Working from home during lockdown

Lockdown in our homes is something that most of us here in the UK have never experienced before these last two weeks.

How are we all coping? How is affecting our mental and physical health?

What has stayed the same during this time?

Working from home isn’t an entirely new situation for me; for the last eleven years I have worked from home.  That doesn’t mean that I have been at home very single day, but I have a home office, which is where I’m based. 

I have an office in our spare bedroom, where I can work in peace.

In some ways, I’m used to working alone. I’m a single child, with no children, and very few living relatives.  Conrad, my husband is my whole family, along with several friends who I choose as my family.

Also, during my career, I have only worked in a fixed place for a very short period of the 44 years I’ve had in employment (including 14 years self-employed). Most days I was out travelling around visiting different schools.

I’ve always had great support from business buddies, but what is more noticeable at the moment, is the number of people offering help, which is wonderful.

What’s different?

 The biggest change for me is not being able to physically see people.

I’m a hugger, and I miss the human contact, of seeing someone’s smile, or hearing them laugh.

My husband is now at home with me too, and luckily, we enjoy each other’s company. I do find him a bit of a distraction, and  he has to put up with me hugging him on many occasions during the day!

I’m also saving money on the amount of coffee I buy when I’m out and about meeting people.

What have I learnt about myself?

 Although I am well past retirement age, the lockdown has reinforced why I don’t want to retire.  I love the buzz of business and the engagement with others. Not having a big family, or children, I therefore don’t have grandchildren to help look after, or visit, so I need a purpose in life, and working gives me that.   

I recognise there may come a point when I may not run a business, but I will still be able to write, visit friends, and hopefully, I can always work for a charity.

Interacting with other people gives me energy, without that contact, I know I would become very inward looking, and I think my mental state would be badly affected.

What am I doing during the days for business?

  • I work on my social media each day; FB pages; Linkedin; Instagram and when I remember, Twitter. Normally I schedule FB posts, but as I’m at home, I’m working on them as each day comes.
  • I write blogs for other businesses, so I work on those to ensure they are ready for the clients’ deadlines.
  • Edit my writer-mentee’s writing, and continue to support them via online video platforms.
  • Support business owners who want their writing edited/ checked.
  • Planning and writing my own blogs.
  • Writing my own book.
  • Writing poetry.

What am I doing for myself to relax?

  • My personal writing; poetry, and my books 
  • Exercise is NOT my favourite thing in life, and never has been.  However, I’ve made a playlist of tracks that I can’t help but dance to, and use that to do some physical exercise to – for about 30 minutes.
  • We go for local walks in the sunshine for about an hour.
  • We chat and laugh – a lot!
  • Listen to music.
  • Play the piano.
  • Catch up on TV programs. I love watching the Walter Presents, foreign thrillers. In fact, I love watching thrillers, full stop!  
  • Watching films together.
  • Phoning and videoing friends, who I can’t physically see. 

Lastly, I thought I’d share a poem I wrote when Lockdown kicked in.  I feel that having to slow down is making us take life at a slower pace, and it may have a good impact on the way we live; rather than rushing around, chasing money  we might start to appreciate the more simple things – or not!

Time to Live

Time to live, to love and step aside

From the roller-coaster life we ride;

Time to consider if what we’re chasing is real

Why does it hold so much appeal?

This daunting, burgeoning blight

Requires the whole world to fight

To find a lasting solution,

Combating this viral pollution.

Social-distancing is the new buzz-word,

Though we continue as if unheard.

Travelling around the shops we roam,

Rather than staying safe, at home.

The Prime Minister, our leader has spoken,

And it seems at last he has awoken,

The demand to stay indoors has been passed,

Keeping away from others may work, at last.

Family, the focus of your heart, your core;

Be sure to love them even more.

Children, whatever age may be living in fear

Of the information from news they see and hear

Plan out your days, and have some fun

Lifting your faces towards the sun.

Keep them safe, and hold them close,

Until this unparalleled  danger slows.  

Time to accept and measure

What can be gained, taking life at more leisure.

Time to live, to love and step aside

From the roller-coaster life we ride.

© Lis McDermott 2020

Keep safe and well.  Next week’s blog is going to be about ‘The Cat lady without cats’