Published 22nd May 2020
Here at Thrive we’re sharing our “Life in Lockdown” series. We’re looking at how everyone’s mental health is being impacted by the current circumstances, but also how the world keeps on turning, and that means that certain aspects of life which impact people negatively, such as grief, cancer treatments, and domestic violence, are still going ahead, even amongst this crisis. In this series, we’re trying to consider particularly how mental health is impacted in these scenarios, whilst the world spins madly on.
We are sharing with you today, how the team have found working from home in lockdown.
“At first, lockdown was easy to cope with as my workload had increased exponentially as a result of the Covid-19 guidance and Furlough schemes and I didn’t have to commute anywhere. However, after a few weeks, I realised that I was working more without accessing my usual support / coping mechanisms so I tried to build a routine around exercise and yoga from home.
Whilst there are a lot of useful tools accessible from home, not being able to see friends and family had a big impact on my mental wellbeing. I am currently trying to redress the balance and get back into a healthy routine. It helps by having support from Jodie Hill and my other colleagues. When Jodie heard that I wasn’t coping as well as I had been, she sent me a parcel of sweets through the post. This really cheered me up and made me realise that I am not alone in this.”
“ I have really struggled especially in the first few weeks.
When I feel everything is all amazing then all of a sudden I crash so low. It’s hard as a business leader when I have no other directors to turn to and expected to support everyone else even when I can barely function myself some days, it’s very lonely with working from home I haven’t seen anyone in such a long time I haven’t even been to a shop but I am getting there.
Our mental health isn’t linear and I accept the bad days for what they are.
The mass uncertainty and lack of income for me has been a catalyst for the decline in my mental health, however, I do feel more resilient and I am bouncing back much quicker thanks to my consistent therapy and daily routine. I have ensured I exercise as much as possible even if it’s only a walk every day to get me outside and get those endorphins flowing.
I love the theme this year, I am learning to be kinder to myself and to lead by example setting an example for my team and other by sharing things that have worked for me on my YouTube channel and social media.”
I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of my friends, we have a great support networking and one of the girls send me a hug in the post. The smallest acts of kindness go a long way. It really is the little things that matter”
“Here at Thrive, we have officially passed 8 weeks of working from home. As a team, we’re very fortunate to have Jodie managing us during these uncertain and confusing times. It’s no doubt that the effect of today’s news and developments in relation to Covid-19 has affected us all uniquely; for some it’s been the hindrance of being unable to see friends and family, or perhaps the cancellation of certain events or holidays, whilst for others this may be strongly mental health related. I for one can relate to all of the listed above, but it’s my mental health that I feel I have struggled with the most, whilst trying to also participate in the holy month of Ramadan.
Waking up each day, to the same routine and set up, I have tried to ensure my day runs as smoothly as possible but have implemented changes where possible. For example, I will always start my day with a shower, getting dressed, making my bed and practicing 10 minutes of mindfulness each morning. Its also good practice to ensure that you’re getting enough time away from your screen whilst working from home and getting out of the house, for some fresh air, surrounding yourself with nature.
I have also discovered that its the simple acts of kindness that really make a difference to my working day. It can be something as small as an unexpected text from a friend or colleague reminding me of my achievements this week, or receiving a surprise hamper of sweets from my boss. It’s the little details that often paint the bigger picture. Remember to be kind to yourself and those around you, as we’ve all got our own unique set of struggles we’re trying to cope with and this time shall come to pass.”
“Before lockdown started, I was very stressed. I moved from London to Yorkshire the week before, so I was already in a heightened state of anxiety. Oddly though, the lockdown has given me a good opportunity to “ground down” (to use a yoga term!), and readjust and reassess. I’m probably much calmer now than I was 50 days ago!
There have been bad days, of course. I’m sometimes a bit overwhelmed by how strange this new environment is, but I’ve been grateful for the flexibility of Thrive. I’ve found time to exercise when I feel anxious, as well as do yoga every morning or every evening. I’ve baked and found little crafty tasks to keep me busy when my mind is racing, and the exercise means I’m sleeping better than ever. My only concern is my newfound fear of the outside – last week I realised I went just over 10 days without leaving my front door, and I’m slightly concerned about the impact it’ll have when I lose my new routine and safe space. But, I will find a way.
When the crisis first started, I really struggled with the idea that I didn’t have time to volunteer or engage in anything positive; I’m so pleased that the coronavirus helpline has given us that opportunity to put something positive out there and help people in their time of need, in the best way that we can.
