Here we are in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic facing a unique set of challenging and testing circumstances that will be perhaps the most difficult experience of our life time. Chances are if we are not yet self-isolating, then we will know someone who is and the reality is we must all prepare for a time when we will have moved on from social distancing and we may all be in lockdown and self-isolation.
Many of us maybe self-employed and now find ourselves in extremely challenging and worrying times both personally and professionally. It is especially difficult when we don’t have any answers, know what the future holds or have any solutions, instead we must take it step by step, moment by moment and day by day.
“When you replace, “why is this happening to me” with “what is this teaching me” everything shifts.”
To stay healthy and be in the best possible position to deal with the challenges ahead we must take extra precious care of our basic care needs as best we can. Most people think self-care is a luxury of bubble baths, spa days and pampering. However, basic self-care is food, shelter, water, sleep, connection. How can you ensure you are meeting your basic needs when finding yourself working from or spending more time at home.
Ideas if you find yourself in self-isolation or working from home.
- Routine – Like it or not a routine has a positive impact on our mental and physical health and will certainly help to lift your mood as the days of self-isolation progress. It might be tempting to wear your pj’s all day but getting dressed will make you feel more motivated and productive
- Clean & tidy your space – if you don’t usually work from home can you create a space to set up? If you do work from home and have the luxury of an office – give it a spring clean, tidy and get organised. Can you move or set up a desk near a window to enjoy the sunlight. Having a dedicated space to work from will enable you to be more productive and will also enable you to shut the door on work, ending your working day and walk away without it spilling into the rest of the house.
- New ways of doing things – sometimes we do things in the same way we have always done them. You know that phrase – If you always do, what you have always done, you always get, what you have always got! Maybe you will be forced to test out and try new ways of doing things and find better and more exciting ways of doing those things!
- Be Active & get outside – if you cannot get to the gym right now – take dance class from YouTube or try a yoga class. Get outside – come rain or shine! Take a walk in the middle of the day, get some fresh air and move!
- Connect with others – especially at this time, pick up the phone, call skype or facetime. Reach out to others who are self-employed. Write a blog or offer to contribute an article to share your knowledge in other ways. Make plans for collaborating, brain storm ideas for future plans, hopes and dreams.
- Do the thing – you know the thing you have been putting off, that you have always wanted to do! Or try something new, test new ways of doing things! If you can’t physically do it, can you prepare for it, research it, make plans to make it happen.
- Gratitude – that may seem strange or even uncomfortable at this current time but there is something to be grateful for in every day. Learn to notice it and appreciate the little things that make the difference especially at this challenging and worrying time. Whether it is the extra time spent with your children or partner, a lie in, a warm sunny day, a walk with the dogs, spring flowers in the garden, a cup of tea in bed, an actual voluntary hug from a 14 year old, a picture or painting from your toddler, it all adds up.
“Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But it’s when you least feel thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective.
Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive.
It’s the quickest, easiest most powerful way to effect change in your life.” Oprah Winfrey
After all when we look back on this strange and unusual time in years to come, we will remember who we were with and what we did together and how that made us feel. Perhaps we will also remember what this experience taught us and how it changed us all for the better and put us on a path we were meant to be on.
Kate is a consultant and trainer based in the West Midlands and I have worked within the Early Years sector for over two decades, combining a BA (HONS) in Early Childhood Studies with real-life hands-on experience of working with children and families in educational and PVI settings, leading and managing large staff teams.
She is an approved Mental Health First Aid England Instructor and specialises in wellbeing and mental health training, workplace support and working with staff teams to think positively about their health and wellbeing by working together to create mentally healthy nurturing environments.
Kate prides herself on her own unique approach and sharing personal experiences of her hands on, real life, relatable practice as an EY practitioner. She strives to advocate and raise awareness, training and education on mental health and mental health issues for the wellbeing of all staff, children and families.
Kate represents the early years as a true example of someone who has a demonstrated history, enthusiasm and love for her profession in early years and childcare.