Updated: Sep 28
You're not "working from home". You're "at your home, during a crisis, trying to work".
This saying has been doing the rounds over the last year, for obvious reasons, but it's really worth remembering when you're in day who-knows-what of lockdown, trying to muster up the motivation to brush your hair for yet another Zoom meeting, while trying to homeschool your kids, who at some point seem to have turned feral, and let's not even talk about the state of the house.
I spent the whole of last week struggling to do more than the bare minimum - motivation had left the building, and I found it difficult to care about anything that I was meant to be doing. It all felt pointless and surreal - every day was Groundhog Day, with no end in sight.
We're wired to cope with stress, to a certain level (that exact level differs for each of us), but we need a period of relief afterwards - the stress response abates, and the nervous system resets before the next trigger.
When we are under long-term stress, where there's no opportunity to come back to our baseline, we're in survival mode, which is obviously not a great place from which to make decisions, or be creative - in fact it's pretty difficult to function at any level beyond the everyday basics. Forgetting things, or struggling to get things done, or being snappy with your family, is completely normal. Cut yourself some slack and know that it's not just you, it's a result of the situation and others are feeling the same way, and having the same challenges.
One of the best things you can do in this situation is lower your expectations. You won't get the level of work productivity at home with everyone else there and other demands on your time, so don't expect to. Your house won't stay clean when you're all there 24/7, so let it go. Your kids will struggle with spending the whole span of a school day doing online learning, so get realistic about what they can do on their own, what you need to help with, and how many hours there are in a day - you're only human!
Get outside for a serotonin and dopamine boost.
Take regular movement breaks.
Read a book instead of a screen.
Eat well and stay hydrated.
Resist the temptation to go overboard on alcohol because you don't have to go anywhere the next day.
All of these everyday strategies are more important than ever but remember you're still "at your home, during a crisis, trying to work", so be kind to yourself and those around you. These are not normal circumstances, but it is normal to be feeling challenged by them!
- If you'd like to check out my online yoga and Pilates options, you can do that here , or you can join my free Facebook group where I share short movement and meditation practices (please make sure you answer the questions - this helps me keep out spammers and bots).
- If you'd like to read more about the science behind why you might be struggling during these times, here's a great article that goes into a bit more depth.