A new everyday life - daily schedule, media and work
mastering changes in everyday life and the daily challenges are a very important issue for many people. Many are forced to spend more time at home, both adults and children. A new daily structure has to be found. Sometimes the work in the home office has to be organized or childcare has to be arranged. Hobbies or leisure activities are eliminated. Instead, there is a lot of time for using media. Information about the course of the corona spread is important, but too much information can also be harmful. As a chance, the new situation results in the emergence of new communities, for example in the neighbourhood or in the community.
At the same time, everyday life changes due to new or repealed rules. The portals of the various state governments provide information about current and existing regulations.
Plan everyday life
Maintaining a structured everyday life is very important. The basic principle for the current situation can be said: "Only if we take sufficient care of ourselves, have a good daily structure, can we also help others well." This can be achieved, for example, with a fixed plan. Most experts confirm how important and helpful such an everyday plan is. The plan serves as a kind of “timetable” for the day or for the week. The following must be taken into account:
- It looks different for everyone, but fixed routines and rituals can be helpful for everyone. This can be, for example, a breakfast together or a walk at a fixed time. Routines and rituals also provide children with orientation and a feeling of security. Older people, for example, people with dementia, also benefit greatly from rituals and routines
- Fixed, if possible regular time slots make up this daily or weekly schedule.
- If you live in a partnership
or family, it helps to set this schedule together. This increases liability. You feel more obliged to adhere to and implement the agreed plan. In addition, everyone's needs can then be taken into account accordingly.
- Importantly, in addition to mandatory activities also beautiful moments or reward activities schedule that good for one.
The effects of the corona pandemic do not stop at work. They pose very different challenges. For some, the workload increases enormously, for example in retail or in the medical field. Others are affected by short-time work or have lost orders as self-employed. For many, the organization of work changes through the home office, some have to organize childcare at the same time.
If you work at home, there are a few simple but effective tips:
Design your workplace consciously.
- If possible, set up a permanent job. Use this only for work. This helps to separate work and private life. For example, if you have to work at the kitchen table, choose a different place for working than for eating etc. This also helps to separate the different areas of life.
- Also pay attention to how you sit. Sit in a healthy and relaxed posture. Change the seating position more often. Exercise regularly in between.
Stay in contact.
- Discuss in a team or with your supervisor which media you would like to use for meetings and the transfer of information (e.g. telephone, email, video chats). Try not to use too many different media.
- Clarify at what times you can or must be reached via which routes.
- Maintain “in-between contacts” with colleagues at work, too. Continue rituals from “normal” everyday work. This can be, for example, in the form of a short, daily phone call at the start of work. Or you can meet for a break together using videotelephony. Or you can say goodbye at the end of the day with a message. Choose what suits you.
Plan your day at work.
- An advantage of home office can be that working hours can be made more flexible. Nevertheless, set working hours as regularly as possible.
- Regular breaks are proven to be important in order to be able to work in a focused and efficient manner. So plan regular breaks. Do not spend them at your workplace.
- Make sure you adhere to your working hours. Many work longer in the home office.
- It is best to make a weekly schedule in which the working hours and break times are recorded. You can also use the online calendar so that managers and colleagues know when you can be reached.
- Discuss the times with your family and those around you. Can the work be reconciled with your family situation? Could you keep this situation going for several weeks? If not, don't be afraid to seek support. Despite the limited number of contacts, there are options. This can be through a conversation with the supervisor. Or through neighbourhood help.
Create a separation of work and private.
- When working at home, it is often more difficult to switch off. It is helpful here to set up a workplace that is only used for work. In the best case, this is a study, the door of which can be closed after work. If you don't have the option of an extra workstation, you can also choose a table side or a place where you would otherwise not be sitting.
- The choice of clothing also has a psychological impact on whether you feel like at work or in your free time. It can be helpful to change before and after work. A suitable piece of clothing may also be sufficient for this, for example a blouse or a shirt, depending on the field of work.
- In addition, rituals at the start and end of work are helpful. At the end of the day, this can be clearing away the laptop and documents, closing the door to the study or covering the PC with a cloth. Be creative here.
Care for mental health:
Protection against psychological overload associated with COVID-19 is just as important as protection against infection.
