The Ultimate Working From Home Guide to keep you Going….

When I got told that I’ll be working from home (WFH) I thought it’d be a doddle, I was excited, I don’t need to wake up early, who cares if I’ve had a shower or not? Pyjama party….. all day…. Every day……

Day one came, and went, still in my PJs, but no productive work done. This should have been easy, but I just couldn’t sit down, I wasn’t comfortable, I couldn’t concentrate, and so many distractions in the house…. I will put it down to first day syndrome.

Second day was very similar, although I got ABIT more done than yesterday, but still, it’s just so hard to be motivated in the house. I didn’t think it would be this hard…I keep making tea, then more tea, then snacks, and 3 hours later I still haven’t done anything

Day Three I needed to make a change, if I carried on like this I wouldn’t have a job at all…. I think I have figured out the real issue here. It’s the work/home balance. With all the distractions of home around me, I just cant get my head focused on work…… because work should be in the office, and home is where the errands are, (and the food!)

And so here is my working from home ultimate guide to keep yourself (or myself) motivated:

Choose an Office Space….

We cant really have a office in the house, thats why its a house, and not work! But you need to find a space in the house where you are away from all the distractions of home life, and then make it a permanent spot.

This probably is the hardest thing to do. The bedroom didn’t work…… the lounge didn’t work…….. The kitchen- the cookies I made were delicious, but the work didn’t get done…. I spent one day outside because the weather was beautiful, and ended up with back ache and throbbing headache, so that was out of the question.

This is something that has to be picked right, and it may take a couple of days to get there. I ended up in the dining room, probably because in all honesty its the easiest, the table is already there, the chair ready to sit on, and I have the space on the table around me to put all my bits and bobs, so im not constantly looking for stuff.

Wake Up, Dress Up, Show Up…

The first three days went a little like this:, I woke up later then the alarm time, had a long(er) shower than normal, had my tea whilst gazing outside, (because I no longer have to commute to work) and then I got back into my pyjamas- because well why not?…… But honestly I think pyjamas were mentally letting me down. I was too comfortable, too slouchy, too easy going, and this was draining my mind and body

So now I get up at the same time (oh I lie, I get up by I stay in bed for a bit longer). I touched my face up a bit (just a bit though, have you guys noticed the changes in the skin texture whilst staying in?). And I make sure I dress up.

I found this to be so important, when you have told yourself mentally to get ready for work, you ARE ready to work. Evan after I have logged off from work, I feel better and fresher. Its just a feel good factor, especially in these turbulent times.

I have a friend who actually spends the time it normally takes her to get to her workplace doing some exercise on youtube in her lounge, to get her in the mode. Im not ready for that but I thought that was a wonderful idea.

Fresh Air…

Right going back to the changes in skin, im not the only person right? my skin is changing day after day, and im having to change products so much because everything and nothing works at the same time. I really dont know where to start….. but it may be due to the lack of fresh air, vitamin D inconsistency, the stress of the position we are in, and generally being stuck inside all day long.

And for that reason my workspace is right next to the door, its ideal because I can get the fresh air in, if I need a breather I can pop out, and also the rays of sunlight feel so wonderful on the skin and perk up my mood. So try and choose a location which brightens up your working space and allows you the breathing space.

Food, Food and More Food

Anyone else feel the weight piling on? its Boredom. Boredom makes you want to eat, and so we are all coming out of this quarantine with beer bellies and as long as we all do it, its ok…. we can make it fashun! (ok Ok maybe not. Im joking, just saying. Chill out!)

In the office because we are so consumed with work, we just get up for coffee breaks and back to it, but at home, the food possibilities are endless…. I got up more than I sat and focused…. because I wanted to eat…..and eat, and eat some more, and after I ate I needed a nap. And then my whole day was ruined.

I had to put a stop to that, and that included, bringing all the snacks to my workspace with me and closing the dining room door. Initially I Evan got that part wrong, because 6 packs of crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks are not considered brain food!

So I swopped the fizzy drinks for fruit infused water. (Twinnings are the best)

Crisps for Mug shots (2% fat, that will do perfectly)

And chocolates for fruits!! And to get the extra ‘At work’ feel I added a few personal portraits and plants… ( Also it makes a great picture. Aesthetic’s and that. Just saying )

And the only extra thing I kept on the side- is the hand gel. You can never have too much hand gel at this moment in life. Right? Better to be cautious.

