9 Daily habits to create boundaries during lockdown
Daily habits to create boundaries during lockdown
Today, with the global pandemic it is more important than ever to set up daily habits to create boundaries during lockdown
Daily habits to create boundaries during lockdown are vital for a number of important reasons especially to navigate work life balance during confinement. We have to find a way to make that critical separation from our working and professional selves from our other roles for our physical and mental well being.
If you’re a manager be a role model
If you are a manager set the tone and be a role model. Leaders are in a great position to influence the well-being of their teams by setting expectations and asking them what their needs are. We say people are “working” from home. What they are really doing is “coping from home” which is quite different. Finding out what is going on for your team and what their working day looks like at the moment, is key. Many are wearing multiple hats: chef, teacher, nanny, cleaner, parent, worker, therapist and the day will stretch endlessly.
If you don’t have a problem sending mails late at night because that’s how you work, make sure your staff know they don’t have to respond to manage their expectations and reduce their stress. Sometimes it’s about managing your own expectations.
Here are 9 daily habits to create boundaries during lockdown
1. Set goals and a routine
Structure and routine is important especially if you have young children at home and even more important if they are being home schooled. Try if you can to create divides between fun parenting time, school time and work time. Create the divide with an alarm or a bell, so that your children understand. It’s not easy. Mothers do not shoulder the burden. If you are doing this you need to discuss this with your partner and find a more equitable solution. If you are a single parent then the challenge is very real.
Set aside 15 minutes to create a to-do list for the following day before you are due to leave the “office”. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t do “one more thing.” Respect your routine and communicate your schedule to your boss. We frequently hear that the children don’t want to follow the family timetable. Very often this is about parental guilt. Kids love routine and follow strict schedules in school every day, so it is possible. We are also told that bosses are calling at all hours of the night. If you are a manager doing this, you should stop. You will cause your team to burn out.
2. Change your location
Crazy right? But if you are fortunate enough to have separate space to work then move away from it. It may not involve closing a door (do that if you can) but find a way to screen off your work area. Move your work materials from the kitchen table, bed or ironing board if that is what you need to do. Cover them even if it’s with a dish towel or another piece of fabric. Order a big plastic box on wheels and push it into a corner. You can get versions made out of recycled plastic. Google suppliers in your area.
3. Carry out a 5 minute reflection
This is something we might do in a traffic jam or on a train or bus. Reflect on the day and evaluate. Make a mental note of the successes, however small. You can use one of the may apps to create some mood music to de-stress. Write those achievements down.
Use these career reflection worksheets to create a career strategy and plan.
4. Say good night
Sounds cheesy but send a “goodnight” message to your co-workers. Just as you would in the office or in person. Maybe a gif or emoji, something light and fun.
5. Change your clothes
Stories about spending the day in in your PJ’s are everywhere. Create a dress distinction between your work persona and your “life” persona if that is what you need. At the end of your work day put on your fat pants and hoodie to denote a change.
6. Do non-tech activities
Put your laptop, tablet and smartphone away. Read a book, paint, look at crosswords, do a jigsaw (they made a come back during lockdown) play cards, chess or chequers. Listen to music or watch something on TV or maybe read a book, or listen to an audio book. Do some gardening or even housework, any activity that uses a different part of your brain.
Out of lockdown you might have gone to the gym. Now you may have to exercise on your sitting room rug. It doesn’t matter – it just creates a psychological break. Maybe stretch or do some yoga. There are so many ways now to do this via Zoom or with Apps. In areas where you are now allowed to go outside, weather permitting take a walk.
8. Contact friends and family
If you are Zoomed out – which many are, make an old-fashioned voice call. Check in with old friends to see how they are doing.
9. Get fresh air
As different geographies are easing back into some sort of post-Corona life, it maybe possible to take a walk or get fresh air if you have outside space a garden or a terrace. Vitamin D is said to be good in combating this virus.
It may not seem like it, but our pre-Corona work day had structure that made it easier to switch off. There is no doubt that tech changed that and created a sense of 24/7 availability. Today, with the global pandemic it is more important than ever to set up daily habits to create boundaries during lockdown. Having a very clear distinction will go some way to helping us cope.
Do you want to manage your boundaries better? Contact 3Plus now!
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