Covid 19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown has brought with it work from home and chaos. It was unprecedented, Coronavirus has been in our lingo from January 2020 as something happening in-China- distant land of dragons. Nobody expected it to come knocking to our doorsteps let alone disrupt our lives.
Dealing with the new reality
Work from home has become the new norm, a big shift for the world except the IT crowd. Women both stay at home and working professionals have an altogether different challenge to face. With no maids and cooks they are working round the clock to keep the house clean and feed the hungry mouths. So how do you maintain clam midst this madness. Stick to an easy to follow routine, it is as simple as that.
Splitting the tasks
If the household chores are spread throughout the day, you would experience less productivity at your office work or other interests you pursue. Keep aside an hour in the morning and may be less than an hour in the evening to do your chores. The morning hour you can spend on cleaning here again schedule your week clearly- the days you are dusting, sweeping, moping, washing etc. Evening chore time can be dedicated to smaller tasks like folding clothes, organizing cupboards. The key is to do one activity a day so that you are not overwhelmed by the amount of work. Look around the house and split chores into things that have to be done daily, weekly or once a month. Ask your family to help out by giving them specific doable age appropriate tasks. Appreciate especially the kids for the work they have done. If the cleaning bit gets done in the morning you experience a nice clean environment throughout the day which helps in uplifting the mood.
This is something that is driving people crazy. There are two kinds of people out there, the ones who are going overboard with the exotic cooking experiments and the brigade who starts out to make an omelet but invariably ends with scrambled egg! Whichever world you belong to this is the time you have to ponder on prudence. Cook more and eat less is the mantra the chefs world over advice for quarantine times. If you as a family are used to 3-4 elaborate meals a day this is your opportunity to make a lifestyle change that guarantee’s a disease free living for your family. Make one pot meals your new beau. I can never stop stressing on this fact, hot one pot meals can be your savior in kitchen. You have infinite numbers of these recipes floating in the net. Cleaning up after cooking is a breeze with one pot meals. Make the food mindfully with lots of love, even the simplest recipes taste gourmet. Porridges, cereals and eggs can be simple breakfast options. An added advantage of simple cooking would be lesser number of supermarket visits. Quarantine time demands that everything that enters the house has to be washed or sanitized which means buying groceries and vegetables increases the work load.
WFH/Work from Home
I am pretty sure all of you irrespective of how pro you are at this are having issues in your WFH schedule. Here again the key is stick to your routine. Have a designated work space even if it is your living room couch. It is critical that everybody at home including kids respect your work timings and work space. Both out of bounds for others during your office work. It is very important you schedule your household chores either before or after your office timing else these chores would be always in mind effecting productivity.
If you are working or not you should dedicate at least an hour or two for things that bring joy to you. This can be time you spend on your passion, with your kids or simply ‘Me Time’. If you have kids at home make sure they are also aware of this and give ideas on how to make it more joyful. You can take up gardening or simple cooking with kids. Internet is filled with instructables on how to grow microgreens, gardening in small spaces. Kids love cooking and love it even more when people appreciate their food. This can also be your time to learn a skill or hobby. Online learning platforms are raining discounts on their courses ranging from artificial intelligence to baking. It is indeed one of the best times to be home, if you stay focused. Family prayer time is a ritual that can be restored to our generation. This can be anything to praying together to meditating. Choose your time and duration. If you think family TV time or board game helps in bonding then you should do it. At dawn/dusk also spend some quite time in your garden or balcony observing nature. Once you start paying attention to nature you will notice birds and flowers that can amaze and soothe you.
Mental health is another aspect that has been radically effected by the lockdown. Domestic violence is also on rise so it is very important to not lose your temper or get into arguments. Spend quality time with spouse and together as a family you can tide over these uncertain times. It is quite common to have news running in background 24/7 as if keeping your grip on the number of cases would benefit you. Remember this is not a test cricket happening and you don’t have to track the scores. If at all you have to hear news, keep it short and at specific time. All of these information overload will take its toll on your peace of mind. Stay Home Stay Calm!