The word quarantine which is derived from the original latin, means forty days. The practice has its origin in the 14th century when ships arriving in Venice from infected areas were forced to sit in anchor for 40 days before landing. All those soldiers who had been traveling overseas for weeks or months were compelled to wait in anchor forty days before leaving the ship.
While the effects of COVID-19 have affected the world like no other time in history, the practice of being isolated for long periods of time is nothing new to various members of our society and individuals throughout history. If we can learn anything from the rebounding of epicenters like Wuhan China, it gives us a much needed hope that this crisis will cease and life will resume once the risk of infection has subsided.
We can also be assured that this time of isolation will for some be a time of downtime and lead to loss of productivity, whereas others will thrive. The question we have to ask ourselves is what are some of the main factors that can help us to be productive during this time ?
When Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques held a live stream broadcast from the International Space Station, he made a statement about being isolated due to space travel that will resonate with us who are living through the COVID-19 crisis. “The problem you develop here is that everything is a little bit the same every day. It can be depressing sometimes if you’re not careful”.
If this is your first time working from home, then we who have worked in the gig economy and have spent the past several years working from home would like to welcome you. Working from home can be at times very fun and exciting, but there is also the aspect of depression that must be avoided because your place of rest has now also become violated by an irritating boss yelling over Skype or Zoom.
The best way you can combat any depression associated with working at home is to take frequent breaks. Get outside if you can and take walks by yourself or with your quarantined family. When working from home, we need to have a change of environment and this is critical to practice when we end our work day. Engaging in small activities that help us to separate the work time from the personal can be a life saver.
Consume Healthy Media
One way to make sure that you are not burnt out through working at home is to make sure that you plan to consume a healthy dose of comedy and exciting movies or books during your time of isolation. Quibi a new quasi netflix competitor which streams short mobile clips, decided to continue with their startup launch during the Corona outbreak and for good reason. During these times of harsh news we need a dose of lighthearted entertainment.
Stay in Shape
While it may seem a bit off the beaten track, a few people have started to plan a corona diet. The reason being is because this is a perfect time to start paying attention to what we eat, and with lots of restaurants closed, it makes it easier to stay home and prepare healthy meals.
Just because you can't attend your local gym is no excuse to stop working out. Fitness is a lifestyle and not an activity, and as such there are lots of at home exercises which we can do to help us stay in shape. Exercises like online Yoga along with traditional push-ups and sit-ups are excellent ways to maintain that physique for the post Corona era.
Monitor the Time
One of the first things you will notice when working from home, is that time tends to move at a rapid rate. The fact that you are not travelling to and from the office should immediately add more time to your day, but the reality is that when you are free from these restraints, you are also free to stay up extra late, and wake up a few minutes just before starting work (or take the meeting from the comfort of your bed). If you want to be productive, it is imperative to watch the time. One of the best practices that you can do is to break the time into hours or set a small alarm to chime every hour so that you are always conscious of the time passing as you live your day.
A great activity to engage in is to take time to go through your phone contacts. While it may seem strange the reality is that most of us only keep in touch with a small fragment of our contacts. One of the best phone calls a distant friend can receive, is your call to make sure that they are safe during this time.
Planning for the Future
Planning is one of the activities that is recommended for people dealing with depression. Taking time to sit down and plan what you will do once this pandemic is over is a great way to combat the depression of isolation and build hope. There is something very serene about being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel during this dark time.
1. Mental State - remember to go for walks and get out of the house
2. Healthy Media - allow great books and videos to feed your soul
3. Stay in Shape - plan a Corona diet to take control of your weight
4. Monitor Time - divide the time between work and rest
5. Stay Social - make sure to call friends and loved ones
6. Plan for The Future - start planning what you will do when this is all over