The Kiddos

I guess I got lucky here, I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old, the days of running after the kiddos and aeroplanning a spoonful of egg custard and rice are long gone. But for some of you this will be the biggest challenge. Try ( I do say try whilst rolling my eyes because I can’t evan imagine it) and create a balance and a routine, maybe leave phonecalls when the child is asleep, or watching a Disney movie, and focus on the menial and the easy to do jobs whilst the child is in need of your attention. In all honesty I believe parents with younger kids are more efficient because they know how to multitask and are better at time management, and always solve the last minute hiccups without faltering. (You guys rock!)

I have a routine set up for my 13 year old. He has a spot just opposite my desk. Before I start work I set up some work for him to do and keep all the equipment he needs ready, aswell as some snacks for him too (I’m not sharing) . As soon as he is up and ready he will sit opposite me and get what he has been assigned done. Obviously he will ask me questions and we have a chit chat too. He’s a nice guy.

So guys switch off that TV, get off the bed, put on that top you have been wanting to wear, and get some work done x

Hope that you all are looking after yourselves.

Stay safe

M11bna

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March in a Nutshell

And…. March came along, which means, its Birthday Month!!! which means…… absolutely nothing bacause Coronavirus is taking the limelight away from me.

Im just looking back at my in a nutshell blogs, I feel like I have lost all of my swag, and my general sarcasm, I needed to go back to them to get myself back into the mojo……. by wow……my God 2020 has really killed us before our own death.

At the end of Feb I really thought that I wouldnt have much to write about in march, but damn I sure did start blogging in the right year!

The beginning of last month (being Feb) Italy death tolls for the Coronavirus sat at 52, just within these 4 weeks Italy is at 13,155 (as of Today) and UK now sits at 2352 …… just within a month I mean how naiive was I? Uk is now officially on Lockdown too

The reality is , there is so much to write about and so little aswell…. I dont want to start with all corona stats again, we have all heard too much of it, its just circulating and circulating, and in all honestly im getting overwhelmed by it all…… and just STOP.

So I have decided to look at it this way:

Its here, and its here to stay. Protect yourself, protect your loved ones and focus on the good stuff, like spending time on the phone to mum ( I dont usually get the the time to do this), catch up on all the movies you wanted to see, read all the books you wanted to read, talk to those people that live in the same house as you (you know the hubby and kids. Those people), Banter, eat good food, clear out that damn wardrobe and get rid of those shoes!! and just generally catch up.

SO instead of giving you bad news heres some good stats for you:

We have become obsessive over looking at the stats for how many people have died, so heres a new stat for you: worldwide we have had 202941 people recovered.

202941

People Recovered

Now thats something to focus on!

A big Thankyou to the NHS, and the Doctors and Nurses worldwide. We could never Ever repay you. You are our superheroes.

Not forgetting, our dustbin collectors, the people still working in superstores, the key workers- teachers, chemists, social workers, You guys are keeping the world spinning and deserve so much more than we can ever give you.

And a big Thankyou to the people staying at home and keeping everyone safe, you may think you are doing nothing, but really you are saving lives by staying indoors.

Im going to leave it as that today. Im hoping April brings us back our silly stories to moan about, and I am really missing the sarky me. Moody me is not a nice person to be around.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Coronavirus, Schools, Employment, Keyworkers, Elderly and Tougher Measures Update

Should I create a tab of its own? Im not so sure, Im thinking I dont need it as hopefully this bugger will leave us soon, I pray it leaves us.

I have alot of content non-corona related but it just feels wrong to be putting my pre-corona life out here. Its so strange how its just come in and taken over, and aged us all in the process aswell.

Im over my moping and anxiety now- and im writing this head on. We will get through this people, and we will come out of better and bigger then before. Lets focus on the positives

Lets talk about whats happened since the last post- which was just a couple of days ago- but this coronavirus is really hitting us hard, it feels like a months.

Schools:

Schools are now officially closed. (for some…. very few… actually minute amount of people, this is a positive) no, no, really im glad that they closed the schools, as parents now we have to ensure that the little (although one of mine is very large) buggers stay at home. This is going to be a challenge, but I have got a blog coming up on how im going to be managing them. I think all parents need to understand that kids will be home till September!! thats a long time, try and place a routine for them, so that they dont get lazy, also remember this is not something that affects us only, our kids will also have anxiety over this. Make sure they are talking and make sure you address them of the changes. This is tough on them too.

Having said that schools are still open for parents who are keyworkers.

Who are “key workers”?

