As we navigate this new normal, many of us are experiencing a myriad of emotions. Anxiety, grief, isolation, and depression may be some of the most fore-fronting emotions. There are less interactions happening outside our homes and the limited time spent outside is littered with masks, gloves, and awkward avoidance in a shared aisle of the grocery store. These concerns and more are all valid and a reoccurring discussion within our sessions via Skype- and simultaneously our own lives. Knowing you are not alone in feeling these things can be integral to maintaining a sense of community. However the line between realistic acceptance of the situation and hyper fixation can become blurred when so much time is being spent monitoring the progression of this horrible disease from our couch cushions.
One of the best ways to combat this fixation is to limit your news consumption- this includes social media! If you are continuously bombarded with statistics regarding “the curve” it is only natural that you will become stressed with conflicting sources of information. Turn the news off or set aside fifteen minutes each morning to watch the news and then continue about your day.
Remaining motivated while working from home can be incredibly difficult. Try and integrate a sense of routine in your day, even though your commute time may be eliminated, orient your morning around a healthy breakfast and a cup of tea. Continue showering and brushing your teeth each day- although this may seem silly, this will maintain a sense of normalcy and keep depression at bay. And most importantly get out of your pajamas! Although you may not need to wear the suit and tie while working from home, those pants with the holes in the pockets certainly won’t help you focus on your company goals. Clothes help set the tone for your mindset, make sure you are not inadvertently setting yourself for a gloomy day.
Stay connected with others. Although we are living in unprecedented times, we are also living in an unprecedented time for communication and connection. Download zoom or the Houseparty app, both of these features can connect you friends and loved ones. Set aside half an hour at the end of your day to unwind and speak with someone you care about. In the same way that a healthy diet is needed to stay well, social interaction should not be neglected.
Most importantly, remember to be easy on yourself. Your goals may not (and in most cases shouldn’t) look the same as they did pre-quarantine. If the biggest thing you accomplished today was reorganizing one of your kitchen cabinets, congratulate yourself! Finding time to do a seemingly small task amid these uncontrollable factors is something to celebrate. Take frequent breaks if you need to and remind yourself this will pass, it cannot last forever.