Self-isolation, COVID-19, pandemic, virus – all of these words are inciting a worldwide paranoia and, by this stage in the UK, most are being told to self-isolate and work from home to prevent the spread of the corona virus, including those working in the creative industries. It is of the upmost importance to ensure the public safety of our population and to remain in a state of calm, especially at a time when stress is being exponentially generated throughout the nation. If you’re used to having a particular routine, being told to stay indoors and avoid contact with others can result in a heightened state of anxiety or loneliness. With this in mind, we want to provide helpful advice to those currently self-isolating in the UK to keep you safe, sane and productive.
Continue to stick to as normal a routine as possible. Do you normally walk to work/exercise beforehand? Do some indoor exercise to start your day – be that basic aerobics, stretching, yoga or a YouTube fitness video. Avoid staying in your pyjamas until 12pm.
Avoid isolating yourself in one position all day. In order to maintain focus and evade ‘cabin fever’, try your best to move around your environment. Given that you’re not likely to be going outside as much, try to avoid raising your heartrate by having regular caffeination breaks – have some water instead to avoid feeling restless.
Separating out your environment when working from home is a great technique to enhance productivity. Avoid working in bed/with the TV on in the living room. Establish a temporary workspace and surround yourself with familiar work items. When you’re finished, clear up the space to reinstate the space as your home, not your office.
We are in a heightened state of anxiety as a nation right now. If you’re worried and, especially if you have a diagnosed mental health condition, reach out to a healthcare representative or someone that you know and trust. Make sure that you’re talking through your concerns. There are multiple extensive resources out there for anyone experiencing mental health issues during this time. Here are a couple:
We are privileged to live in a world that has an ever-developing set of online entertainment platforms. Use this as an opportunity to be inspired – during the time you’d be commuting to work – plug into a new podcast, watch that indie short film you’ve been meaning to watch, start a creative project that you’ve been putting off. Feed your creativity.
This is especially prevalent to anyone living alone – keep in contact. Speak to your family, your friends, facetime with your cat, anyone that bolsters your happiness and will help avoid a sense of loneliness. Don’t feel as if you’re burdening others by calling them regularly – it’s important to continue with normal daily conversations and maintain healthy and open connections with your loved ones.
So, there you have it – a set of top tips for maintaining productivity and positivity while self isolating. While we are aware of the rising anxieties in the UK, it’s important to recognise that we are all in this together as a nation and, during this difficult time, we should be supporting each other.
If you work in the creative industries and want further guidance from the sector, take a look at our and the Creative Industries Federation’s COVID-19 guidance document, which will be regularly updated.