24 March 2020

The next few weeks in the UK are going to be a challenge. Staying at home does not mean that you are going to get loads of work done or become an expert in that hobby you have always meant to take up. Let those thoughts go now. You need to give yourself time and mental space to adjust. Adjustment to a new situation/environment comes in phases. The first phase lasts a week. By Friday you will be wondering how this is all going to work, you may feel low and you might be tearful. In the survival world this is a normal adaptation stage. Please don’t worry too much but be reassured that this will pass for most people and next week you will feel better.

Here are my top tips: –

1) Routine and structure are key. You should draw up a timetable and stick to it. Don’t let things slide. Get dressed in a morning, shower, exercise, take set mealtimes and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

2) Lower your standards. You will be mentally tired as you adapt to a new way of life. If the cleaning does not get done or you are not providing the best home education experience for your kids forgive yourself. More screen time for a few weeks is not going to be an issue. A stressed-out parent is more of a concern.

3) Social support from friends and family is critical. It is important to pick up the phone and chat to people or use video conferencing to stay in touch. Even if you can’t physically meet up with people you can still share worries and anxieties.

4) If you are living with others, work out now how you are going to manage conflict. You will have arguments so decide now how you are going to deal with them.

5) Do not undervalue the benefits of exercise, sleeping (naps are good) and eating well. All these things have a positive impact on your mental health (as well as your physical health).

Above all #stayathome and be kind to yourself and to others.