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Creating a new routine - Below The Line

Hello everyone, I wonder if, like us, your working life has changed dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic? Last year, my husband was going out to work and my sons were going out to school and college. My home office was as quiet as it could be with two quite noisy dogs. I was going to tennis, to gym, to theatre in the evenings, to movies, to parkrun, to restaurants.

Then came the pandemic. Everything closed down. I kept working, but our country went on three week lockdown – nobody went to work or school. My son’s college went online and suddenly he was studying from home. My husband and I are both diabetic and I was terrified of him going back to the office after the lockdown so I arranged that he work from home. Notwithstanding the fact that he is now only working two days a week, and salaries aren’t being paid, he is working from home and he has also enrolled in a course, so he is studying from home too. My older son has found a course that he will also be studying online. And while our lockdown has been eased, my husband and I have comorbidities so the whole family is self isolating. We are very scared of catching the virus and doing everything in our power to stay safe, including taking every immune booster we can think of, which takes a great chunk out of the day on its own.

Not to mention that we also now have loadshedding. (rolling black outs for those lucky enough not to know what this is) and are facing a unique challenge – how to get petrol for it when we’re self isolating and don’t want to send friends to make trips on our behalf in case they catch the virus. Any suggestions welcome.

All this can be difficult to navigate specially when your own business has not closed down, and you have clients who worked through the lockdown. So I thought I’d give a few tips about what we did.

  • A new routine. I don’t function well without routine and I was completely thrown by all these changes and fears. I found myself becoming quite non functional. I’m the mother, I guide people, but who is there for me to ask for advice… ? I asked myself, and my advice was to create a new routine. So that is what I did, and it’s working so far. It includes diarising everything and crossing things off the list when they are done.
  • Mindfulness / staying in the moment. This has always been hard for me as a depression and anxiety sufferer. But it’s what needs to happen. You can’t dwell on all the fears and what ifs and what mights. Stay focussed on the task at hand and get it done. (I don’t get this right all the time, but I’m getting better at it).
  • Plan some time to fill your cup. We are two diabetic people living in the epicentre of the virus in our country among non compliant people with my husband’s employer albeit collapsed. I am in the new position of being just about the sole breadwinner which is exceptionally scary. We have blocked out Sunday as our day to recharge our batteries. Time out on the last two Saturdays has given me the energy to face the coming week.

Please feel free to share your own tips.

Stay in the moment