Social distancing, or stay-safe-at-home, has been the clarion call for most governments and health organisations all over the world for the better part of this year, with staying home the surest way of keeping safe during the spread of COVID-19. This has meant working from home for many of us.
But how can we best prepare our homes for this?
Create an actual office space where you will work
Many people have lost their jobs due to the persistent spread of the coronavirus, so if you still have your job its important to focus on doing with gratitude and minimal stress. Working from home is also the best anyone can wish and we are all evolving to understand how much can be achieved remotely. Embrace this, exercise discipline, get up and get dressed (into real clothes) and be functional within prescribed working hours. A good idea would be to improve your home office/working space to make it more comfortable and functional, as well as the dedicated space for your most productive hours. You’ll need a good desk, ergonomic office chair and excellent Wi-Fi.
Make your home your sanctuary and maximise on natural light
Move or rearrange the furniture in order to maximise on floor space and make your home feel less cramped. If you have the budget, add a few comfy throws, some fluffy pillows, a new rug, and some squishy blankets to make the home a little cosier. Especially in the south as we head towards Winter. A simple home remodelling project such as adding a window will give your home the gentle breeze and extra natural light that you have been missing – and might compensate somewhat for the time not spent outdoors. If you don’t have a budget for a remodel you could consider dressing down the windows to allow in more light. Do not underestimate the value of fresh air and sun rays on your mood – and productivity. Reorganising your furniture to ensure you spend most of your days in areas with the most daylight and external views, is also recommended. After all this is your space.
Invest in lots of indoor plants
My favourites and good for many reasons. Firstly they serve as beautiful additions to improve your home’s aesthetics while purifying your indoor air so you don’t breath in the bad air home. They are, just like pets, also very good company and allow you to love and care for them – a lovely thing to do on breaks between projects. Plants will give your life more of a sense of purpose and you can always add some grow lights in areas without enough light. Fairylights too for effect. I actually have over a hundred pot plants, and my little indoor jungle brings me endless joy. Actually, since lockdown, my plant family has grown substantially, as I’ve brought more of the ‘outdoors indoors’ to compensate for my movements have been so restricted.
Stock up on toiletries and bring in some soothing smells
Many people have instinctively stocked up on toilet paper, which is weird and also not all you’ll need. Make sure you have enough hand soap, personal toiletries, concentrated eco-friendly laundry detergent and other kitchen cleaning supplies. As an added touch, ensure that your pillows, couches, clothes and everything within your living spaces smell nice by bringing in scented candles, reed diffusers or even potpourri. I recommend the incredible products from Healing Earth Africa, which I am using whilst reconnecting with nature from home.
Ensure that you have lots of provisions in stock, with emphasis on health
This is simple: Ensure that you have all the foods that you need while laying low indoors and look at only going out to shop once every week or two to limit exposure. This especially applies in South Africa where we are very much at risk with numbers rising. Have your dried grains, condiments, pasta, soup, fresh fruit and vegetables stored, with a strong focus on health. It has never been more important to keep your immune system boosted so look to citrus, ginger and garlic as part of your daily diet. Baking bread is a wonderful and comforting distraction, but not during office hours…
Prepare for medical emergencies, just in case
Not something we want to think about I know, but ensure that you have a list of personal emergency contact numbers, especially if you live alone and have underlying health issues. It could be a list of relatives, neighbours, or friends who know of your health issue and who you can count on for help. Details about your doctors or healthcare providers, including home, office, and emergency room phone numbers if you have them. Your medical aid and insurance providers’ information and your medical records may be helpful too. Keep these in a place where someone you trust can easily access. Stock up on all the medication you need and arrange to get refills delivered, most pharmacies are offering this service free of charge or for a nominal rate.
Staying connected during this social distancing and isolation season is good for your mental health. Keep your mind engaged at all times, be it through physical exercise, DIY projects, or spring cleaning – my poor house is suffering the wrath of this. Learn a new skill if you can, reflect on ways to a better person. Anything to get you to the other side of the pandemic safely and healthy.
And most of all, be kind to yourself – and avoid any unnecessary pressure.
** Pics sources on Pixabay.