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We’re living through very strange and challenging times.

In the span of  just a few weeks, the world as we knew it has changed. Without much warning the whole world has been plunged into uncertainty and  in Britain toilet rolls became more valuable than fine champagne. As panic buying struck the nation and news of lock-down was announced; with it, our perception of “reality” changed.

The first few days of lock-down saw a string of families posting photographs of their neat homes and well groomed children sitting at their dining table completing colourfully timetabled homework. Proud parents boasted how they were taking an organised approach to home education and how they were managing batch cooking, working from home and educating their children whilst still having time to blog and pursue crafting hobbies.   However, a few weeks in and the novelty of lock-down has vanished for most and suddenly social media is awash with the reality of screaming children, sibling fights and that peace and quiet is as rare as hens teeth.

I saw lots of adverts at the beginning of lockdown for learning new skills from home, home working tips and even attire for home working. As a long term home worker and home educator I smiled at most of these adverts and predicted that what really needed to be advertised was safety netting for home workers and educators who would be climbing the walls within a matter of weeks.

It is certain that the initial news of Coronavirus  created an incredible wave of turmoil and fear and this created a series of distractions based upon fear, such as stockpiling and consequent stories of more food waste than ever before. The fear, anxiety and stress of being stuck in has caused many issues, including problems with mental health.

With five children at home and a living to earn, I understand that challenges of being stuck in and the turbulence of home working and I try to employ some minimal self-care practices to ensure personal well-being and balance.

1) Express gratitude

Whenever, I feel myself getting low and reflecting upon what I don’t have I write a list of all the things I am grateful for. I also do this practice with my older children when they are feeling discontented. Focusing on gratitude takes your mind away from all the negativity that sucks your energy away and it’s a great way of shifting your attention away from the negative to the positive.

2) Be in the moment

After all, that’s all we really have…even more so now. We all spend a lot of time in our heads and it is possible to start reflecting over uncertain or dark scenarios, I find that spending some time in nature and getting away from the screen is very important.

3) Meditate

I don’t get the time to do long meditations, indeed there are too many children in my home to embark on long baths, meditations or even leisurely visits to the toilet, but I find paying attention to my breath is an easily achievable form of meditation.

 

How to do it….

Simply become aware of your breath (is it fast or calm? is it deep or shallow?) and work your way to a deep, slow, gentle breathing. Spending a few minutes doing this helps with clarity, calmness and energy levels.

 

4) Watch your thoughts

This comes full circle with the other ones!

What you think influences everything and I think it’s really important to stay positive

 

5) Disconnect to reconnect

I find that in our modern times of technology it is really easy to become distracted. I could get interrupted every five to ten minutes when writing if I allowed myself to check my e-mail account, check social media and news channels. I think it’s important to refrain from checking the news and your feed every five minutes. No one has enough mental strength to handle such a constant stream of interruption and it really affects creativity and productivity.

 

Home working can be great as long as you set achievable goals and plan sensibly, balancing out the pleasures of life with the work that needs to be done!