It's ok to laugh: How to cope in your bubble
Wherever we look these days, there’s a reminder of COVID-19 everywhere. It’s in our emails, on social media, on the radio and in the news. Unfortunately, it’s also at the forefront of our minds while we’re working from home. But know that you are not alone in this, and by doing what Kiwis do best, we will get through this together. Here are some practical tips to help you get through while working from home inside your bubble:
Home can be a good place to work if you can stick to your work routine the best you can. Keep work and private life separate as much as possible and continue to act like you’re still going to work. Set up your office, get into your uniform and take work breaks. Having work-personal boundaries helps us to maintain focus and efficiency. It also reduces anxiety about working from home. Ideally, try to do a fun activity every day “after” work or during a “break.” Remember that it is okay to laugh.
Amazing that we can save lives by working from home! A great way to safely expand your bubble is with video calls, regular calls or pigeon mail to people outside of your bubble. Even office banter is fair game, as it helps us feel less secluded from our co-workers. There’s nothing like a good laugh.
Be realistic in your expectations and be kind to yourself and others. In these uncharted waters, we may feel less productive, more distracted and like we are underperforming. Therefore, it’s important to remember to make the best out of a bad situation. Focus on what you can actively achieve and put aside what’s out of your control.
Inner peace. Make sure you take time out for yourself, as you may feel restless, irritated or hopeless at times. Working from home means you might be spending a lot of time with flatmates or whānau. Make sure to let each other know when you’d like some me-time. Here’s a great mindfulness technique: Plant your feet firmly on the ground, take slow deep breaths and notice what’s around you. Connect to where you are at that moment. It’s okay to take care of yourself because it means you can take better care of others too.
Take charge of what you can control. A great way to identify stressors is to journal how you feel. Take 15 minutes each day to write down what’s on your mind - the good, the bad and the ugly. Make sure to leave off on a good note and write what you’re grateful for today, such as petting your dog or cat while you’re working. This is a great way to shift your focus from what’s out of your control to things you can do.
Let’s make a habit of taking care of ourselves and others.
Noho ora mai
Sander Sollie M.Sc. Clin.Psych.
Sander is a Clinical Psychologist at Habit in Wellington