  • Frontline health workers such as doctors and nurses
  • Some teachers and social workers
  • Workers in key public services including those essential to the justice system, religious staff and public service journalists
  • Local and national government workers deemed crucial to delivering essential public services
  • Workers involved in food production processing, distribution, sale and delivery
  • Public safety workers including police, armed forces personnel, firefighters and prison staff
  • Essential air, water, road and rail transport workers
  • Utilities, communication and financial services staff, including postal workers and waste disposal workers

If you fit into any of the above category, the schools will provide a place for your child if you have no other form of childcare. I do need to emphasise that this does not mean education will continue, it just means that there is childcare available for you.

I found this website to be very helpful in undestanding the schooling structure going forward. Have a look if you want to know more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51972793

Social Gathering

Places of social gathering are told to shut!! Finally! that means Afternoon Tea will be at my place, on my own, in isolation….. if I can buy the ingredients that is considering people think that they are going to die of starvation and buying 20 bags of flour! It also means more cooking in the house, so that means more recipes and also potentially more ways to improvise meals with the stocks we have in our house….. and since we all in the house, get the kids to join in, teach them some life skills!

Employment

With this pandemic a lot of businesses were at risk of closures and thus leading too unemployment . Boris has come through and advised that the government will pay 80% of salary to staff for who are kept on by employer. This will eliviate alot of pressure of business owners who were in a position of relieving staff due to the pandemic.

At the moment this is only for 3 months, but it has been confirmed that they will ‘extend’ if necessary.

Could not be more prouder of my Prime Minister at this moment in time. (*sorry Dad think im changing sides now*)

If you want to know how this will be done, heres the webby: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51982005

Elderly and Vunerable

1.5 million people catergorised in the elderly/vunerable group will be sent out letters/text messages to advise to stay at home for 12 weeks. These people are the people considered ‘At risk’ and therefore should adhere to it

Boris Johnson has also advised that “Medicines will be delivered by community pharmacists, while military personnel are helping to coordinate plans to deliver groceries with local councils and supermarkets”

More on this here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-latest-news-italy-uk-nhs-boris-johnson/

Tougher Measures

It has been indicated that ‘tougher measures’ will need to be put into place, as social distance and isolation practises are not being followed so we are anticipating a ‘Lock down’ and all because of foolish and selfish people out there who seem to think that this is a joke. To all those people I say ‘Thank You’ for making this a joke, its a pity that the Coronavirus doesnt strike you first. The world would be a better place. (#sorrynotsorry)

Seems like Boris will not be paying a visit at 5 today. Will miss his face.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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Shopping in this Pandemic. What you need to know about the Larger Supermarkets

I feel Like a nagging wife, but im going to say this again!! “STOP PANIC BUYING”. I want to swear but im going to keep it clean. So for all of you that are reading the blog, its up to you to educate the fools (oops) around us! If the country goes into Lockdown, shops and chemist will still be open! we can still get our supplies. Right now at a time when we need to help each other, we are creating a moral panic, And the ones loosing out are the elderly! The ELDERLY people, the same people who shouldnt be going out from one shop to another looking for damn bog roll!!! But you panic buying fools are putting these peoples lives at risk!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

(*breathes out slowely*)

Right so back to the blog, Supermarkets are putting measures into place to ensure priority is given to the elderly. Heres a breakdown of what each major store is doing:

Tesco

Priority

Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays between the hours of 9am-10am priority will be given to the elderly and vunerable.

Restrictions:

maximum of 3 items per person

Sainsbury

Priority

everyday for the first hour will be for the elderly and vunerable (do check your local shop opening times).

Restrictions:

maximum of three on any products and 2 on toilet roll and soap and milk

Asda

All 24 hours stores will no longer be 24 hours, they will close between 12am-6am.

Priority:

everyday for the first hour will be for the elderly and vunerable (do check your local shop opening times).

Restrictions:

maximum of 3 items per person

Aldi

Shorter hours, closing at 8pm daily.

Restrictions:

maximum of 4 items per person

Lidl

Not yet enforced anything but are asking customers to be considerate

Waitrose

Priority:

everyday for the first hour will be for the elderly and vunerable (do check your local shop opening times).

Delivery available for elderly and vunerable custmoers

Restrictions:

maximum 3 items per person, and 2 toilet rolls.

Extra:

Employees are all offered free meals whilst working

Morrisons

Shorter hours and closing at 8pm

Priority

More delivery slots are available for elderly and vunerable, a dedicated phone line is being set up people who cannot shop online to order through phone.

Restrictions

Restrictions will be put into place for toilet roll and cleaning products but no value as of yet.

Marks and Spencers

Priority:

Everyday for the first hour will be for the elderly and vunerable (do check your local shop opening times).

