Living Through Lockdown

Our health and wellbeing during isolation

Living Through Lockdown

I am currently in the lucky position whereby nobody I know has been infected by COVID-19. I thank God everyday that this is the case but despite this I still feel a high level of anxiety and an increasing inability to focus on one task.

As someone who expects a lot from myself and from the people around me, should I be giving myself a hard time or should I listen to the various blogs I have been reading and give myself credit for just surviving? I choose the latter!

I have lost my usual routines which being a company Director, a wife and the mother of a 5 and 8-year-old, are so important. My home has been transformed into a home office and a school classroom, as well as the source of all types of entertainment designed to keep up the spirits of everyone living here. I am a very sociable person and feel a sense of loss of the daily interactions with colleagues and friends. I am most of all missing my mum and sister who have always been such a big part of my family’s life. Whilst Zoom and Skype offer us some comfort during lockdown, they cannot replace the human contact we have all lost from our lives.

Being a mother, I need to look after my mental wellbeing, as I have others that rely on me so much and I do not want to let them down. Some of the things that have helped me are:

Create a new routine

This includes a regular wake up time (which is no problem when your 8-year-old wakes at 6am each morning) and morning routine, as if we were getting ready to leave for work and school. My new routine has to balance working from home as Chief Officer of Help2Change, trying to keep up with all my work commitments, and conducting school with the help of Google Classroom to meet the expectations of the teachers. All whilst providing three wholesome meals to keep our bodies healthy during the pandemic.

Remember what is important

Although the new routine is important and very helpful, I often have to stop when I feel things getting out of control and say to myself ‘we are healthy, we are happy, we are safe – that’s all that matters now’ If the children don’t hand in today's language lesson or don’t complete their maths section will the world spin from it axis? The answer is No, and I must remind myself of this.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

This is a difficult time for everyone, nobody knows what your personal circumstances are like or how you deal with situations. We all cope differently. I am learning to reduce the expectations I have on myself during this pandemic and I am all the happier for it.

Get outside

I am lucky to have a lovely garden to take 10 minutes every time I need to reset. I also make sure that I include myself on the daily dog walking with my husband and children. This helps my mental wellbeing enormously and I would highly recommend it to anyone, even if you haven’t got a dog.

Work has always been such a big part of my life and even after having the children, I always knew that I would continue to work. I have a great sense of pride in my work at Help2Change as we are a not-for-profit organisation that exists to promote prevention and improve population health.

It has been difficult to stay on task and keep our company moving forward during the lockdown but I am lucky to work with some amazing people and our Chair designed and built a Home Worker Site, hosted on the Cloud, that allows us to track projects, share files and have online discussions. It means we can keep in touch easily and work as a team. A shared calendar ensures that we all stay on top of what is coming up.

As our company aims are to improve the health of the population, we have decided to offer this for free to other charitable organisations and small businesses to use, in the hope that it can help them as it has helped us.

For more information please visit our website https://www.help2change.org.uk/index.php/professional-support/home-worker-site or call 033 124 76 26 or email info@help2change.org.uk

About the Author

Gemma Griffiths

Gemma Griffiths

Gemma is a financial accountant with wide experience of working in the public and voluntary sectors. She is passionate about promoting healthy public policy and restoring prevention services in response to funding pressures in the NHS and local government.

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Help2Change is a Community Interest Company (Registered No. 12161617; VAT No. 332 5048 29)