If you had asked me pre-COVID-19 what I preferred – working from home or in the office, I would have said being in the office every time. Living on my own, I felt that I needed the company of others in the office to mitigate feeling lonely. I would also arrange drinks with friends after work, and attend networking events, as well as fitting in gym classes; I rarely had a night off. Weekends were my time to relax instead.
The advent of coronavirus, with enforced working from home and social distancing, was therefore a shock to the system, and the first few weeks were tough; I missed my previous routine, missed seeing and interacting with people and felt rather lonely, despite the many Teams calls I was involved with as we managed the changing situation.
I committed to a 30 day yoga challenge though, which really helped to keep me grounded, and my stress levels down, and when I completed the course, I felt a distinct sense of accomplishment at having persevered through some difficult poses, and thankful to my body for allowing me to even attempt them. I became more resigned to the new situation and resignation lead to acceptance, that whilst I may be on my own, I am comfortable in my own company, and if I do need to speak to someone, there are friends, family or work colleagues I can reach out to.
Hollis have been great, with regular scheduled team video calls, so you can get some face to face interaction at least once a day, even if you have no other meetings scheduled. I find this really helps me to stay connected and feel less isolated.
There have also been a number of webinars run by the PA community, which have covered wellbeing and positivity, and I have found these to be a great source of inspiration, from which I can draw strength as I apply the tips and tools to manage my own wellbeing.
I’m also trying to be thankful for the small things, like my garden with the recent warm weather, being able to get the food I want, being healthy, enjoying a glass of wine at the end of a day. I know that others are in less fortunate positions than me, so it’s important to be grateful for what we do have.
This situation is likely to go on for some time, but I now feel more prepared to face the future with a positive mind-set!
Hannah Gough, PA to Equity Partners