Mental illnesses were already the second most common reason for absenteeism last year. It is likely that this will increase further due to the various additional burdens, for example due to the absence of childcare, the representation of sick colleagues, through time off, Loss of earnings, job insecurity, the fear of contagion if the hygiene regulations in the company are not complied with, the fear of a warning if the regulations are not complied with sufficiently or long journeys for cross-border commuters.
If all of the personnel can be protected from chronic stress and deterioration in mental health during this exceptional situation, they will be better able to perform their duties. Also keep in mind that the current situation will not be resolved overnight. Instead of focusing on repeated short-term crisis management, you should keep an eye on longer-term professional capacity.
What can you do for the mental health of your employees?
- Make sure that all employees have good communication and accurate, up-to-date information. If necessary, make sure that the information is available in different languages. Also use opportunities to communicate "personally", for example through video messages. It is helpful and safe to create a routine for communication, for example to give a short update every day at the same time.
- Especially in times of crisis, it is important to be in contact. Ask how your employees are doing and give them the opportunity to exchange views on what the current situation of each person is. Use online conferences, for example, but also one-on-one meetings. Not all personal difficulties are addressed openly in the group setting. Here too, a routine is recommended, that is, to observe fixed weekdays and times. Even if there is no great need for discussion, at least a short exchange round should be made. The crisis situation is very demanding for managers, often existential economic questions and challenges are in the foreground. Nevertheless, think about the care for your employees. The support and support,
- Provide suitable technical means of communication to enable team communication well, even with a spatial separation.
- Initiate partnerships between new and more experienced colleagues. The "buddy system" helps to provide support, to keep an eye on stress and to strengthen security procedures. In this exceptional situation, it can be very easy for managers, particularly, to exchange ideas with experienced colleagues on a regular basis.
- Enable flexible schedules for employees who are indirectly affected. Make sure that the colleagues can provide each other with social support in good time, for example to be able to carry out their work from home.
- If necessary, give employees access to psychological discussions and advice.
- Be a role model. Leaders are also faced with stress factors similar to those of their employees and may find themselves under additional pressure from their leadership responsibilities in the crisis situation. Use the precautions and strategies mentioned for yourself, too. Be a role model for self-help strategies for prudent handling of exceptional situations and for reducing stress.
Find out more: media and news
Different media can be very helpful during the period of limited contact. They make it possible to maintain social contacts and to inform us. At the same time, some are trying to exploit the current situation for fraud, including through the media. We also experience a “flood” of information and opinions, some of which are contradictory. How can we react to that?
How do Media help?
Digital media and classic communication media such as cell phones or telephones help in everyday life:
- They make it easier to maintain social contacts in times of no contacts .
- On the Internet, you can find help offers various concerns quickly and easily. This can be, for example, caring for relatives or needed support due to quarantine.
- Social media such as Instagram or various apps also help organize common tasks.
- They are often important sources of information, including current decisions or protective measures.
Dangers on the phone and on the Internet
Older people are particularly affected by fraudulent calls. How to identify fraud.
- The callers claim that your home and you are infected with the coronavirus. They also say that people living in the house must be examined.
- The callers offer solutions on their own initiative. You propose to come to your home. They then pretend to have a consultation with you in the apartment, disinfect the apartment, carry out corona tests and make compromises with roommates.
If a call comes in that you are unsure of, the following steps will help:
- Always ask the caller for the name on the phone.
- If you have an uncomfortable feeling on the phone, you can simply hang up and end the call.
- After the interview, take your time and talk to relatives or neighbours! Describe the situation to them!
- If there are unknown people at the door and offer you the measures mentioned above, always ask for an ID! Do not let strangers into your apartment.
- The most important thing is: Never give money or valuables to unknown people!
In the current situation, there are two main traps for online fraud :
- On the one hand, there are fraudulent Internet sites that supposedly show current numbers about the infections with the Coronavirus, for example on a world map. The goal is not to inform you with correct numbers, but to get your money. Warning: Clicking on the map will set up malware on your computer without being noticed. This reads your access data and passwords on the computer and passes them on to the fraudsters.
- Secondly, fake emails are often used for fraud. The emails state that you will find important information about Corona in the email attachments. You will be asked to open these attachments with a password. Warning: If you enter the password, strangers can access your computer!
