What do Mars Bars and working from home have in common?
With most of the global population self-isolating in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are struggling to adjust to a new routine that might feel a little alien to them.
Back in 2009, I had a pretty bad skiing accident that took me out of action for more than six months. Not only was I confined to my home and unable to move, but the road to recovery was a slow one, and after an initial period of six months where I was unable to move at all, I needed to adjust to life on crutches.
Instead of gaining weight and waiting for my mental health to fall into decline, I dedicated myself to recover from my situation even stronger than I was – and I did just that.
Freelance translators are among the professionals that are most equipped and accustomed to working from home. However, for anyone, when it comes to prolonged periods of isolation, these three words act as an important set of guidelines to instill a little normality and ensure that we give our bodies and minds everything we need to stay healthy – work, rest, play (yes, like the iconic strapline from Mars bar!)
Let me explain…
Work is an integral part of who we are and has a massive impact on our sense of self-worth. As the MD for TTC wetranslate, I felt helpless to support my team and business in the first few weeks following my accident.
For those of you who are in self-isolation and not able to carry out your usual work responsibilities from home, why not use the time to learn something new that could support your career once things return to normal?
The Open University is offering more than a thousand free online courses right now, so why not brush up on your business negotiation skills or even try out a beginner’s language course to help you better communicate with overseas clients?
For a full list of available courses that can help fill the time you would usually assign to work, click here.
One of my favourites is Google Digital Garage – it offers several free courses and some even comes with certifications! Click here to boost your knowledge and resume.
Structure and routine are important to keep our minds active and bodies healthy, so after a few hours of work or study, make sure you take the time for a rest.
Take a long bath, watch a documentary that you’ve been meaning to catch up with or read a book that’s been hanging around the house for months.
Many forms of exercise can be carried out in the home, so get inventive with your usual routine and keep active.
From using tins of baked beans as weights to taking up yoga in your living room with a little help from the many YouTube videos available, just because we need to stay away from our usual gym doesn’t mean that we can’t release some feel-good endorphins with a little imagination and a few household items.
Also, please benefit from these five golden rules of mine, that kept me healthy during my isolation. I am not saying that you should do that even if I did not – I am telling you that I did it and it worked:
- Have a fixed mealtime
- Have a fixed snack time (Don’t say you do not snack – almost everyone does. If you do not snack, that’s okay, but if you decide to snack, then follow a schedule so as not to feel guilty.)
- Move around every 1 hour (There are a lot of apps or smartwatches that tells you to do that already.)
- Do not eat in front of your screens (This includes your PC, laptop, tablet, TV, telephone… do not eat in front of any screens.)
- Have two daily routine exercises (This can be walking, running, home workouts, meditation… believe that you can do most exercises in your home.)