Lockdown, Mental health, Uncategorised, Writing life

Lockdown – working from home



A few tips for working from home from someone who‘s done it for a couple of decades – pretty much common sense, so apologies if I’m womansplaining (!) but it might help someone – and in these times I think we all need kindness and help 🙂

1) wear your work clothes (it will help you keep a work mindset) – one of my friends says that wearing shoes helps

2) sort out a routine (where and when you work – it is hard, especially if you have young children, but it’s also a way to help teach the skill of compromising!)

3) batch emails and use a timer when you’re checking them (ditto going on the internet – both of them can be massive time sucks if you let them)

4) get up and move at least once an hour – stretching, walking round the room/marching on the spot, up and down the stairs if you have any – if you have a fitness tracker that reminds you, great, otherwise maybe use your phone to set an alarm

5) hydrate properly and eat well (ie put the cookies and tortilla chips in a cupboard – if they’re out of sight you’re less likely to scoff a cookie with every cup of coffee)

6) schedule in social breaks (again, use a timer! but those breaks are important – if you’re on your own, maybe work out a schedule with friends so you can FaceTime/Skype/whatever)

Main thing is – you’re not alone. It’s doable. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes you won’t feel like it – but schedule in treats. Get two things ticked off your todo list, and that earns you 10 minutes doing a crossword/playing guitar/whatever makes you happy.

Stay safe, be kind, wash your hands, and we’ll get through this.

Lockdown, Mental health

Lockdown – mental health exercise

I’m resurrecting my blog during lockdown and I want to use it for positive things that might help people.

Lots of people are worried right now, and sometimes it’s hard to get out of a fear spiral. The exercises below (researched by me with my Medical Romance author hat on, some time back!) might help.

Start by ‘square breathing’ to help steady you (breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3, breathe out for 3, hold for 3).

Then you do the 54321 sequence below – what it does is use all your senses to ground you in the present and stop your thoughts spiralling.

5. Name five things you can see around you (eg table, dog).
4. Name four things you can touch around you (eg pen, chair).
3. Name three things you can hear (eg clock ticking, birdsong)
2. Name two things you can smell (eg coffee).
1. Name one thing you can taste (eg coffee, a biscuit)

Big hugs to all of you. We’ll get through this.