MARYLAND — Finding oneself suddenly forced to stay home for weeks on end without going into work, heading off to school or socializing can truly take its toll. Amira’ S. of Maryland experienced a personal tragedy and tried therapy, yoga, crystals and other means of finding peace and happiness; she described herself as “broken.” But with the support of loved ones and self care, she found herself again.
Now as a motivational speaker and CEO of her own company Unbothered Goddess, Amira’ offers advice to help people take care of themselves and their loved ones while finding themselves thrust into a new way of living due to the coronavirus.
People who are new to working from home should open their curtains each morning, get dressed and embark upon a set morning routine each day. She told Patch that it doesn’t have to be strict like a typical work day in the office, but in order to stay productive and focused, something resembling a schedule should be put in place.
“Make sure you still get up at the same time or close to it each day and get fully dressed minus shoes if you really want your best chance keeping things relatively normal during this time. Having a schedule and getting dressed like you would do any other time will really help keep your mind sane. You can also set up a separate space in your home and designate that area to work only. You will mentally and physically associate that space with work each time you walk into and out of that specific area in your home,” she told Patch.
Parents working from home with their kids now have even more to juggle. With infants and toddlers, a schedule should be crafted for work that is centered around the wee ones’ schedules if possible.
“Our daughter is four months old so when I’m working at home with her, I integrate her play time, nap time and feedings between everything I need to get done. I start with my list and see what things can be moved around if needed and what tasks I need to be 100 percent focused on to get the work done. For those tasks, I make sure to schedule them during her nap times. That way I create balance and have solid blocks of time where my focus is either strictly on her or on the work I need to get done,” said Amira’.
Compartmentalizing the day into time blocks will help parents stress less about the overall picture and successfully accomplish what needs to get done by breaking it down into chunks. Older children usually can be given an activity or creative free time in similar blocks.
“I don’t advocate a ton of screen time for children but no judgement if you decide to sit your toddler in front of the TV with their favorite show and snacks to get something done. No matter what your kids ages are, you should be sure to keep a separate working area to still have that mental separation and make it a game. Mommy/daddy has to work, then point out your separate area to them, and make a little area for them to ‘work’ also,” she told Patch.
Parents who are home with the kiddos but have been laid off or furloughed need to make sure and create time for themselves. Maintain a fairly solid morning schedule by waking up each morning at the same time and spend 10 minutes meditating and reciting a couple specific affirmations for the day, Amira’ said.
“Eat a good full breakfast if you can or grab your favorite fruits and a bottle of water. You will need energy to get yourself and the children through the day. You will also need to be well hydrated so grabbing a glass or bottle of water before the day starts will go a long way. Once you’re up, washed up, dressed and fed, get the kids up and do the same for them. It may seem like a lot but I promise it goes a long way in setting you up for a good stress free day no matter what the kids throw at you,” she said.
The rest of the day can fall into a loosely fitting schedule that’s flexible for what the kids and you want to get done.
“I’ve never had a bad day no matter what happened on the days I have my calm morning routine done. I also know life happens and you can’t control everything so just be intentional about how you start your day and the rest will flow,” said Amira’.
Seniors need to be regularly checked on during this difficult time. Amira’ suggested others call and ask how a senior is doing, then see if there’s anything they need.
“If you are a senior and scared to go outside, please take that fear and throw it away. Close your eyes. Imagine everything that makes you feel good and breathe it in. Breathe out all the fear that you have. It may sound a little crazy but it works. Call someone you love and tell them how you feel. Talk about what ever it is that’s bothering you and don’t give it anymore energy after that. Walk from room to room if you are able throughout the day for a change in scenery. Do some light stretching away from your bed to keep your body moving,” she said.
Another way to see people through this challenging time is to make plans with friends and family in the future, and to attend local events once the stay-at-home order is lifted, Amira’ added.