How Can I Stay Motivated During COVID-19?
Bizarrely, I feel this lockdown has been a rollercoaster. Confined in our seats, being still, having to go along with the ride, watching days click past with all the ups and downs of a big dipper; but this is nowhere near as much fun. Whilst, rollercoasters (and clunky metaphors) may not be your thing, I’m sure we can all agree that in one shape or another, lockdown is tiring and motivation waxes and wanes.
When we had to press the pause button on our ‘normal’ routines I, like many, thought this would be an opportunity to get into shape, sharpening and honing my skills like a samurai support worker. But two months passed, and I found my nailed down morning routine had slipped a little, the 06:30am runs became 6:30pm runs, much valuable time was spent cursing the unstable internet and at times I felt somewhat unproductive and… demotivated.
However, it is accepted that we need to be okay with periods of being less productive and consider our self-care, we have all had to make huge adjustments. That said, let’s take some responsibility for our own motivation and wherever possible, the motivation of others and make the best out of our situation by looking at the advice given, what works for me and what we can do to build and maintain the motivation of those we support.
What advice is out there?
There is a wealth of advice for keeping our wellbeing on track and our motivation up, but you can start to feel bombarded by the repeated advice. As is the case when given such advice you take from it what you need, you try it and see what sticks. Here are a few of the things that have worked for me.
Get Moving – I have been enjoying my running, listening to my music, and seeing other people running and cycling is really heartening. Of course, getting out and exercising is beneficial for our physical health and wellbeing, equally exercising gently inside your home can keep you engaged physically and lessen lockdown stressors. There are many excellent online yoga sessions to try (my favourites are Idan Kirsher’s Facebook sessions), but do go easy…!
Movement is also an opportunity to free your thoughts and get creative. As the motivational speaker, Tony Robbins says, “Motion creates emotion! Get up and make things happen!”, whilst we are in physical motion we have some of our most creative ideas… Go find your inspiration and get moving!
Mindfulness – I find mindfulness works for me, although I sometimes need to be mindful to remind myself of this. However, mindfulness does not suit some, for example for those with fixated, busy thoughts that cannot easily be quietened, mindfulness may be a frustrating exercise.
Avoid the “Mood Hoovers” – Positivity can be infectious, but so can negativity. A Mood Hoover is someone who brings you down with their negativity. Of course, during lockdown we don’t necessarily get to choose who we spend time with, so I am expanding this to include online media. Social media platforms are invaluable in helping us to remain connected to family, friends and the world in general. However, the bombardment of information and sensationalist news about things beyond our control only serves to reinforce negative feelings… a sure way to pour cold water on your motivation. It has become a cliché, but we can only control what we can control; one thing we can control is our screen time.
You are not working from home. You are having to stay at home trying to work during a crisis – Carry this with you throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, it helped to encourage me to do my best, but to also look after myself.
These are just a few things that have stuck with me to help stay motivated. I also find this resource from IPS Grow useful as a reminder to look after myself, take breaks, address my ergonomics and stretch! Here is a link, IPS Grow Remote Working Wellness Guide, print out and stick it on the wall above your laptop!
Matthew Morris, Employment Officer