Nicki Taunt, works in our Corporate Creative Hub team in York. Here she shares her top tips for solo isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak.
My name’s Nicki Taunt, and I’m a copywriter here at Aviva.
Working remotely affects everyone differently. We’ve been talking a lot about useful hints and tips for parents trying to balance working and home schooling, and those with caring responsibilities. But what if you live on your own?
Social distancing is hard for us all, but for those of us who live alone, lockdown brings its own particular challenges. I haven’t had physical contact with another human being for weeks now. Not a pat on my arm, not a hand on my shoulder and definitely not a hug. Usually, we take these small moments of human interaction for granted, maybe barely noticing them. Until they suddenly disappear.
I now spend 100% of my time on my own.
That’s hard to do. I’m lucky in that I’m comfortable with my own company, but even so, there are times when it would be heaven to hug someone. Being alone all the time means there’s no one there when you have a wobble, which we all do in these strange times. There’s nobody to nudge awake and speak to when dark thoughts crowd your mind when you’re lying awake in the middle of the night. And with no end in sight for the lockdown, it’s easy to feel like you’re never going to actually see anyone in real life ever again.
It's because of this that I’ve put together my own personal top tips. If you find yourself in a similar situation to me, I really hope these help you. Even if you’re locked down with other people, you might find them useful, so have a look.
Looking after your mental health during this difficult time is important too. Anxiety is tough to deal with at the best of times, but for those living and working alone through a pandemic it can be especially hard.
- Talk to people every day – social distancing doesn’t mean emotional isolation, so make sure you remind yourself you’re loved by connecting with the people you care about
- Lose yourself in other worlds – dive into books, films, TV shows
- Crank up the tunes – singing and dancing are great for your wellbeing
- Keep your mind busy – do some puzzles, drawing, painting or colouring in
- Keep your body active – go out for your daily exercise slot or exercise at home to boost your endorphins
- Be kind to yourself – treat yourself to an Easter egg, a long luxurious bath or whatever you fancy
- Acknowledge your feelings - it’s okay not to be okay sometimes, so give yourself permission to recognise things are hard at the moment
Our Aviva Business Perspectives have some great advice for employers and their employees on how best to deal with work-related anxiety. While it may feel like Groundhog day every day at the moment (what day is it anyway?!), it’s still vitally important to switch off from work and take a proper break in the evenings and at the weekend.
At the moment, we’re more reliant than ever on email and impersonal forms of communication, but following some simple email etiquette tips could help make everyone’s day a little less stressful. And while we can’t physically connect with one another, we can still catch-up with our colleagues face to face via video chats or speak on phone calls.
The University of Cambridge have also shared five ways – all based on science – that you can take back control and lower your anxiety levels during this time of uncertainty.