day by getting dressed and putting my make-up on before I go downstairs to have breakfast. We are doing PE with Joe Wicks every day during the week and this gives us plenty of energy for the day. On weekends we try and do yoga videos.”.
Rianne Baker, Senior Events Coordinator
“One thing I have been doing more and which always cheers me up is face-timing friends and family. I make a point to contact one person a day who I’ve lost touch with. Talking to others helps so much in reminding us that we are not alone.”.
Elana Kruger, Marketing Manager
“I have approached this lockdown with two circles in mind. The first circle is what I can control and the second circle, everything that is outside my control. With the help of meditation apps like HeadSpace I focus only on what I can control. I also try to limit my time on social media and in order to stay positive, I keep a gratitude diary.”.