As we at Timbre media continue to create music solutions for companies in what is undeniably a global pandemic, we also wonder about the new normal. The indeterminable, blurred line between life and work.
Will office space and personal space ever be sacrosanct again? And how will this dynamic alter us as professionals and individuals?
Once things limp back to what was once considered normal, will we relish commuting to work again? Will we miss being in the close proximity of our families?
In the meanwhile, how do we change to fit in an unchanging domestic environment?
What about those who miss blaring their favorite music or possibly Timbre podcasts in their cars on their way to work?
Or find it hard to work uninterrupted in a domestic environment?
Or crave for some personal time and cannot communicate this need for space to loved ones?
In this piece, we discuss some of these questions.
The structure is good in uncertain times
It would do us all good to not focus too much on the future and structure our day in such a way that it gives us a sense of purpose and also includes some time for the activities we enjoyed before the lockdown. Like reading, listening to music, or podcasts or just zoning out. Use headphones to listen to your favorite music if you don’t want to disturb your family.
Annalisa Barbieri writes in The Guardian about what we should do when we are climbing the walls as a family and want some time and space for ourselves. She gives the example of her own family and says,” What helped us was implementing a “submarine” routine, whereby the day is strictly portioned up, and among the fear, panic and worry, there have come pockets of calm, new normality and even small shards of joy. ”
A conversation with family members about mutual needs could also help.
For instance, if we need an hour in the day to catch up on reading, thinking, exercising or a certain time of the day to work in peace, we should ask for that time. And accommodate in return what the family needs from us. The key is mutual respect and clear communication without undertones of resentment.
The article correctly points out that all of us are carrying personal baggage at this time. Of worry about the future, fears about the health of loved ones, anxiety about finances and a lot more. How do we share these concerns without affecting our family’s emotional well-being?
The writer concedes, it is a huge task, ”
I think we have to accept it is going to affect them, but we can try to control how much. In these extreme times, we’re going to get a lot of things wrong. When you are stretched emotionally, it’s hard to be even “good enough” at times. This is a huge learning curve in acceptance: of ourselves, others, the situation.”
The point is that when nothing is predictable and emotions are turbulent, routine brings predictability, and, crucially, says the writer, it gives everyone time to do things alone and together. As she astutely says, ” No one can be constantly interrupted without going mad.”
The Guardian piece also advises, that while it is important that we don’t bottle up our feelings, it is also important that we don’t dismiss our family’s concerns with sentences like, ‘Don’t be silly’ or ‘Don’t worry.’
We will all benefit from sharing and communicating with each other at this time. And if we manage what triggers our emotions, we will be able to manage our reactions and in turn have more peace within us and around us.
It is also a good time, suggests the piece, to say, ” I love you, I’m sorry, thank you,” to people we care for.
Make the best of the current situation
The Guardian piece cites family and couples therapist Chris Mills, who says that it is okay to feel hemmed in at this time because captivity is not natural for us.
Boundaries are important at this time especially and Mills recommends looking for ways of having headspace from other members of the family when we need to. Having your designated “me alone,” space can help.
This is not a win or lose situation, says the piece. It is about finding solutions that can help us co-exist without stress.
A blog on papyrus-uk.org says that finding your own space during isolation would have seemed like a nonsensical sentence just a few weeks ago but now, lots of people might be struggling with the lack of their own space and some quality ‘me’ time.
The piece compares “me time” to charge an electronic device. And explains that like some devices, some people also need more charging than others.
In the time of group chats and multiple video calls, while we relish staying connected with others, many people feel overwhelmed rather than better.
The point, the piece makes is that we are all wired differently. The analogy used in the piece to describe this distinction is interesting, “Some of us are like the ultimate party host, while others are happy being a lighthouse keeper and not seeing another person for weeks, most are somewhere in between. It can be difficult for the party host to understand why the lighthouse keeper needs so much time by themselves, equally for the lighthouse keeper to get why the host needs to be around people almost constantly.”
Here are a few tips from the piece to feel better when you feel emotionally overwhelmed.
1. It starts with understanding your needs and how they might be different from others.
2. The next step might be to explain to the people you live with just how important time to yourself is, and that they shouldn’t take it personally at all when you go off by yourself.
3. Mute the notifications of unimportant group chats.
4. Don’t feel compelled to answer every mail immediately.
5. It could be useful for some people to have a designated hour or so each day when they switch all gadgets off.
6. It might be an excellent time to learn some mindfulness techniques, practice gratitude and learn some breathing exercises.
We at Timbre customize music for business and design bespoke content solutions for clients and we suggest you do the same for yourself and create a workspace that works for you even at home.