Violeta M. Bagia
Working from home, isolation and going stir-crazy!
While we’re all confined to our homes during the Covid-19 pandemic it’s easy to start going stir-crazy.
Most creatives at this time are hung up on feeling the pressure to do more and create more.
While it is a great time to harness your cozy home activities it’s also a trying time for your mental health. You might be seeing your peers posting successes during this time and achievements in ‘iso’. But you don’t have to follow suit. You’re your own person and we all achieve things at varying times.
For me personally, I have little trouble staying motivated when it comes to writing but when it comes to Uni, I’m struggling every day. It’s a fine line between staying motivated and staying on top of your work. While I can make the deadlines (because I’m not about to fail a unit!) I do find it hard to motivate myself to do it. So, it brings me to the most pertinent question of all—how do we do it? Unfortunately, it’s not a one size fits all kind of deal. What works for me might not work for you.
But I will share a few pointers I’ve picked up from the awesome guys at work, family and friends around the world.
1. Set yourself small goals, something topical and achievable. For me, I’ve signed a 3-book deal with a new publisher. I can’t smash out two new books on a whim (I’m good, but not that good!) So, I’ve set myself a small goal every week to do research, planning, mood boards. Whatever it might be, to help me on the journey to writing the new books.
2. Set yourself break times, a block of time where you unplug and unwind. I still have to work from home and study, so I utilize my lunch breaks to go for a walk around the block, watch an episode of something on Netflix or just play with the pups.
3. Schedule Zoom, Skype of Houseparty dates. Not only do you maintain a healthy social life, you get to see your friend’s beautiful faces! I have two girlfriends who I absolutely can’t live without chatting to fairly regularly, so we set a time and bring some wine to the party. Make a Spotify playlist to keep your mood up and share the love with your friends!
4. Set realistic expectations for yourself. You can’t compare your achievements, work ethic or goals, to someone else’s. Every person works differently. This is the most important thing I’ve learned.
It’s easy to get caught up in social media and what everyone else is doing and while Facebook, Twitter and Instagram keep us connected in this time of isolation, they can also make us feel incredibly challenged. Remember to pace yourself and work to your goals. Share them with each other or keep a diary. But don’t scrutinize yourself for not finishing that painting or writing another chapter. You’re waking up and kicking butt every day. That’s enough.