Global economic recession is on our heads as I write this article.
Every article getting published these days talks more or less around these three words. Which industries are going to be hit, what to expect, how to make the best of your savings, how businesses can tackle these hard times, and whatnot.
LinkedIn. Twitter. Facebook. Every social media platform is jam packed with these kinds of articles.
But there’s one other recession we should be afraid of.
As countries and countries around the world are closing down their non-essential places, locking down entire states, cities, to fight against this unprecedented situation; people are asked to social distance themselves for their own sake.
While the words ‘social distancing’ were music to my ears, and the idea of being in my comfort zone at my house working, writing, and editing, sounded magical, the reality was not so. I am sure you would agree to this if you’ve been in isolation for more than a week.
Humans are social creatures and we are hardwired to be in touch with people, form new relations, all of us. Even the introverts.
So social distancing being opposite of what we are used to, it is natural that it will have some effects on us. And it does.
It affects your mental, physical and physiological health.
“Short periods of Isolation can cause increased anxiety or depression ‘within days’”, said Dhruv Khullar, a physician and researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. This is what being alone or in self-isolation can or is doing to people mentally. Additionally, according to John Vincent, a clinical psychologist at the University of Houston, people get lethargic when they don’t have positive inputs into their small worlds. Meaning it is going to hit people physically as well.
I don’t mean to scare you with this, but unless and until we don’t know what’s in store for us with this indefinite lockdown and social distancing, we won’t be able to take the right measures to keep our sanity intact during these times.
To help professionals working from their homes or people in general, we decided to address this situation in our weekly tech updates section, and talk about the effects this situation can have on us and how to get through this without losing our minds.
Since we’ve already talked about how it can affect us in the beginning, and I don’t want to go into details here as it can trigger something bad in their minds, let’s dive right into the good part.
How to Deal with Social Distancing like a Wizard
Because sometimes all we need is a little magic.
- First and foremost would be to create a structure around your life. Your daily routine. Since everything happening in the outside world is unpredictable, you will need something that you can predict and rely on.
- For this, create a daily plan if you can. And we strictly recommend you not to work crazy hours just because you have it handy or the laptop is lying right beside you. Set a work schedule, let’s say 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM, and then set your exercise routine around your work schedule. You can set aside some hours to cook, write, learn something new like a language or skill, anything that you are or were passionate about. Dive deep into your childhood and teenage dreams and see what it is that you still love and would like to learn. All of this would give you something to look forward to and at the end of this, who knows, you might become an artist or a cook.
- At the beginning of your work day, make a list of tasks that you want to accomplish during the day.
- When we say a list of tasks, it should not have tasks that can last longer than a day. And even if you have a big task, break it down into smaller tasks. Make sure you are ticking off the tasks as you complete them. This will create a sense of victory, small but crucial in times like these, and help you stay upbeat and motivated throughout the day. Also, if your tasks include being dependent on other departments or team members, make sure they are available that day and then put that particular task on your list. Because you don’t want more than 2-3 tasks pending on your list at the end of the day. Ideally, the number should be 0 but if it’s more than 2-3 tasks, then it can create a negative psychological impact that we DON’T want at all. So, keep your goals realistic and achievable, especially during this period.
- Other best practices for working from home:
- Don’t work all over the house. Create a dedicated space for your laptop or workstation and work from there. And specifically, avoid working from your bedroom. It is counterproductive, bad for mental as well as physical health.
- Don’t rush through your meals to get to that email or that task or that call. Eat your food mindfully so that this situation doesn’t affect your metabolism badly.
- Go watch sunsets. Click those beautiful pictures and share them on your social media accounts. Even though you have that last task pending, we encourage you to get up, go to your terrace or balcony, and watch that beautiful yellow ball sink into the abyss. This not only calms your mind, but centers you to better concentrate on your work. If you are a morning person, watch sunrises too!
- Keep in constant touch with your colleagues. We all are in this together. Especially, if you know someone who lives alone, talk to them. Take 2 mins out of your busy routine and ask your colleagues how they are doing and handling this situation. What music they are listening to, or which movie they watched on the weekend. This will create a bond between the entire team as well as organization which can help the overall productivity of the company.
- Set reminders to drink water as well as to stretch. Walk around the room to give your body that necessary movement and your eyes that rest. Plus your body the fluids it requires to function.
- Schedule regular calls with your loved ones or get in touch with that old buddy of yours. This is the best time to work on our relationships. The Internet can’t replace or substitute what us humans require; physical touch, face to face interactions, but it can definitely help in these difficult times.
These hard times won’t last forever, but until they are gone, let’s stay strong and practice social distancing with the right attitude.
When all of this is over, don’t rush yourself into things and social situations. Don’t start hogging junk food at the first chance. Your mind and body would have, by then, gotten used to the current situation. And if you throw yourself at the speed of light into the opposite environment, it is not going to end well for you.
The transition will be hard, harder than you can imagine, and we will have to take baby steps towards the future. So, even though we are all eagerly waiting for all of this to get over, to meet our loved ones, eat our favorite dishes, visit that favorite spot, it will all have to wait a little bit longer. For your own good.
Till then let’s stay at home, practice social distancing, and keep rocking!