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The Reality of Home Working

So, how are you? How has Lockdown been for you?

Well it has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. Some emotions were welcomed. I felt energetic, elated, I can take on the world. I’m going to write a book, run a marathon, learn a new language, learn to bake cakes and become the next Prime Minister. All in the same week. While other emotions, I just had to get over, i.e. “When can I see my friends and family again? I miss them.” “Mask on or mask off? Confused!”

Is it fair to say that we have gone past that state of surrealness and have now entered the realm of our new normalcy?

Well, part of the ‘new norm’, for many of us, is working from home.

Not something I imagined doing before but I quickly adjusted. I had to. Laptop set up on the VPN. VOIP internal telephone system on my personal mobile. Skype and Zoom meetings galore. Even a Facebook Page and WhatsApp groups to keep all employees connected.

However, last year I wrote a company blog on ‘Wellbeing in the Workplace – A Focus on Mental Health’. Now, my workplace is my home. Hang on. Where is the balance? The equilibrium between my work life and my home life? This is where I had to learn vital new habits.

I was moving literally from my bed to the room with my laptop, to the room with my sofa then back to my bed at the end of the day. I loved it at first. No driving, no petrol expenses, no sandwich van, no fast food – just home – my safe haven from COVID-19 – and my new, even more sedentary lifestyle.

My tip today is about one of those new habits I had to acquire. Exercise. Yes – not only did I say the ‘E’ word but you need to introduce regular, consistent exercise into your weekly – if not daily – routine.

I know my strengths and initially creating that exercise routine was not one of them. So, I had to align myself with people who were more disciplined in that area than me. I now have a personal trainer who I meet once a week plus I have started walking, with friends and another fitness coach who I book for walking therapy sessions. All this movement has led to healthier eating habits, and I have learnt that there are beautiful landscapes and accessible public walkways, within a 5-minute walk from house. I now appreciate my local area. I notice the trees and the vibrant colours of the flowers and I hear the birds singing. It makes me feel good. It helps my mental wellbeing and it gives me a much-needed break away from my ‘working environment’ – my home.

You might not be able to book a personal trainer but you can definitely take a walk around the park near your house or stroll around the local village green. Movement is important. Just take the initial step, get out of your comfort zone and walk. It’s free and there are some people who can’t. So, try it. You won’t regret it. Enjoy.

Samantha Pullen, Training Manager

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