My Experience of Working from Home During Lockdown

This week is Mental Health Week and the theme for 2020 is Kindness.  As we are all aware, 2020 has had a very unusual start and I believe that the theme of kindness fits perfectly with our current situation.  Mental Health Awareness week is very important as it is an opportunity for us all to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate social stigma.  This year, mental health awareness week is taking place under lockdown restrictions.  Everybody has a different attitude towards lockdown and deals with it in their own way.

My experience of lockdown hasn’t been all that bad.  However, as we can all agree, being at home all day every day, whether working or not, can be mentally exhausting.  Me and my parents have been keeping up the morale by doing things we normally wouldn’t have time for.  Once a week, we get together with the family over video call and have a quiz night.  This gives everybody something to look forward too and gets our brains working.  It also gives us a night full of laughter and happiness, which really gets our spirits high.  Lockdown has given us a very different outlook on life, as it has made us realise that all the little things matter.  That is why, for mental health week, you should think about what new little things you can do to lighten the mood during lockdown.

Working from home is very different to being in an office.  Lockdown has given so many people an insight to what it would be like to work from home every day.  There are a few advantages and a few disadvantages.  The main disadvantage is that working from home throws away normality.  This links in with mental health week as the majority of people’s social lifestyle comes from working with others, whereas working from home, you’re alone. This means you are not able to have your usual social interaction with others, which can really make you feel quite lonely in the homeworking environment.  For me, working from home has taught me that I definitely thrive from being around others.  There are a few advantages such as being in the comfort of your own home and for me it’s being able to wear pyjamas 24/7!  But for some people, working from home really is their worst nightmare.  Having a routine by going out to work and being around others can really benefit people dealing with mental health.  During this unusual time, keep in touch with colleagues to give them friendly support because they may be dealing with lockdown very differently to you.  It doesn’t feel like a holiday break for all of us.

As an apprentice I have support from both Obsidian and the College.  My Tutor has been keeping me busy with my apprenticeship work to get an early finish on the end of year evaluations.  When it comes to my apprenticeship, this time at home has really helped me improve my apprenticeship work, as I am able to take the time and look back over everything and make improvements.  In a way, I am happy to have the opportunity to be doing the work needed at home, as there are fewer work distractions. I have had a large amount of support from Obsidian during the time working at home.  We have a call once a week with all the staff to discuss business, but also to have a general catch up.  I know that if I needed support, they would definitely be there to help me.  I also get regular calls from my tutor to make sure I’m doing okay in myself as she is there to support all her students during this time.

Mental health is about the way you think, feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs.  Mental health doesn’t always stay the same, it can differ with any slight change of lifestyle or specific circumstances.  As we are all experiencing different circumstances and change in lifestyle at the moment, here are some positive ways to keep your emotional health and well-being on the right path:   

  • Talk about your feelings – keep in touch with others – ask for advice/help
  • Keep physically and mentally active – try an easy workout – activate your brain by doing a quiz, crossword etc. 
  • Eat and drink well – eating junk food all the time can have a negative effect
  • Do something you are good at/enjoy – maybe try something new

This week take some time to think about the effects lockdown can have on people.  Get in touch with loved ones and friends regularly.  Although people may not show signs of mental health struggles, they could be hiding their true feelings.  Always remember, one short phone call could save a life.  With 2020s mental health awareness weeks theme being kindness, try and think about how you can add kindness to your lockdown routine.  Whether it may be delivering goods to loved ones, or even something as little as saying a kind hello when passing by someone.  All the little things matter in our lives.

Stay Safe, Stay Strong & Be Kind!

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