24 mar 2020 5 a day (hopefully) keeps the Corona away
I woke up today to a different reality. As I turned on the TV, 9 out of 10 channels were talking about this new status quo that took the world by storm. In a matter of less than three months, we went from a small epidemic in China, which was emotionally devastating already, to a world pandemic which is shaking nations to the core.
However, I’m not here to write about this virus, since I know all of us have been bombarded with an avalanche of information so far, unfortunately both useful hints and also fake news. I’m not here to write about lessons tips either. Although I have experience with online lessons, I’d rather learn from the masters now, since it’s a brave new world we are exploring ahead of us.
I’m here today to give you 5 tips that have been helping me adapt to a whole new world of home office. Being an extremely active person, staying home has been a challenge in terms of mental health, and these 5 tips have been helping me not to go a little crazy.
Mind you, these tips are not actually mind blowing, and they are not even mine: I have read a lot during these difficult times, and found out these routines which work for me. So, here we go.
- If possible, try to establish the same time routine you had before the quarantine started. Let’s say this will be more time than you need to actually start working on your home office, take this extra time to have a longer breakfast or even a nice and relaxing shower. It’s likely to change your mood for the day. Ah, and try not to stay in your pyjamas. You can change into comfy clothes if you wish, but the pj’s might give you a hint that you can go back to bed, which you shouldn’t. This hint came from Larissa Siriani, who is a former teacher, and a hell of a book author.
- Don’t forget to drink lots of water and eat healthy food. If you are not used to home office, you may be getting less physical activity, and you need to have a strong immune system to fight any kind of diseases. This hint came from my mom (hi mom!!!) and we can never repeat it enough.
- If possible, try to create conditions in which you can work alternating sitting and standing up. It works wonders for your circulatory system. Also, try to create an environment which reminds you that it’s “time to work” as opposed to “time to rest”. It could help you draw a line between both situations and help you avoid working 24 hours a day. These hints came from Arthur Medici, a fellow ELT teacher who has been working from home since 2013, and is a partner at Talking EFL.
- Brain Breaks! Brain Breaks! Brain Breaks! This works for students and also for teachers, but being at home, this might be a bit harder to establish. If you are not familiar with this concept, check this link out: https://www.edutopia.org/article/research-tested-benefits-breaks. I first got to know about brain breaks through Andre Hedlund, and he is the inspiration behind this fourth step.
It’s ok to not be productive sometimes. There is a play on words in Portuguese, which translates for “something done is better than something perfect”, and I couldn’t agree more. Don’t be too self-demanding, because being socially isolated can take a heavy tow on all of us. Luckily, I know the end of this nightmare is getting close, and until then, I know we can count on amazing help and support of a great network of professionals around use. This hint is from me, my personal mantra I have been trying to repeat all day long, so that I keep on going with a little bit of sanity.
So, that’s it. I do hope everyone is safe and at home. To all of you, my friends and colleagues, receive here my warmest hug and the wish that you #staysafe and #stayhome. Count on me if you need anything.