While we usually focus on marketing tips in this blog, in order to do our work we’ve had to adjust (along with the rest of the world) and find ways to find balance and space. After all, anxiety is the enemy of creativity, so we can’t be our best professionally if we’re struggling personally. So some of the team here at Ideal have compiled a list of the things that help us personally, and professionally to get through.
If just one person takes away an insight from this list, that’s a win for us – and hopefully, you’ll get to know the team a bit better too.
Jessica Shailes – Managing Director
- Starting and ending the day with journaling – I use the Best Self Journal which covers a 90 day period, and I started a fresh one just as we went into lockdown to help me make the most of this time. I like this journal because it starts by asking you to zoom out on the 90 day period, then in on the month, the week and the days and to keep checking back on our goals and your progress. So it helps to keep my goals and habits on track while integrating positive mental habits like gratitude and lessons learned without taking up much time.
- Keeping a routine – I’ve still been getting to my desk close to 9, most days with the same face, make-up and hair and office clothes (but with slippers!), taking lunch at 1 most days and trying to finish at my usual time. I have worked from home before when I was self-employed and I know how quickly the days can creep without a routine and I start to unravel.
- Playing the piano – it’s difficult to get physical space from work when you’re doing everything in the same building but playing the piano gives me mental space and a break in the middle of the day. I set myself the goal of finishing Moonlight Sonata by the end of lockdown and the aim of playing at least 10 minutes every day at lunch. My mum is a piano teacher and has been helping me (and her pupils) remotely via skype.
- Great audiobooks and podcasts – I am known for ‘always being tuned in’ to something, it’s escapism for me. I know that it isn’t for everyone but for those looking for some podcast recommendations, here are my top ones:
- More or less: behind the statistics
- Evil genius with Russel Kane
- The happiness labs
- The Modern Mann
- You’ll do
- You’re dead to me
- Revisionist History
- Now wash your hands
- The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry
- Friday Night Comedy
- If you do fancy trying an audiobook my favourite is Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection, read by Stephen Fry, which I listen to at least once a year – it’s over 70 hours and free with a 30-day trial (this is not an affiliate link, I just love audible).
- Fitness Blender exercise plans – I am used to working from home, I’ve used fitness blender for my exercise in combination with some power blocks and a yoga mat for years. I don’t just exercise for my physical health, if I’ve had a particularly stressful day, or feel like things are getting to me, exercise usually does the trick.
Louise Smith – Senior PR and Content Executive
- Reading – I’ve been losing myself in the world of the Tudor courts by finally getting round to reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which has been on my ‘to read’ list for years. I’ve almost finished it and have Bringing up the Bodies lined up to move straight on to next.
- Yoga – I have always enjoyed yoga but never really got into it the way I would like to. However thanks to Yoga with Adriene on Youtube I have got into an (almost) daily practice, which feels great.
- Nature – I was lucky enough to move to Great Bowden in February and have really enjoyed discovering lots of local walks and cycle routes that I know for a fact I would still be unaware of in normal circumstances. I’m also appreciating being able to see sheep (and occasionally rabbits) at the field at the front of the house. It’s also great to watch the oak trees in the field turn green and hear a woodpecker by day and owls in the evening. Again, I know I wouldn’t pay attention to these things in the same detail in normal times.
- Cooking – it’s nice to have time to meal plan for the week and have plenty of time to enjoy cooking – accompanied by the occasional glass of wine of course!
- Friends and family – I wish the kids could be at school and able to see their friends but it’s lovely to see so much of two twelve-year-olds who are normally out and about as much as they can be. Also, Zoom catch-ups have been a great substitute for real life socialising, including with people I haven’t seen for ages.
Rebecca Fox – Senior Search Marketing Executive
- Getting outside for long walks in the countryside
- Having video calls with friends and family
- Revisiting some of my favourite productivity/ self-help books and actually implementing them! Inc. Atomic Habits by James Clear (an all-time favourite of mine – his email newsletter is great too), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo (much needed when you’re working from home!) Next on my list is to re-read and try to implement The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, to try and bring a bit more structure to my day.
- Reading fiction books, playing video and tabletop games, and watching new series and movies to enjoy a little escapism in these unusual times.
- Cooking, baking, gardening and crafting. In general, just learning new skills that I’d not had the time to invest in before or in some cases needed to (turns out I’m not a bad bread baker or home hairdresser!)
- Volunteering to run errands (pick up groceries, prescriptions etc.) for people who are in isolation
Helen Campbell – Head of PR
- I’ve always found writing pretty therapeutic during difficult times or if I want to clarify my thoughts – which is just as well given my job! So, one of the benefits of lockdown has been having time to write up a sort of journal of thoughts and feelings which I’ve found really helpful.”
- For me, exercise and a sense of wellbeing are crucial and so I have been doing regular online workouts as well as running (very short!) distances. In order to ensure I keep well away from people when I’m running, I’ve been doing some cross country routes – and appreciating the beautiful countryside as I go.
- Having a little extra time has enabled me to do more reading for pleasure as well as reading for a part-time degree that I’m doing. Next on my to-read list at the moment is ‘The Mirror and the Light’, the new book by Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel. Her books are quite challenging reads but so worthwhile.
- I’ve also been trying to avoid too much TV as I soon get bored. So, we’ve been playing lots of games in the evenings and at the weekends. My younger son and I get very competitive over ‘Scrabble’ while ‘Monopoly’ has caused a few arguments. And we’re all obsessed with ‘Exploding Kittens’ at the moment NB: there aren’t real kittens and they don’t really explode!
What has been keeping you going? Let us know [email protected] or send us a message on our social channels.