The other day I wrote to a friend that every day was a bit like Groundhog Day – the boundaries between weekdays and weekends and my work and home life blurring into one, with each day not being much different to the other. Before this pandemic, there were established routines that helped me define my days and which I really enjoyed – such as the kids going to school, the daily commute into London, popping out to a sandwich shop for a bite to eat at lunchtime and then catching up with friends and family at the weekend.
But I am not the only one. This week I have seen many posts expressing these sentiments, especially those of working parents where the novelty of online schooling for their children has probably worn off and they are having to even more so balance getting their work done and entertaining their children while trying to distinguish their workday from their home life.
I discussed this with Karen Jackson, my fellow partner and she emphasised that it was really important that I prioritise differentiating parts of my day, so that not only did I clock off and have time to look after the children but also so that I found time for myself. The latter being really important, because before this pandemic I could do such things like go to the gym, ponder my day on my train journey from work, see my friends (without my children) to get some headspace amongst all the mayhem.
I am really going to heed this advice because looking after my mental health should be a priority, it will make me a better mum and employee too. I looked online to see what others are doing to achieve this and their suggestions can be summed up as follows:
- Wear work clothes when I am working, i.e., at least change out of your pyjamas.
- Setting a start and end time to your working day.
- Getting out each day for some exercise and fresh air – vitamin D is so important in these cold days.
- Having a designated workspace if you can, so you can step away from it when you end your day.
- Taking regular breaks through the day.
- Scheduling some things to look forward to, like a catch up with friends or family.
So the sun is shining and heeding this advice I am off to the park for my daily exercise and to take the kids away from their many different screens.
This blog is by Anita Vadgama, Legal Director at didlaw Limited