Everyone’s talking about safeguarding our mental health during lockdown, but how do we look after our well-being and still get our jobs done? Here are our top five tips for looking after yourself while you’re looking after your business.
We’re in lockdown for another three weeks at least, so it’s worthwhile taking time to create an environment that’s pleasant to work in. If possible, create a designated workspace where you can avoid interruptions behind a closed door. At isCompliant, we also believe that a tidy desk creates a tidy mind (https://blog.iscompliant.com/tidying-up-the-world/), so do get rid of clutter, too. Having some sense of order in our immediate visual environment promotes calm and underpins a welcome feeling of control – valuable when you feel in control of very little else. At the end of your day, close your laptop and put away papers. If you’ve the luxury of your own room to work, shut everything down and close the door behind you, mimicking the ‘decompression’ of a commute home.
Lockdown with family can leave you feeling alone in a crowded room. Make sure that you connect with colleagues regularly – your anchor to a world outside where you’re valued and respected. That connection doesn’t just support your own mental health, but your colleagues’ too. Recreate ‘water-cooler chat’ by choosing phone over email at least once a day. If you, or others in the team are feeling overwhelmed, ‘pledge partnering’ is invaluable: contact a colleague and exchange a promise to deliver on a daunting task by a set time. Check in at the end of the day and you’ll find both of you have achieved it. If you’re an isCompliant user, you’ll have human connection on tap, as you’ll have a dedicated support team (of real people) behind you, by phone and email. https://blog.iscompliant.com/got_your_six_help_and_support/
Because your personal space is now your workspace, it’s even more important to create structure in your day. Set start and finish times for work, let the family know what these are, and stick to them. Resist the temptation to work late one day, randomly quit early on other days, or attempt to blend home-life and work-life together. Mixing things up means loved ones no longer know where you are in your schedule, while – for you – work and home blend into one exhausting cycle. Multi-tasking becomes multi-failing, and we’ve written about this elsewhere. https://blog.iscompliant.com/mindfulness-%EF%BB%BFwhy-iscompliant-is-the-jedi-way/ Take scheduled breaks with your partner or family – meeting around the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner will help you stay close while strongly underlining the fact you’re working at other times. Observing positive rituals like these keeps distinctions clear and can support not only our own mental health, but the emotional resilience of the ones we love, too.
Productivity experts the world over advocate the ‘dress to shoes’ technique if you want to get things done (https://blog.iscompliant.com/what-mark-twain-knew-about-productivity-at-work/). Not only does this aid productivity, but supports mental health. Getting washed and properly dressed (including shoes) helps us transition from sleep, creates a sense of order, and can resolve the ‘unnamed dread’ we might feel in the mornings right now. If you normally wear a lanyard to work, consider even putting that on. This especially lets kids know you’re working without saying so. At the end of the day, change from your day clothes and by all means shuffle into ‘pre-jamas’. Not only will this help you leave work pressure behind you, but it’ll send out a visual message to your family that you’re now available.
Even though you may think you don’t have time, research has repeatedly proven that those who take breaks are far more productive than those who don’t. In addition, taking breaks for movement, exercise and time outdoors, has a profound effect on physical and emotional wellbeing, releasing endorphins, managing depression, and boosting our immune systems. Think you don’t have time for breaks? It’s worthwhile remembering that any minute now, the wellbeing of many other people may rely on you. And you can’t help others if you’re struggling yourself. So, step up and put your own mental and physical health first, so that you’ll be able to support others when they need you most. There’s a reason that aircraft safety cards tell us to fit our own oxygen mask first. And that advice has never been more apt than it is right now.
Lockdown is the perfect opportunity to approach your business in a new way, using isCompliant. Helping you work effectively from home, and creating structures that support both your own well-being and the resilience of your business, we’re offering a 60 day free trial to get you through lockdown and back on track.
Get your free trial here: https://www.iscompliant.com/free-trialTags: iscompliant, lockdown, mental health, work environment