Once upon a time, I had an office.
Like most people, I now find myself working from home every day.
Unlike most people, this is nothing new for me. I am used to working from home and would have previously referred to myself as home based. I even have a dedicated office at home and have over the years, disciplined myself to consider myself in work mode between the hours of 9am and 5pm each day when I am working from my home office.
So why then, at week 5 of the lockdown, am I starting to feel the restrictions of not being able to meet up with my colleagues?
After all, we now have Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams (which may or may not be something to do with my old Skype account) and many other platforms which I am learning to juggle as the calls come in each day. I can see and hear my colleagues when we chat on-line. I am arguably more connected with my customers as I am now delivering video calls rather than an email or phone call.
But it’s not the same is it? Connecting with someone over a web call is just not the same as knocking their office door with a cup of coffee in hand and catching up on what’s been going on.
Having web calls on the hour every hour may be productive in the short term, but I would argue that, even over the relatively short time of 5 -6 weeks, it’s not been particularly good for our mental health.
So what can we do about it?
I am in the fortunate position of working with some of the UKs leading companies in the assistive technology sector. In particular, I have recently had the opportunity of interviewing several companies who are providing specialist programmes and supports relating to wellbeing and emotional and physical resilience.
“I write the right. I do the left.” ― Dominic Riccitello
In an uncharacteristic moment of clarity, I realised that while I have been promoting the importance of developing resilience and wellbeing for the students my company supports, I have neglected to heed my own advice and ensure that I was taking care of my own needs.
If like me, you are reaching the limit of your capacity to effectively function during lockdown, here is a useful resource from Sarah Ashfield at That Thing I Do. This is an excellent resource which is intended primarily for students but Sarah has made a video on ‘Stillness’ especially for us grown ups during the lockdown.
I hope you take 5 minutes to unwind, re-centre and breathe!
You can find Sarah's other videos on the DSA Portal