By Suzanne Traynor @traynors
Associate Professor in Mental Health (Practice) My Care Academy
Having to change the way we learn and work has been challenging. For some, spending long periods alone can result in feeling lonely and isolated as our day to day contact with friends and work colleagues no longer happens. We have had to adapt to these changing patterns of work and learning abruptly and now that we are more than a month into this new way of living, it is a good time to reflect on what is working for us and what we may need to change.
Having a routine to your day is a good idea. For me, one of the greatest challenges has been that my working life has started to fill my time seven days a week. Maintaining space between work and personal time ensures that we have sufficient time to take care of our own health needs.
Finding a space to work at home is also challenging, but even a small table in the corner of the room will enable you to focus on your work and learning when needed, whilst also being able to step away from your work at the end of your day.
Keeping physically active despite the restrictions will ensure that we maintain our overall wellbeing and there is a huge range of free online classes available through the NHS; click here to have a look. Why not try one new activity this week?
Feeling connected to our friends and family is an important part of many people’s mental health and wellbeing. However, the reality of spending all day indoors with family members can lead to an increase in tensions and stress. Making time for yourself to restart an old hobby or try a new one could help to alleviate these tensions. Click here for some great ideas.
Keeping in touch with our wider social network is also important and in this digital age it has never been easier. The popularity of Zoom has been mainly attributed to the ease of use and no cost option, and it is amongst several softwares that are enabling small and large groups of friends and colleagues to keep connected and support each other.
Not everyone’s personal circumstance is the same. For some people, despite living with family members, being able to connect with friends and colleagues is as important to them as to the person who lives alone. Reach out and support each other and don’t make assumptions about people’s personal circumstances.
Making time to chat with friends and family throughout the week is important for those of us with the opportunity to do this. Being able to share our worries and concerns is crucial for many people’s wellbeing. Managing our feelings and emotions in these times may require us to learn new skills and strategies and mindfulness can be a great technique for those of us struggling with anxiety or feelings of stress.
Finally, this remote way of living will not be forever and taking care of our wellbeing and those around us has never been more important. If you can, reach out and offer support and friendship to others. Just as importantly, let people know if you are struggling as there is a huge amount of support available.
Click on the link for our infographic: MyCA Top tips for learning and working at home