COVID-19: How We Can Do Our Best to Stay Well – Mentally & Physically
26.05.2020 by Jim Ker
These are trying times; there’s no doubt about that. There is a lot online about our new ‘normal’ way of life, but we’re sure you’ll agree that nothing about the pandemic is normal – and now, more than ever, we need our family, our friends and the things that make us happy.
This quote we stumbled upon online sums things up perfectly: ‘We aren’t all in the same boat, but we’re all facing the same storm’.
After all, some of us are happily working from our home office, while others are juggling home-schooling with their usual day job. Meanwhile, our country’s key workers are heading out to put in a vital shift on the frontline or in supermarkets, for example, and some people have been furloughed or been forced to cope after losing their job.
Here, the Kingston Unity team share their top tips for staying positive during lockdown – however long it lasts and whatever your situation. Read on…
Maintain a routine
For most of us, a routine is vital right now. It stops the weekdays and the weekend blurring into one – and allows us to easily break up ‘work time’ and ‘leisure time’.
And while leisure time might not be quite what it was, it’s still important to end your remote office day (or even your usual shift away from the home) with something to look forward to – whether that’s an episode of a favourite TV show, or an evening walk.
If you’re looking to get stuck into some good TV, we can recommend BBC’s Normal People, which is based on the book by Sally Rooney and has certainly got lots of people talking online. Other series worth a watch include Ricky Gervais’ After Life (season one and two are now on Netflix, as is Money Heist, which is proving popular).
The NME website has pulled together a list of ‘overlooked’ series you could try, too.
If you’ve suddenly found yourself doing your day job from home, we suggest maintaining some form of routine – if possible. Create a clutter-free and engaging workspace – even if it’s just at the kitchen table – and try to keep within your usual ‘office hours’.
While it’s tempting to work in your jogging bottoms, putting on something smarter will get you in the right mindset, while ensuring you’re always ready for an impromptu Zoom meeting.
If you’re heading out to work in a hospital, supermarket or in another key job during the pandemic, you may find you’re feeling more anxious than usual. By keeping some normality at home and looking forward to an online catch-up or even a post-dinner dessert, you may be able to find a little more joy in your day.
But you don’t have to head outdoors to exercise. Even if you do something as simple as a half-hour online yoga class on YouTube, you’ll still be moving your body and we promise you’ll feel better for that.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may struggle to doze off to sleep, with anxiety about the virus taking over. Thirty minutes to an hour of daily exercise should help you get some shut-eye, too, meaning you’re more than ready to tackle the following day head-on
If you’re already on your feet throughout the day, spoil yourself with a well-earned rest. We’re all dealing with the pandemic differently and that’s okay.
Speaking of your head, have you considered meditation? It can really help calm your mind when times are a bit tougher.
Headspace is an app and complementing website that can slowly ease you into the art of meditation. You can use the app itself to help you better manage anxiety or simply to find a moment of relaxation during an otherwise busy day.
The site is jam-packed with research-backed stats and facts about how meditation can positively affect your wellbeing. There’s also a section of the site which shows how managers can support their employees? by instilling in them the benefits of meditation.
Try meditation for yourself, if you haven’t already, and discover how it can help improve your mood – and better assist you when navigating this new way of life.
The support of close friends and family is important, particularly now. True, we may not be able to catch up with those closest to us face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect with them.
If you can, make the most of online video calling and schedule some time to chat to those who make you feel happy – whether on FaceTime for a 10-minute call during your lunch break or via Skype for a digital social event, like a quiz.
Complete the tasks that you’ve been putting off
If you’ve been furloughed or you’re working from home, you may be saving at least an hour on your morning and evening commute. With that extra time – up to two hours or so per evening, why not complete some tasks you’ve been putting off?
Now’s the perfect time to declutter (we love the KonMari method); compare prices on energy rates to find the best deal, or start work on that novel that, until now, has just been the seed of an idea in your head.
You may even find your normal working hours (at a school, for example) have reduced, so use the time how you see fit. But don’t get too bogged down by social media to always be productive; sometimes we all need to take it easy. Our tips may not work for everyone and we fully understand that; you do what’s right for you.
Reassess how you bank
Is your bank account working as hard for you as it might? Or perhaps you’re entitled to financial support from the Government if you’re self-employed; if you haven’t already, it’s worth checking this out.
The lockdown might also encourage you to reassess how you bank.
While some of us are spending less on takeaway coffees, shop-bought sandwiches, and our daily commute to work, this could be the time to put some money aside for a rainy day.
Maybe you’d like to build up a nest egg for the future or get on the property ladder. There are a host of accounts available to help you manage your money, so consider doing your research to find the best one for you.
You could cut back on spending on non-essential items, too. You’ll be surprised how much money you’ll save when you put your mind to it – and with nowhere to go but the supermarket or work, many of us will have the chance to put a little extra money aside.
Want to chat to the Kingston Unity about our savings products? Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team and we’d be more than happy to help.