Many of us are now working from home for the first time due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For others, like us, it’s quite normal. Here at Climate Action North we’ve all worked independently and productively from home and as part of a virtual team for years. 

We are, of course, missing the opportunity to meet in person with each other and with our network of supporters and sponsors but technology and apps like zoom is a lifeline.

So, if you’re not self-isolating, but have been told to work remotely, how are you staying efficient and keeping your spirits up?

Here are some our favourite ways to stay productive and upbeat when working at home.

Sharon: Fill your day with as much positivity as you possibly can and I do this by splitting my day between working on and planning exciting projects for the future, chatting with clients and colleagues either on the phone or via Zoom meetings, also finding time for one of my favourite pastimes which is birdwatching.  I have a little garden so make a point of having my coffee breaks and lunch out there which helps me rewild, connect with nature and is a crucial part of my ecotherapy. As a keen birdwatcher I signed up for the Self Isolating Bird Club with Chris Packham which is a great online resource for watching live streaming positive updates.   There are fantastic online streaming communities developing and more so since the self-isolation process – be sure to sign up to at least one or two to help focus on the days ahead.         

Jen: When you spend the day working on your own, actually picking up the phone and calling people is much more stimulating and productive than a chain of emails or texts. However, the chances of being totally alone in my household are rare so when I do have a call or an online meeting scheduled, I always warn others first then pop a do not disturb sign on my door. I also play music in the background; it’s a guaranteed mood-booster and, coincidentally, helps me concentrate on tasks in hand. Luckily, working from home, I can do this without offending anyone! Here’s some of my favourites. And, of course, a good coffee outside in the garden is a must.

Julie: Having worked from home for many years it doesn’t feel strange to me. A good routine is essential as you can drift to watching TV or get engrossed in a good book. I have to walk the dog, so this gives me space to think. I then jot down ideas in preparation for phone and skype meetings. I am lucky to have a secluded garden where I can potter around and sit outside. To keep in touch with friends and colleagues, I recommend keeping up those whatsapp group chats and videos. At weekends we have a quiz via video chat on whatsapp, each taking turns to be quiz master. I treat each day as a day of work as I would normally and get up with the alarm, have breakfast, and quiet time before a half hour workout routine. I timetable the day with short breaks in between work time.

The entire range of emotional distress resulting from the rapid spread of COVID-19, as well as the escalating climate crisis, may seem too overwhelming to bear. Now, more than ever, we should remember that the great outdoors can unlock a healthier mind, help us build our strength and carry on. This is where ecotherapy can help.

We wish everyone well and to stay safe.