Man is a social being. Even if you may sometimes long for quiet moments on your own – we need contact with other people, exchange, a feeling of belonging, a sense of attachment.
This is why the last weeks and months are a great challenge, also from a psychological point of view.
Not only because we have to keep our distance and can only perceive a small part of the meaningful facial expressions of the other person because of the masks, but also because for some people a feeling of social detachment can quickly arise in the home office. Those who are missing the feeling of making a contribution because of short-time work and are home alone should be careful not to get into a situation where being alone suddenly turns into a feeling of loneliness.
The following points can help you to maintain confidence and mental well-being despite adverse circumstances:
- Regular daily routine: For many people, nothing is the way it used to be; work is done on a smaller scale – or the work is temporarily absent or has to be accomplished in another location. Whatever has changed, try to maintain a regular daily routine. Routines give our soul stability and security – and compensate for the many other imponderables. If you are currently on 100% short-time work, get up at the same time and start the day as usual. As nice as the thought of going with the flow may be at first, avoid “getting bogged down”. Even in home office, a trend has now become established that is supposed to give the brain the signals for “start of work” and “end of day”: fake commuting. Some home office workers leave the house in the morning as usual – as if they were going to work, and then return to their workplace (at home) after a walk around the block. This also makes it easier to switch from work to private mode.
- Daily plan and conscious start: Even with no or reduced work: make a daily plan with the most important tasks you want to accomplish that day. For sure there are many things you have always wanted to do: self development, gardening, the sports unit, household repairs … successfully completing tasks gives us the satisfying feeling of contribution and self-efficacy. And then …
- Recognize your achievements: When you have completed one task, make a short break before moving on to the next. And in the evening, look back on the day and write down your accomplishments.
- Healthy lifestyle: Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy food and exercise every day. A balanced and healthy body is a good resource when your mind is out of balance (which is not that often the case when we are physically balanced).
- Treat yourself to something special: Take a bath, read your favourite book, do handicrafts or do something else that gives you energy and joy. This also means that you are worth it to perpare regular meals for yourself with joy and care.
- Cheat Day: Yes, you can treat yourself to a day now and then when you can the reins relax. Staying in bed for a long time, binge watching of your favourite show, couching, putting pizza in the oven — whatever it looks like to you. Let go.
- Stay in touch: Even if we think it’s a bad substitute – phone calls and video calls are still better than no contact! So why not arrange for a virtual coffee or a glass of wine together via Zoom or Skype. Until it is possible again to meet in person, this is a good way to see each other without any risks.
Take care of yourself and be good to yourself! Be your best friend – you are wonderful!