The lockdown and online networking opportunities have also done wonders for my confidence. Before, I would hate networking. I always feel like the short, stressed out one in the corner of a room. Having the opportunity and ease to just log on and make connections has been absolutely invaluable to me, and has really helped with my positivity around the whole situation.
Overall, I’m grateful in these times. Grateful for my garden, my husband, my (very cuddly) cats, my friends, and Thrive.
Act of Kindness
There have been SO MANY. I’ve been overwhelmed by how supportive and thoughtful people have been and I really do think that this crisis has, in the most part, shown people in a very good light. I have three main acts I want to highlight:
- The lovely Jodie keeps sending gifts to my house. I’m eating a drumstick lolly as I write this.
- My mum has made us masks to wear outside; one flowery one for me, and a cool black one for my husband (made out of an old suit skirt of mine!).
- My lovely friends have set up a mental-health specific WhatsApp group. We try not to clutter it with day-to-day chat. Instead, we only use it when we’re really struggling, as an easy outlet to reach out to. I cannot recommend it enough; having a platform to turn to on bad days has been amazing.”
“The main thing I miss from life before lockdown is seeing people in real life. I love technology and the ability to speak to people whenever and wherever you are but I feel the novelty is wearing off now. I have tried to concentrate on self care whilst in self isolation and that means taking time in the day to concentrate on me. That includes pamper nights, reading, painting and a new hobby I have is my Etsy store! I have always made little personalised gifts for people and have always had the response “you should sell these!” So I decided to create a few products and sell them online. That has not only been keeping me busy but kept me positive for where I can take my little store in the future when we are out of lockdown.
A way in which I have been kind is visiting my grandma every Saturday and doing her weekly shopping. We then sit (socially distanced) in her garden and spend time with her.”
“I feel extremely lucky that I have never suffered with my mental health as such, and to a degree, would say that despite some naturally negative thoughts in lockdown, I have managed to stay positive during the pandemic.
As a socialite I thought that I would struggle immensely with the little contact I would have with friends and family because this is what almost my entire life revolves around. To overcome this, I have had virtual contact with friends and family on a daily basis and since the announcement allowing us to meet 1 friend at a time (socially distanced) I have met up with a friend every day.
Watching TV and relaxing on the sofa is not something I particularly enjoy and I am also someone who cannot have a minute spare in my day to day schedule. If I have an hour spare here or there I will always fill them and rarely spend any time at home. This caused me to have some worry about lockdown because my life was about to drastically change and slow down to a pace which isn’t ideal. To overcome this I have kept busy and focused my attention on working for Thrive and my studies in criminology as well as making sure I go on a long bike ride or walk every day.
In general I am still feeling positive and have found the good out of a bad situation. Some of the ways I have done this is by re connecting with old friends and old hobbies that I just didn’t always find time for anymore in my ‘normal’ life. Some of what I have been up to that have kept me in good spirits are; I have got my old bike back out of the garage, rummaged through the games cupboard, got my paintbrushes back out and played more sports like badminton or tennis in the garden.
Something I feel is of great importance at this time is kindness and taking time out of your day to be kind to others but also kind to yourself. “
“Since going into lockdown my mental health has been a little ‘bumpy’. Initially I was doing really well but then around week 3 it started to dip. It was at this point I realised that my pre-lockdown routine really wasn’t going to be happening any time soon and I struggled with that. My mental health picked up as I tried to find a new ‘normal’ getting myself outside for a run. I then started practicing my Pilates at home instead of going to my local studio and doing Zoom Pilates once a week which has helped me have some of my old routine back. The last couple of weeks my mental health has been up and down but putting some time aside for me and some self-care I’m feeling much better. I’m craving to get back out seeing family and friends in person and have some of the old ‘normal’ back in my life, which I know will happen eventually.
Little acts of kindness mean so much. My boss, Jodie, sent a lovely card in the post, it was so nice to receive and know she’s there supporting you. A couple of weeks later she sent a hamper of sweets. Being kind to yourself and being kind to others can make such a difference. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, just letting someone know you are thinking of them through a message is enough, particularly at the moment. This week I messaged a friend who I haven’t spoken with in person since Christmas to ask how they were and if they would like to have a FaceTime call, which we did the following day.
Be kind to yourself and take some time out for some self-care. Be kind to others, you never know what is going on behind the façade.”
By the Thrive Tribe