The overriding thought that I ended the weekend with was how routine must form the backbone of the next couple of months, in order for general wellbeing and mental wellbeing to remain in a (relatively) happy place.
Particularly now when it comes to adjusting to working from home it can often seem like the days are all merging into one. You may find yourself forgetting what day of the week it is or checking your watch and realising that that extra "10 minutes" you needed to put in before signing off turned into 3 hours.
Here are some suggestions to help to maintain routine:
1. Start each day with some exercise. Whether it's a fifteen-minute yoga video, a run, a walk, anything will help to awaken your body, in lieu of the exercise involved in getting to the office. This is all part of preparing our brain for the day ahead. Make use of the '1 daily exercise' that we are all allowed - it's a gift from the PM to our mental wellbeing.
2. Start your day with an online video call with colleagues, where you would have been saying hello to them in the office. This not only means you engage with someone, but it's also proven to motivate and help prioritise.
3. Have some breakfast. We likely all have a bit more time than usual now (even if there are children around) and taking the time to be mindful and enjoy some breakfast can bring a small joy to the day in these challenges times.
4. Switch your plans to online. If you were going to meet a friend, or if you had a weekly commitment planned, consider doing this via WhatsApp or Zoom. Maintaining some normality is important. Things that didn't seem possible to do remotely before are becoming possible.
5. Fix a time to "leave work' and leave your laptop in a separate room to where you'll spend your evening winding down. Staying switched on to work all evening might seem productive at first, but in a few weeks time, it'll impact your motivation.
Our new "normal' is best viewed as a marathon, and not a sprint. Stick to plans where possible by moving them to virtual events, create a routine and stick to it. Your mental health will thank you come the summer.