How your home can help you maintain balance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit UK residents hard, with a nationwide lockdown being implemented and Government guidance recommending the population stays at home to avoid potentially contracting or spreading this Coronavirus. With everybody house bound, whether working from home, home-schooling or having been furloughed from their jobs, the situation has highlighted just how important our homes are to us and how versatile they can be in terms of space for work, rest and play.
Covid-19 ‘Stay at Home’ anxiety:
Essentially, we’ve all been forced into spending more time in our homes, which has a certain negative connotation and feeling of imprisonment. When this ‘lockdown’ was first implemented, many people started to feel even more uncertain or fearful about what’s to come due to the drastic nature of the government guidance. For many, this anxiety has been heightened due to the sudden drop in social contact (due to self-isolation or just remote working). Laura Hawryluck, a critical care physician and associate professor at the University of Toronto explained this very well in a recent interview:
“We don’t realise just how social beings we are until that contact is reduced or diminished because we can’t leave our homes.”
It is clear that staying at home isn’t the ‘dream scenario’ many people often purported to prior to Covid-19. However, if you’re self-quarantining for any reason, working from home, or just feeling anxious about being ‘stuck’ at home for the foreseable future, there are numerous ways to prepare yourself, beyond buying the local supermarket’s entire supply of toilet paper and pasta. We’ll explore some of these below.
Tailor your work environment making the most of your home:
There have been numerous articles focussed on the huge importance of utilising your environment effectively when working from home, with advice on waking up at normal times and even getting dressed for the day ahead as you normally would – and this stretches further into all aspects of staying at home. If you are working from home, the first thing to do is ensure your work environment is suitable for achieving the level of productivity you would achieve should you be in your office or your standard working environment.
For many this has meant repurposing one of the houses rooms as a dedicated ‘office’ or ‘study’ to work from, ensuring you can avoid the temptation to spend the day on the sofa (or even worse, in bed) with a laptop for 8 hours. This may also require new furniture, a dedicated desk for example, and all the relevant equipment you need from PCs and Laptops, right down to Wi-fi, chairs and lighting. Separating this space from the space within which you relax, and the space you eat in ensures you can compartmentalise your work from your ‘relaxation’ time and ensure you keep a healthy balance when working from home.
The living room as a classroom:
For those with children, home-schooling can be challenging at the best of times, especially if your home is not set up to cater for the wide array of needs of children of varying ages. Schools have been crafted and engineered across generations of learning, and turning your home into a dedicated classroom isn’t going to happen easily. Much like the working from home set up, looking to have a dedicated ‘desk’ space (or table) children can work on their writing and numeracy from is a useful feature, and minimising distractions (the temptation to have the television on in the background etc) is a vital step in the right direction. However, allowing children breaks and an opportunity to burn off energy in the garden is of equal importance, where the space allows. We’ve written before about the value of fresh air, countryside living and beautiful garden space, and this is certainly coming to the fore as we’re restricted to spending time in our homes and outdoors. For those with limited access to the outdoors, or who are self-isolating/quarantining, initiatives like Joe Wicks’ 9am PE Classes delivered via YouTube allow some fun and structure to the ‘school’ day whilst also encouraging exercise. There are also a plethora of resources featuring online activities, crafts and other ideas to help bring out children’s creative sides.
Some parents are finding that a timetable aligned to the existing school day is helpful, whilst others are being more flexible whilst ensuring their children are still hitting the necessary milestones – in this situation, parents really have to do what works best for them, but having dedicated spaces to do these in within the home is still essential.
Take advantage of your one piece of exercise/day:
With government guidance allowing one piece of outdoor exercise per day (socially distanced of course), homes located in countryside locations offer access to gardens and local walks which really can contribute to a positive mental and physical wellbeing. This exercise can also be used to break up the work or home-school day, and can help refresh and reset the mind. With the timeliness of the weather being pleasant, there’s a real opportunity to take full advantage of using the garden as an additional room of the house for your daily exercise. There are many home workouts available online, including yoga, pilates, HIIT and more. Being outdoors in the sunshine can also help with getting some immune-system-boosting vitamin D.
Whilst spending more time in your home can be enjoyable having prepared fully for working or schooling from home, our social interactions are still important to us and ensuring you maintain a certain level of this (even from a distance) will help you avoid resenting the wonderful space within which you live. As per the quote from Laura Hawryluck earlier, as humans we are very social creatures, so utilising technology to bridge the gap in social interactions is just as much part of the experience as setting your environment. Many of our homes come with smart-technology which can potentially be utilised for communicating with loved ones. Many people are using their mobile devices, tablets, home office laptops and PCs and even their smart devices (like Amazon Alexa and Google Home) to communicate with their family, friends and work colleagues during the lockdown through phone calls, video calls, messaging and social media.
Clarendon Homes – Love Your Home…
There’s a reason we do what we do, and now more than ever that has a value. We want you to truly love your home. Loving your home as an environment that allows you to work, rest and play during these challenging times really will help you and your family get through the current crisis positively and we strongly believe that our homes can facilitate this. We wish you all the very best during these challenging times and hope that these tips have helped inspire you to love your home.
Our Covid-19 Update:
Due to the current Covid-19 situation and guidelines from the government, the office is now operating on a skeletal team who are working from home. They can be contacted by phone and on firstname.lastname@example.org during work hours 8am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday. Our construction sites are now closed for they safety of our work force. House viewings and site visits are postponed until further notice. If you are currently purchasing a house from us, please contact us with any queries you may have.
We thank you for your understanding, and hope you can all make the most of your homes during these challenging times.