Having personal space is essential. But during this COVID-19 crisis, many people have had their personal space eliminated or reduced greatly! This can cause a lot of anxiety and distress with many people desperately seeking that personal space and time they covet and value.
If you are wondering how you’ll get through this, you’re not alone. Psychologically we need and value this personal space, and it helps us to reduce and manage distractions. Many of us need that precious “alone time” afforded to us when the kids are at school, or when we’re grabbing a coffee before work and even during social obligations. Now we find this precious commodity suspended as we are sheltering in place.
There’s no need to feel guilty about any of this. I’m sure your roommates, family or significant others are having similar thoughts.
By controlling our environment, we have a greater sense of predictability, which lowers our anxiety and stress. Predictability is something we traders fully understand.
So, as we all try and do our part to shelter in place as we fight the spread of COVID-19, we need to get creative and come up with a plan to not only survive but thrive.
Here are four tips on how to create your own personal space while sheltering at home during the COVID-19 crisis.
1) Look for uncharted nooks and crannies
Your home or apartment probably has a spot or two that you either never use, or don’t use to its full ability. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, make sure that you let those you live with know that when you are in this space, you are working. Either set hours or have them ask for permission to enter. One way to let your family know you’re “off-limits” is to wear headphones. If you have your earbuds in, others are less likely to bother you. Even if you’re just wearing noise-canceling headphones, and they are turned off, you’re sending a communication “stop-sign.”
2) Divide and conquer your floor plan
You can always rework your floor plan if space is limited, specifying new purposes for each room. The Kitchen may no longer be the gathering place if this is where you need to get work done. Even a bathroom can be re-purposed if necessary. A closet can become a room if large enough and not crammed full of stuff. Hmmm…it may be time to de-clutter. Hopefully, with the weather changing for the better, we can get outside to exercise, but if not, find a hallway or someplace where you can work up a good sweat. My point is, while not ideal, we need to get creative if our livelihoods depend on it.
3) Don’t Sleep on it
Sometimes when making important decisions, it makes sense to “sleep on it.” You wake up with a fresh perspective. But one space that I believe should be off-limits for getting work done is your bed. If you read my post about how sleep compromises your trading, you know how I feel about sleep and its importance. If you missed it, check it out here: https://marawealth.com/how-does-lack-of-sleep-compromise-trading/ Now, if you have a room large enough to carve out a working corner, fine, but I wouldn’t get in the habit of working while lying in bed. You don’t want to associate your bed with work because this won’t bode well when trying to fall asleep. And besides, I can think of a much better way to put this space to use, and it will also help you sleep ; )
4) Create a Shared Calendar
In a sense, the people you’re quarantining with become your “colleagues.” Meaning, it can’t hurt to let each other know what activities you have planned so everyone is aware of which space you will be using and for how long.
Another fun idea is to do Google calendar invites or write out a schedule with your kids on a dry erase white board or whatever you have that could be visible for the family. You can even create this schedule together with your kids so that everyone is aware of what needs to get done during the day, but be sure to allow for flexibility. Things are going to need to be reworked or changed, and that’s ok.
If you don’t allow for flexibility you can become more distressed and frustrated. So try to be easy on yourself and your family since everyone is adjusting. If there is a very important trade or meeting you have that day, make sure it is communicated with your spouse or partner early. That enables other arrangements to be made or meetings shifted to accommodate the family responsibilities. And remember, we can’t be all work and no play, so remember to have some fun too!
I would love to hear how you’re dealing with creating a personal space and handling anxiety while sheltering in place. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not, so please share your ideas, and hopefully, we can help make everyone’s life a little easier.
If you have any questions be sure to comment on this post or email me at [email protected]
Also, if you missed my previous posts, be sure to check them out below:
Beth Marconi is an experienced corporate consultant, personal lifestyle coach and member of the MARA team. As a Certified Nutritional Consultant, she ties health and wellness to trading successfully in the market.