Restrictions

Maximum two per person on all products

Extra

Special shopping hour for NHS and emergency service workers during first hour of trade each Tuesday and Friday morning

And there you go. Hope this helps everyone , and hope that it reassures everyone that we do not need to panic buy. there is enough available for everyone.

At a time like this it is imperative to stay mentally sane. Hope that you all are looking after yourselves, ive said this first and ill say it again You have to look after yourself in order to look after others!! Do this for them! Do this for your country.

Stay safe, stay distance, and keep washing your hands,

Love and regards

M11bna

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The Virus that made the World Stand Still

I started off this year with a blog stating that “Be selfish, Be You” and in that blog I stated how 2020 was going to be my year, I was going to make changes, I was going to change the world…… yet the world had different plans.

Today we are at standstill, and all because of a virus?! not just any virus, but a beast of a virus who is threatening humankind, and the worst part is….. nobody knows what to do.

At the begginning of the year we all make so many plans, we sit thinking of what we want to achieve, where we want to travel, what changes we will make to better our lives, we evan contemplated WW3 with the issues between Trump and Iran…… but NEVER did we contemplate this.

Im trying to stay positive, Im trying to keep an open mind, but honestly I feel overwhelmed. Im tired of all the conspiracy theories, I dont care if it was man made, I dont care if china make money from it, or if america make money from it, I dont care if shares are low and we need to buy now to be millionaires later, I dont care if its been introduced to wipe out 1% of the world…… All I care about is thats it here and people are going to die, people possibly around me, people I love, people in my family.

so lets concentrate on that instead.

With Wars in countries, with Brexit, with inflation we have people to blame, we have scapegoats, we have our own theories, our own understandings of the processes involved….. Here mother nature has taken over and God/Allah has shown us his power. We are mere mortal souls, no matter how rich, or how poor, no matter how much money you have, no matter how much power you have, no matter Who you are… we have nowhere to go, we have no where to hide. We are in this together…… and we are terrified.

Can I tell you my biggest fear? My parents. Im sure alot of us feel this way…. its hard knowing that should they be infected, we cannot evan hold their hands at a time like this. We cannot go to see them, they will have to suffer alone. And if worse come to worse (and I really hate thinking of this) that they may go to the grave alone…….That breaks me.

Coming from an indian background/community we are brought up being together at all times, families live together, eat together, laugh together and also cry together. So how will we suffer alone? how will we allow others to suffer alone, how will we get through this?. Our whole ethos will change, our upbringing, our understanding of how to live has all come to a stand still.

And still we are singing ‘Happy Birthday’ whilst washing our hands, (*rolls eye*) I did say that I would only put positive things on the blog, and that is still the case, but I wanted to emphasise that ‘Life seriously is not in our control’, what we think, what we plan can be taken away overnight, as it has right now.

The worst is still to come for us in the UK, with the death toll at 177 today, the schools are now closed, places of social gatherings like bars, clubs, pubs and evan mosques are now closed. Yet our borders are still open, a containment by the people who feel they need it is being performed, yet everyone else walks freely.

This will go down in history as the “Happy Birthday” virus and generations after us will laugh that we thought washing our hands was the answer.

Hope that all of you are keeping well and looking after yourselves.

Love and Regards

M11bna

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A little Kindness in this Cruel World…..

6 years ago I went back to my birth country of Malawi, in Africa. We stayed at my aunt’s house. The only thing I wanted to take back home are these drinks called “Cherry Plum”. I adore cherry plum. If anyone is going or coming back from Malawi, my cherry plum is always on the list…. So this time since I was going, I was going to bring back cherry plum for everyone, and at least a years supply for me…….,But…. there was none….in the whole city of Malawi.

I went crazy looking for them, I drove my aunt crazy, the whole 2 weeks I was there, whilst we were out and about, that’s all we looked for. We ended up going to the small street vendors, the ladies who sell on the edge of the road… But there was none…. I was loosing my head. So too was my Aunt.

I remember telling my hubby whom I had left behind. He thought I was joking : “So your telling me, in the whole of Malawi there is not Evan one bottle of Cherryplum?” …. Urm Yes.

We found out that the factory had been closed for the past couple months because one of the machinery had gone faulty….. Let me explain this to you guys…. A COCA COLA factory in Malawi was shut down for a couple of months because of ONE machine that was not working… How bizzare does that sound?

I remember telling my husband this and he scoffed over the phone – ” it’s a Coca Cola factory- they wouldnt shut it for a day,”.. …… But this is Africa baby!

