Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 or so weeks you’d know that greater Sydney and some other parts of NSW are in lockdown at the moment, and as of today the lockdown has been extended until the coming week.
As you might’ve found, lockdown can be extremely demotivating and can have serious effects on mental health and can also have an effect on your work life as well. So the big question is… how can you stay motivated and take care of your mental health while being confined to your home during these times.
Get some exercise!
Instead of your morning coffee break or breakfast with your colleagues when at the office, try going for a walk or doing some exercises from home.
Exercise is one of the best natural ways to destress and blow off some steam. Going for a 5-10 minute walk or a bike ride can really help you to destress and even help give some room for the brain to think and come up with that great idea you’ve been looking for.
Try doing some push ups or sit ups to burn off those snacks you’ve been having for “energy”. For me personally, during the previous lockdown of 2020, I started doing push ups daily, it seriously felt great to see results and to have a way of getting some natural serotonin and dopamine. This article further explains the benefits of exercise for the brain.
Invest in a mat from your local sports store to stretch out your body when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed but hey, yoga might not be your thing, you do you! Honestly though, the hardest part is getting through that front door or getting that first session going and eventually you might find that exercise becoming a part of your daily routine!
Learn a new skill
Wouldn’t it be great to come out of lockdown with something new that you’ve learnt to show your friends and family? For example, if you haven’t always been the best in the kitchen, learn some recipes for dishes you love to eat when out for lunch or dinner.
Cooking is also a great way to destress and I think it’s undeniable that eating your favourite food while reading over some work notes or while on a break from the keyboard has to feel good, but hey! Make sure you’re not going overboard and maybe extend that walk or bike ride a bit to make up for those delicious calories you just demolished.
Keep in contact with family and friends
Make a call!
I think some of us are forgetting that we are literally all in this together and checking up on a friend over the phone or calling up some family you haven’t spoken to in a while can really bring you and them together, give them a random Facetime or video call when you have some time, it could really brighten up their day to see your face after a while of being confined. It will also definitely bring you some satisfaction that you’re potentially helping them through these tough times.
It can be so easy to get caught up in the world of your work life and slowly lose that level of closeness you have with a friend or family member, so check in on them and have a chat about what’s been going on in recent times. Crack some jokes and have a laugh, you’ll find yourself smiling majority of the time after you e-catch up with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Read some novels or e-books
Some of us may not be bookworms per say and that’s fine, but have you really given it a good crack?
Give it a go!
Getting lost in an imaginary world or learning about a topic that you would have never previously thought of learning about can be amazing. Go online and go through the numerous libraries of online books and find something that appeals to you.
Try reading 5 pages a day when you have some time and hey, you might find yourself hooked. you can really learn some seriously valuable information and get some great ideas for work through books. There are books about literally anything you can think of and with e-libraries you don’t have to go through the trouble of walking through numerous rows of books in a store or library.
Set yourself some goals
Setting short term and long term goals can really provide great motivation for what you’re trying to achieve, you can sometimes find yourself working and not really having a strong direction to where you’re trying to end up.
Write it down!
Write down some short term goals that you’d love to see come to life. Writing down goals can give you some direction towards what you’re actually trying to achieve.
Talk to your employer or manager and discuss some goals that they would like to see you achieve as well.
Keep track of these goals! I cannot stress this enough, check in on how you’re going with what you’re trying to achieve, invest in a notebook or diary to write down how you’re feeling about what you’re doing and to keep track of your progress.
Look, I can’t say that there is a silver bullet answer to becoming the king of lockdown productivity and mental health but these 5 things I believe can really help with the struggles of confinement. Hopefully you go on to use some of these to improve the way you get through lockdown and working from home, and if your ever feeling the pressure of lockdown and working from home becoming too much to deal with please seek help here.