I have always thought of myself as a healthy person. I do get hay fever from time to time, but seldom get really ill – overall I consider myself as healthy as a horse! So I have never looked at my health holistically and considered my overall well-being. This wasn’t until lockdown came and I started working from home.
Initially, I was excited and really intrigued by this new experience. I was an early bird and did everything like I would when I was still going to the office. Eventually, the experience of working from home got old, and lockdown got daunting – because of the limited activities we had access to as a result of the regulations.
I started developing bad habits, and when restaurants started operating again I started eating unhealthy foods, fast foods. This affected my productivity and like everyone else, I noticed my mental health dilapidating. I was fatigued mentally and it showed physically too.
I have now tried several things to try and take care of my well-being. I realised that rest is essential, and I took leave to do absolutely nothing but rest and reenergise. I have developed a routine that I always try to stick to, and I admit I don’t always stick to it – and that’s okay.
I have 4 alarms that go off at different times of the day and are attached to different activities throughout the day. I have a 7:00 wash and get ready for work alarm. I work from my home work station.
I have a 13:00 alarm labelled “Lunch”. Sometimes you can get so busy you forget to take lunch; to eat and rest. During my lunch, I sometimes take a nap. I have an alarm at 13:55 labelled “Get back to work”. My fourth and last alarm is at 17:00, to get off my computer; that is my time to stop working. I have these alarms to allow myself to have a routine and a way of doing things. I do this so I do not feel overwhelmed and anxiety-riddled.
Well-being is relative to what individual values. On the weekends I make time for myself, my partner and my friends. I do not always stick to this because there are times when I need to get things done; times where I don’t feel like waking up at 7, and I wake up at 8:30 – 30 minutes before I start working. That is okay; it is what’s best for me that day.
One’s well-being is about making a conscious decision to develop good habits. Nothing changes overnight; take small steps towards the best you want to be. Have a routine that allows you to get things done without overwhelming yourself. Make time for the things that make you happy. We live in a fast-paced world. As students and professionals, we are always doing what we have to do; things we need to do. We must also make time to play; to be free.
If you enjoyed this, you may like Mental Health During Lockdown here
Tell us: What do you do that makes you feel well?