Careful focus and small joys

Careful focus and small joys

Social Distancing and Working From Home. In theory, neither or these topics filled me with fear or trepidation when they first surfaced. To be perfectly honest; I was kind of looking forward to the mandated home time. While I’m comfortable being a people person, I’m far more comfortable being a book or music person, with limited social obligation. And then came lockdown.

Ultimately, it’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Follow the rules. Stay at home. Take care of yourself and others. Set a routine. Adapt, but as far as you can, maintain your daily structure in order to minimise the crazy effect this is going to have on your life. Our island is lucky enough to be allowed outside time; so get outside. Remember to schedule alone time and self-care. Be on the lookout and protect your own and others’ mental health. Don’t panic. Keep calm, carry on. After all; it could certainly be far worse. Right? 

How does that translate into an overwhelmed huddle into the couch, staring at some or other device, attempting to order the thoughts running rampant in your brain? Nobody said my brain would attempt to double-cross me at every step of following the simplest set of rules ever. 

Lockdown is any overthinker’s worst nightmare, introvert or not. It’s the procrastinator’s sure-fire opportunity to lapse into abysmal, destructive habits while feeling confusingly confident, secure and pretty righteous about it. But then, amidst all the panic, worry and catastrophising, there are the shining gems of moments where you manage to school your thoughts, to rebel against the overpowering temptation to freak out, and realise that we are all strong enough to get through this.

I haven’t had this much forced, focused thinking time since school years, without any of the normal distractions and many responsibilities that usually accompany daily life. I’ve realised that in order to come out the other side in one piece, my hardest ‘work from home’ is to direct the forced focus appropriately, to create necessary distractions and to enjoy the remaining responsibilities.

My daily work responsibilities at Leapfrog have not changed and these are perhaps the easiest and most straight-forward ones to stick to. We are a strong team, we communicate daily and honestly, and we carry on about our days, starting conversations between job seekers and employers and offering support and advice where we can.

My biggest joys during #WFH have been access to the kitchen and excellent coffee two steps to my right, and a retreat into music, both of which bring me immense joy and help me focus clearly on the work at hand. I still feel overwhelmed about 20 times a day, but by steering my focus to our community’s fantastic response to a global crisis, my partner’s unwavering support, the hilarious antics of my colleagues, friend and family over digital communications and the joyous spring sunshine on my face, I manage to quell the thoughts. I try my best to focus on the small joys every day, to reach out to those who need a virtual hand, and to accept the support offered so freely during this time.

If you want to chat (about work or not work), send me an email. This is a challenging time and we’re all figuring it out as we go along; which is exactly how we will all get through it.