- Get In Touch
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead
Last week, we brought you our top tips for thriving in Lockdown 3.0, and this week we’re back with even more tops tricks from our colleagues across the business.
I have few things that I have been doing to keep me sane whilst WFH during lockdown. Every day, at the start of my shift and at the end of my shift, my colleague Jo and I send a GIF to each other to let each other know how we are doing. It’s a good start and end to each day.
I have been missing all the great places to go for lunch in Nottingham city centre, so I’ve started planning one really nice lunch a week, usually on a Friday, that I can look forward to and feel a bit normal again.
With it being so quiet at home without the hum of the office chatter, I have found I have needed something to listen to in the background whilst doing work. I found music too distracting (I find it really hard not to sing and dance along to!) so in the end I started listening to some podcasts; I never would have guessed that 2020/2021 would have turned me into a podcast person, but here I am…
I’ve also managed to convince my boyfriend to play Just Dance with me on the Nintendo Switch in the evening and weekends. It’s a good way to trick myself into doing some exercise and it’s also super fun!
When working from home during lockdown, I’ve really missed the Friday feeling, as every day starts to feel a bit rinse and repeat. So, Friday evenings when I get home from my fake commute, we crack open a bottle of wine and I make a homemade curry for the family (this week it’s sweet potato and chickpea!). I find it not only creates a bit of a positive structure, but we all look forward to it and I have a lot of fun mixing it up and experimenting with ingredients. There’s also the added bonus of not having a laptop in sight, so the weekend can properly start!
One of the things that I have actually increased doing since the first lockdown is kickboxing. When I was shielding with my wife, Lisa, I was not able to go to my club, but thankfully they introduced Facebook Live running alongside all of their sessions. Not only did it mean I didn’t miss out on a class, it also meant I could re-watch them in my own time. When the club itself had to close, the instructors put in place dedicated Zoom classes and 1-2-1 sessions to keep the club going. These are much better as you can see the other club members training and also have feedback on your progress through interactive chat. These sessions are scheduled in the evenings mainly, so they’ve been a good way of structuring my non-work time during lockdown.
I also bought a punchbag to make the sessions more fulfilling. There’s nothing better than letting off steam and exercising through kickboxing: it allows you to release those frustrations whilst also being a good all-round workout. I now consistently attend classes 2/3 times a week (which I never could before lockdown, due to commuting) and have even done two further belt gradings, one completely online via video and the other in a socially distanced class.
At least twice a week, I try to open an informal chat with people I used to have informal chats with when we were working at the office. I have had the privilege of working in several different departments at Retail Assist, with several teams across several locations. I have managed to stay in touch with friends, but also there are those people that, without being friends, you always had a catch up by the kettle, those coming twice a month to the office or those gathering monthly data, which I still love to say “Hi” to, as if we were still having that catch up.
Moving my desk away from the office (where my partner also works) into the dining room so I can join meetings with the laptop audio instead of having to wear headphones is a simple change that’s made a big difference!
Because I am working from the kitchen and the trip to the kettle is minimal, I make sure I go for a walk every morning before 8am and aim for at least 5,000 steps. I wish it was more entertaining!
The new thing I am doing – or trying to do – is strengthening my core muscles. So, why am I telling you this and why would it make you smile? Well, I have been sitting on a yoga ball while I work and it’s great fun – I can have a little bounce to cheer myself up and do a bit of exercise while I’m sitting! I have even got one for the office now and I think my team may think I have lost it, but I can feel it working my muscles already. I think everyone should get one and have a bounce – you can’t help but smile and keep moving!
As my job involves a lot of writing and not many calls, I really miss the hubbub and chat within our office – to be honest, it can get quite lonely. To counter this, I have a Spotify playlist for every possible mood to get me into the right frame of mind; whether that’s to get me motivated for the day ahead, for something a bit more chilled that I can write to, or sometimes something that’s a bit more in the middle.
Outside of work, my boyfriend and I live in a flat which comes with the world’s tiniest balcony; because of this, it’s really easy for work and living spaces to essentially be the same. Every other weekend or so, we have “Date Night”; this sounds very grand, but it basically means that we both dress up (translation: no pyjamas, no jogging bottoms – make a bit of an effort!), eat at the table, have a few drinks and avoid slumping on the sofa watching TV. It’s not the most ground-breaking of suggestions, but it really does help us to break up the monotony.
I’ve been meaning to up my language skills for some time, so for 2021, I’ve finally committed to Duolingo; it’s a free app for the most part and it’s actually not too arduous. The only warning I’d give is that it does come with quite a passive aggressive little owl that likes to guilt trip you into playing the app more – if you know, you know…!
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