MENTAL WELLNESS

It’s a Tuesday. I work from home, and reconcile credit card receipts from a colleague’s trip interstate. It’s bizarre. It’s from another time. A time where people could freely travel. Where they could eat out in restaurants and cafes, and wander through galleries.

It seems surreal. It seems so long ago, but it was only three weeks ago. It was right on the end of the unrestricted life.

Now we live in a different world. I believe it’s temporary, but it’s going to last long enough that it feels more… semi-permanent. It’s a new normal. For now, anyway.

At times it overwhelms me. As an introvert, the self-isolation isn’t completely foreign. As someone who has had a business on the side of my employment for five years, working from home is comfortingly familiar.

But the situation still gets to me at times. The uncertainty. The financial stress that I see others going through. The ignorance of people who still don’t understand that you can pass this virus on to others even if you have no symptoms.

There’s some things I’m doing to help me through. 

🎧 I’ve started listening to ‘LoFi’ music. Someone recommended listening to it while you work or study, and it’s been somewhat of a game changer. I like a little background noise when I work, but it can’t be anything with lyrics or I get too distracted and end up singing along. LoFi is a little jazzy, can be a little hip-hoppy, and is often made just for studying or working. If you listen via YouTube, playlists are often accompanied by sweet artwork that is also nice to have in the background and unlikely to distract you.

📰 I’ve started checking in just once per day with the news to keep across the latest developments. The Guardian Australia is my choice of media outlet. Once a day is plenty, any more than that and I feel too surrounded by it.

📱 I’m limiting my social media consumption, and when I choose to go on it, I set a timer so that I don’t fall into the endless scroll.

🚶‍♀️ I make sure I go out for a walk each day. Even if it is just around the block. I also make sure I spend at least ten minutes outside per day. I open windows and doors where possible to let fresh air in.

🚿 I shower and dress every morning. I definitely dress down, but starting my day like this helps me feel more normal.

⏱ Because I work from home, for an employer, three days a week, this leaves four days per week to work in my own business and on other projects. On the days that I don’t work for my employer, I find that there are so many things I want to do, and so much opportunity now, that it can be overwhelming. I’ve made a list of all the projects that I might choose to do, but sometimes the fact that there is so much choice makes picking something difficult. So I changed my mindset around this, and I now think to myself, ‘What am I going to do for the next 30 minutes?’ Another game changer. When this virus first hit, I used to try to take things one day at a time. Now even that is too much! But taking it half an hour at a time is far more doable. It means I’m not committing a huge chunk of time to one thing, and then wondering which is the best ‘one thing’ to devote that chunk of time to. Instead, I’m just giving a small amount of time to something. And if it’s not feeling good after 30 minutes, I can switch to something else.

🎁 I’m also an advocate of giving yourself a little treat here and there, as your budget allows. My partner and I are supporting local businesses by having a takeaway or delivery meal once a week. And I bought some stationery goodies for myself. These aren’t huge purchases for me, but having some little anomalies in your week can stop the Groundhog Day feeling that otherwise might creep in during this self-isolation period. It gives you a little something to look forward to, to break up the monotony!

I’d love to know if anyone else is doing any of these things, or other things that are helping in this weird time?

Two Kikki K stationery items, one titled Paper Lover's book and the other titled All of the stickers

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