How to stay motivated when normality is upside down

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Be it your fitness routine or having a clear head for working from home each day, we’ve rounded up some ways to stay motivated during the Covid-19 crisis
‘You are a star wrapped in skin’ – stunning #IrishMade print by Dusty Boy, click here for more.
How to stay motivated for fitness:

Whether you’re worried about missing gym time, you see the extra time at home as an opportunity to get a little fitter , or you like to work out to clear your mind, these tools might help:

#ARunADay Radio presenter Doireann Garrihy has started our new favourite hashtag trend. You might remember at Christmas she and sister Ailbhe Garrihy challenged their followers to the #2020christmaschallenge to work out 20 times in December. Well now she has started a movement to encourage people to get out for a short run each day. Running is a great exercise – it’s free, can be done alone and most people can do it, even if it’s just for a few minutes (the Couchto5k app comes highly recommended for building stamina). It’s also great for clearing the mind, so follow Doireann’s page and share your snaps to get involved.

Online workout videos. There are thousands of these online, thank you technology! YouTube is a good place to search. We really like the look of German fitness blogger Pamela Reif’s videos, and will be trying this one to ease us in this week:

Workout with a friend. Okay so we might not be able to be together, but thanks to technology you can use FaceTime or WhatsApp to have a joint workout with a pal – just prop your phone up and put on speaker so you can chat away. This is good for those of us who need accountability to workout. You can plan a quick 30-minute class together and take turns giving the sets. You could of course still meet up in the park and keep a safe distance, but with lots of people self restricting and isolating, this is a good option.

How to stay motivated for work:

Many people are being asked to work from home for the next couple of weeks, and if you’re on social media you’d have noticed an abundance of #WFH (working from home) posts. Even though it might feel like a novelty at first, though, working in isolation can be tough, especially when you’re used to bouncing ideas off colleagues or having a coffee with your work wife. Here are some tips that could help to keep your motivation going for longer:

Create a routine. Everyone has a routine in work, though you mightn’t even realise your 3pm coffee with a teammate is a routine. Create this structure for yourself at home too. Set up a chat group with your team members and agree a time each day that you’ll check in for chats and updates. Create a schedule such as: 9am brainstorm and questions answered, 11am 5 minute chats, 3pm tea and updates. Make sure to add in times for yourself for lunch and short breaks throughout the day and stick to them.

Plan housework. It’s difficult to sit at a desk to work on a project when there is a big basket of laundry in the corner of your eye. But your attention needs to be on work during working hours, so do yourself a favour and create a schedule for housework such as laundry and cleaning. One of the reasons we feel more productive in the office is thanks to there being less distractions, which is impossible to do at home. Alotting time for housework later in the day or at the weekend should help you to refocus, knowing they are on the to do list.

Have a shower, get dressed and don’t watch TV. On day one or two, it might feel novelty to work in our onesie, but the best way to keep some normality is to start each day at your home desk feeling fresh and professional. Last week, when the working from home measures were announced, lots of regular home workers shared getting dressed each morning as their number one tip. Their next tip was to avoid the TV until your work for the day is done, because it can be too easy to fall into a trap of watching longer than you planned.

How to stay motivated when looking after your family:

If you have children, parents or extended family members at home with you, it can be hard to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. In order to keep yourself sane and motivated to keep everyone else happy, these tips might help:

Do whatever works for you. There’s lots of information going around about limiting screen time or making your kids wear uniforms to ‘school’, but it’s going to be a long couple of weeks so if you need to turn on the TV for a few minutes of peace , you do you. Don’t add extra pressure on yourself to be a perfect parent, after all these are extraordinary times.

Zone the house. If the place is feeling a little busy, zone areas in the house where people can have their own space. Forexmaple, rooms can be choll out zones – so kids can have some downtime in their rooms, but equally the couch can be a no-go area during daytime. The garden can be a ‘fun zone’ where the family can hang out together for 30 minutes each day (you could even assign some light chores to this time).

How to stay motivated to laugh:

It might sound silly, but laughter really is the best medicine. When we’re stressed, worried or just tired from the news cycle – a good laugh can be a great tonic or the soul. Try these steps for more smiles:

Marian Keyes’s tweets have been giving us smile a this week. Read: At home with Marian.

Get nostalgic. Take out things that you used to laugh your head off at as child. If you have kids, get them involved by showing them the movie or comic you loved to giggle at. Old home movies and photo albums can also bring big smiles to faces.

Share joyous content. If you’re like us, all of your messaging apps are probably filed with constant gloomy news. Start a new group with loved ones called Positivity Chat. Ask members to share videos of the little ones in your family (toddlers don’t know there’s a crisis, after all), pets being silly, or funny memes and jokes on the internet.

Have a dance party. Lots of artists are doing live concerts on Instagram Live and other channels. Hozier, James Vincent McMorrow, Dermot Kennedy and more have surprised fans with their mini gigs in recent days, and the trend is set to continue. Why not set up a group video call with your mates or family and enjoy a gig night together in the comfort of your own home?

How to stay motivated in general, during the Covid-19 crisis:

Take one day at a time. It’s very difficult not to look ahead to the weeks and months to come and wonder, what will happen to my job, my family, my holiday, my future plans? Unfortunately so much is out of our control. What we can control is our own actions. Taking time out from the news cycle to decompress and planning one day at a time may sound simple, but it really will help.

If you’re feeling anxious about it all, check out this really helpful advice on how to cope.