Rosie Saban, PR and Policy Officer, EAUC

When it became apparent we were going to need to lockdown to try and stop or at least slow this pandemic, I pulled my child out of nursery and started working from home. It made sense to get a head start on an inevitability, and try to lessen the risk of catching and spreading it. Nurseries are, as all parents will tell you; petri dishes.

I was very anxious to begin with, I was trawling through the news all day, worrying about family far away that would be vulnerable to the virus and its effects.

It made me quite down  – but I decided that I needed to make some changes to ensure I could sustain my wellbeing, for myself, and my family, because being in this close proximity means your wellbeing and those in your household become even more interlinked than ever before.
So I stopped looking at the news, and I started trying to create a weird new routine that worked for everyone (there are only 3 of us, that made it sound a bit like I was organising a small army). EAUC has been incredibly flexible, as ever, and I know how lucky I am for that grace. I changed my work hours so that I could have a chunk of the day back in the middle to tire out my 3-year-old so he was a) getting exercise and b) potentially going to nap so I could fit in more work in the afternoon. I have been a little brutal with meetings – any that are happening outside of my new working hours, unless absolutely necessary, I don’t attend. I tried to for the first few weeks, but it just meant there were no boundaries with work/home life and it quickly became stressful, so those went. I accepted that I wasn’t going to be as productive as usual at work – this was a big one for me, I’m quite hard on myself, so it took a few weeks to sink in that it was OK to do less. Usually, if your homelife is affecting your work, you need to work out how to find balance, but now that your work is literally in your home – it is much harder. I learnt some of the things members were doing in the Wednesday Wins sessions to try to create this faux partition, and have now created a better work space, and am strict on time worked. It is so easy to just keep going when you want to get something finished, but I don’t now, and it has created the necessary structure.

Another thing I made my family do was list 1 thing they were going to do or had done that day that was: fun, creative, productive and calm, all separate things, as well as one exercise sesion  . So we had to do one thing that fit in each of these categories. It has dwindled off a little now, but if one of us gets a little down, I pull it back out. We find it gives us a bit more of a purpose when we need it, or a little boost when we’ve ebbed.

That’s the complaining out of the way. In terms of the positives – it has certainly made me want to bring even more sustainability into my home. I’ve started to grow vegetables, we are more careful about what we buy and how we use it (I can now make 1 chicken last for 5 dinners), and generally, as a family, we are more aware of what is important and what is necessary for a happy life. It also makes me grateful to work for the EAUC- and in my opinion, really puts a spotlight on employers that have resisted adapting or not been supportive of staff.
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