Lockdown Survival Guide - How I Find Balance at Home

 


Here we go again, folks. If you also live in Ontario, we are now in lockdown for the next 28-or-so days (maybe less, depending on what city you reside in). While this is not unfamiliar territory for us, I know it still comes with its challenges. Maybe the words ‘stir crazy’ spring to mind for you, as well.

In all honesty, I don’t know how I’d function without some kind of routine because It’s ingrained into who I am as a person. I like to think this quirky trait of mine is what has helped me to stay somewhat sane throughout this pandemic. Though one could also argue that it’s because I’ve been working in the comfort of my home for a little over 5 years now. Plus I’ve always been a bit of a homebody. If the lockdown has you feeling like you’re in limbo, I have a few tips to make this next month spent indoors a bit more tolerable.





Play Dress Up – My days always start with a trip to the closet. I get up & dressed the same time I would have if I were commuting to the office. Some days I also put on a bit of makeup, other days I keep it simple with just my usual skincare routine; either way, I like feeling put together because it because it helps me feel ‘ready’ for my day.
While I’m that weirdo who slips on jeans every day, getting ‘ready’ can still mean changing out of your pajamas to your daytime sweats, or whatever outfit makes you feel good. If you want to wear that cocktail dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion, I’m all for it (I also encourage subbing in slippers for stilettos).


Balance Not Burnout  If you’re working from home it’s easy to fall into a slump of sleeping in & working late. As someone who has been at-home employee for quite some time, I cannot stress the importance of creating dedicated office hours for yourself.  I work a typical 9-5 of sorts, which comes with having scheduled breaks. At the end of my shift, I hang up my headset and work mode is turned off for the day. Though for some their 'office hours' have changed wherein the could be working later than their usual schedule.

If you have a bit more leniency with when you clock in & out, I recommend defining your own hours; don't spread yourself thin by working all day long. We always talk about work/life balance, and in these times we're facing it's so important to draw a firm line between these two worlds. Burnout is real, folks. Remember to take breaks, feed yourself, and unplug at the end of the workday. I leave my work in my office, and you should too.

Move Your Body This is a piece of advice I’m often reminding myself to do, because while I love & crave routine, regular exercise is something I tend to neglect.

We all need to dedicate time for movement; whether you go for a run/walk, practice some yoga, or have a kitchen dance party while you wait for the oven to preheat. Whatever gets your blood pumping, use it to give yourself those feel-good endorphins. Personally, I notice a need for movement because my mental health vastly improves when I engage in physical activity, especially during the winter seasons when my anxiety/depression tends to be at its worst.

Note: please remember that a desire to exercise does not have to be motivated by a desire to lose weight.  A person’s level of activity is not an indicator of their health; any mentality that says otherwise is toxic, and it is not a topic of discussion I welcome on my page. 



Stay in Touch – This one feels like a no-brainer, but I feel it’s another sentiment that tends to feel ‘easier said than done’.  My weekends were always dedicated to socializing, and obviously I’m not partaking in any in-person hangouts these days. My friends and I started playing The Jackbox Party Pack games together online over Discord every Saturday night (versions 3, 5 & 7 are the best ones, IMO). It was easy for us to adapt to a ‘virtual’ format because these games were something we did regularly when we were all together in the before-times.  But if online games aren’t your thing, you can still find other things to do together while you’re apart:


Regardless of how you choose to connect, please remember to check-in on your loved ones (including your ‘strong’ friends). This pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health & wellbeing of so many, and it’s easy to feel alone when you’re quite literally isolated from one another.
So how do you show love from a distance? It could be as simple as a phone call, offering to pickup some groceries, or even dropping off a home-cooked meal to show someone you’re thinking of them.


I truly hope these tips help you, or someone you love to feel more at home & less alone. Please take care, and let’s hope for a better outlook in 2021.

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