To avoid fraud by websites and emails, do the following:
- Be careful and only open websites and email attachments that you can trust! Check the sender (the person or institution from whom the email comes). If in doubt, contact the sender by phone before opening an attachment. Then you can clarify whether it is a "real", serious email or whether you better delete it unread.
- Be very sceptical about emails with attachments that include a password! Under no circumstances open the attachment!
Secure and trustworthy sources of information on the Internet
Unfortunately, there is also a lot of wrong information and rumours about the Coronavirus on the Internet. For example, there is the wrong information that you don't get a coronavirus when you go out in the sun.
It is important to choose trustworthy websites in order to be well informed and to be able to protect yourself against infection. Too much or incorrect information can lead to unsubstantiated anxiety or fear. In addition, there is no risk of fraud on trustworthy websites.
But which websites are trustworthy?
- The World Health Organization website : Here you will find information on rumors and Corona myths . There are also answers to frequently asked questions , information about symptoms and general prevention , practical instructions, for example on wearing protective masks and current situation reports .
The many different information about Corona creates me. How can I handle it well and still stay informed?
When getting the latest information, it is important to:
- Limit the time in which you can find out more. You can schedule this into your daily schedule! Too much time to search for information and too much information can be upsetting.
- Limit yourself to the essentials! Be sure to read positive news too! Read, for example, about the growing number of people who have recovered!
Solidarity, community and mutual help are particularly important in times of crisis. The forced increase in staying at home, the loss of childcare and the work situation in the home office can lead to conflicts in the neighbourhood. At the same time, there is a great willingness to support other people and to cultivate new contacts and communities. Various issues need to be considered in order for this to work well.
Conflicts in the house or in the neighbourhood
In times of crisis, general tension and changes in everyday life can lead to conflicts within the neighbourhood or house community.
© Brandon Morgan on Unsplash
Perhaps the situation is so bearable that you can wait to see whether the general situation regarding Corona can be resolved by relaxing the situation. For example, if you feel disturbed by the noise of children who are currently unable to go to daycare or school. The situation for the affected family is certainly not easy to solve here.
Perhaps a clarifying discussion can help, in which the changes in everyday life and possibly changing needs are discussed with each other. For example, if you should concentrate on working in the home office at certain times, but your neighbour is currently doing his sports program at home during this time, causing the noise. In the discussion, agreements could perhaps be found at the respective times for home office and sport.
If the situation is very stressful and clarification with the other party is not possible, do not hesitate to use professional support offers!
Mediation offers can settle disputes and find a solution that is acceptable to both parties. Some offers have already adapted to the current situation and help online
Due to the current situation, there are also many opportunities for many neighbourhoods and house communities. Many people want to get involved right now and support people in need. This helps not only the people who are helped but also those who help. A feeling of cohesion or togetherness is also important for many right now.
© Shane Rounce on Unsplash
There are several ways to get involved:
- For example, you can go shopping for others. This helps to protect people who would be particularly at risk from being infected with the virus. This is particularly important for older people or people with (chronic) previous illnesses. For example, they put money and shopping lists in a wallet. The person who helps picks it up and buys it. They then put the purchases outside the door, where they have picked up their wallet and the list.
- There are also many offers of help to help people pick up medication or take care of children. For example, this helps single parents. They are currently often under extreme stress because they have to reconcile childcare and work (whether in the home office or away from home).
- There are also helpful options that are not limited to specific needs. for example, you can enter your concerns and your exact problem. This is seen by other people who can then offer their help in a targeted manner. In addition, you can also clearly describe your help offer for everyone. There is also a free telephone service during the week.
Attention with neighbourhood help
Mutual support has many advantages. However, there are also traps.
© Skitterphoto on Pexels
There is a high likelihood of infection or transmission of the virus through the neighbourhood help. For example, this happened in the city of Wuhan in China, where the coronavirus was discovered.
How can I help with neighbourhood help to avoid spreading the virus? What should I pay special attention to?
There are specific tips
- The key is to avoid direct personal contacts that are not absolutely necessary.
- Comply with the basic rules, i.e. do not enter the apartment, do not shake hands, wear protective masks.
- If possible, focus your help on one household. Avoid having contact with many different people.
- Avoid long distances, help people who live nearby and who can be reached without public transport.
- Remember, withdrawing or avoiding personal contacts can also help. This may sound contradictory, but it can limit the spread of the virus.