During these unsettling times it’s very easy to get caught up in your own little world wondering how you are going to manage working from the dining room table, home school the kids and survive 24/7 with your partner.
Life is very busy for many of us trying to juggle it all and we still have to cope with our own anxieties and those of our young children.
As I sat here collating information on how to work from home, home schooling, how to deal with anxiety my thoughts wondered back to my 87 year old mother. She is thankfully safe in a retirement home but social distancing has meant they drop her lunches outside her door and she has rarely seen anyone at all for the past few weeks.
We, of course, telephone her several times daily and talk her through the worries she has over COVID-19 from what she sees on the news. However, you can hear from her voice that she is scared, that she is desperately lonely and confused. I just want to go there and wrap my arms around her to tell her it’s all ok and I am there for her. I want to take her home with me so she can sit and watch her grandchildren play or fight – anything to take her away from the stark cold loneliness and fear she is now enduring on her own.
Thinking of my mother often make me wonder how other single people are coping alone during this pandemic. You don’t have to be 87 years old to feel alone – what about all the singletons in their early 20’s /30’s who now find themselves locked away alone?
They are used to being busy at work, seeing colleagues or friends during the day so usually their evenings alone are a welcome break from the busy world they live in.
But what about these people now? I imagine they are as lonely and scared as my mother. The thought of being ill and knowing you are isolated, alone….no one around to help in a time of need.
Whilst you try and hold on to the shreds of remaining normality in your own lives please takes some time aside to think of any of your work colleagues who may be working alone from home. Maybe take time out to have a video call, check in on them and let them know if they need anything they can call you.
We have started up a Friday night quiz night on Zoom with a mix of work colleagues and friends. We always ensure we include those we know have been home alone all week. A quick video social can do wonders to lift the spirit of loneliness.
In these uncertain times it’s important to take time out to be kind.
And if you are home alone remember to try and make the effort yourself to call your friends too. Don’t pretend you are ok if you’re not?
There is so much technology around today so use it positively and perhaps reconnect with old friends on social media platforms such as Facebook.
It’s evidently clear that exercise is great for mental wellbeing too. If you can, go out into your garden and walk or run around. Alternatively there are hundreds of online classes so join some of these.
Maybe you have always wanted to learn a new language, paint or write a book. What better time to start all those things you have never had time to do before?
Try and focus on the fact that you are in a temporary situation and say in 12 weeks if the world was back to normal what would you like to have achieved.
Finally, don’t obsess with watching the news. It’s very different when you have family around to discuss your worries but if you are home alone you can dwell on things and this isn’t healthy. Watch what you need to in order to keep informed but then try and switch over to some fun movies and light hearted comedies. Laughter is always the best medicine.
Remember this is a temporary situation and although the days and nights may seem very long now hold on to the fact this will all soon be over. Think of all the things you will do when you can go out and all the things you will appreciate from now on after this pandemic is over.
And recognise it’s a sign of strength to reach out for help. People will assume you are ok when you may not be so don’t be afraid to admit you are struggling. You’ll be overwhelmed to discover how supportive your friends, work colleagues and family will be.
If you are a Manager or Business owner reach out to your staff too. Perhaps set up a work Lockdown Chat Group where you can share stories, jokes and ensure everyone gets involved.