… it did start up again, and I get my regular cherry plum again for my friends and family… But I’m remembering this now because of the whole Coronavirus situation we have going on.

I’ve not stocked up, I have no intention to stock up. Evan if we were to go into lock down, the shops would still be open… But I do my regular shop on a Monday…. And OMG was I thrown back to 6 years ago when I was in Malawi. The supermarkets are empty, there is no food, and if there is it’s triple price. We ARE in BRITAIN people. Not a third world country. Why are we behaving like this!

I keep seeing these pictures of all these old people in supermarkets and they have nothing in their baskets- why? Because stupid people do stupid things! Come on people- at a time like this we are meant to be looking out for each other, and we are penalising the ones who are going to be attacked by this virus the most. Do they really need to be worrying about their shopping or the price of their shopping at this age?

Seeing these posts make me so disappointed in humankind. This virus is sopposed to bring us all together, not break us apart!

The worst is, the people who are using the virus as a means to make profit. I detest these people. Absolutely detest them. How dare YOU! ( Im getting too passionate again) ….. Im going to leave it as ……..I believe in karma.

We all need to calm down. We need to be reasonable. And WE NEED TO HELP EACH OTHER.

So here are the few ways in which we can help each other:

I got a letter today- and it was the sweetest. Kindness does exist

So we now have a WhatsApp group and we will liaise with each other. I have alot of elderly around me, so I feel alot better knowing that there are a few of us who can help.

Also when I next go shopping I will be buying extras- but only to pass on to the most needy. I will give them at the same price and not the over inflated prices that the shop people are taking advantage off.

Here’s another note which can be passed on,

Print these out and post them to neighbours, especially the elderly.

Alot of parents are anxious about the schools closing, especially because they can’t afford the extra meals they will have to cater for, a simple message has been put out on Facebook, for all those parents who have anxiety to just message me, and I will help out in any way I can. Whether that be cooked meals or dropping off abit of shopping. Please do the same if you can afford to x

A little Kindness can help make the world a better and brighter place. We are going to go through this, whether our houses are stocked up or not. There is no where to hide or disappear, so let’s do what we can to help each other out as much as possible. Let’s make the world a better place.

Love and regards

M11bna

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What to Make of The Coronavirus and Boris Johnson

I spent yesterday in a panic and anxiety, we knew that the Cobra meeting was going on, and holding our breaths of the outcome.

I went into more of a panic when Ireland declared that they will be going into lock down from that day on. It dawned on me at that point that I was silly in laughing at all the people buying toilet roll in the masses. I needed toilet roll, not just for the lock down but also generally.

4.30 couldnt come quicker, and for the first time in my life I wanted to see Boris Johnson face.

I finished work at 1.30 and headed straight to the Lidl round the corner, it was a dead town, not only were there no people, the shelves were empty. It felt very surreal, very isolating, like out of a twlight or horror movie. I kicked myself once again for laughing at all the people bulk buying in stores.

Then Good Old Boris came on…… now the thing is I know alot of people are not happy with what he has said, and yes- I agree to some effect….. but in all honesty, I think it may just be the right decision.

From “containing” the coronavirus to “delaying” it.

Ive had alot of people asking me what this means, basically…. its contained: meaning that there is a restriction put on anybody coming into the country. Flights coming in are now not in operation.

Delaying: We have a problem, its not going away, (the worst is probably still yet to come) and therefore we have to put measures in to try and Delay it so that it gives the scientists a chance to come up with a resolution/ vaccine to kill the virus.

To delay the Coronavirus we are being asked to do a number of things as follows:

Schools/Education

It was explained clearly that if schools were closed what are the chances that kids would isolate at home? and that is a very true and honest point. It probably could be done for a week at most, and then… well I know I would probably be the first one to run out.

Schools are NOT closing. Everything continues as normal.

This is not to say that they will not close in the near future, It is being suggested that if can delay the virus by the preventing measures we have been told to follow, we can prevent the closures of schools, but it all depends on how fast the virus will travel.

Individual schools that have issues, will be dealt with individually. Apart from that everything continues on the school front as normal.

Self Help

It has been advised that the best way is to look after yourself, so if you feel a cough or a temperature, self isolate in your own home for 7 days. We have to help ourselves in order to help others, this is really important. If in doubt just self isolate. You could save lives.

Hand Washing (yes I roll my eyes every time I hear this!) but the emphasis on this is so BIG, please dont take it lightly, hand wash as regurarly as possible. Try and do it everywhere you go. It will help you and others around you.

Crowds/Gathering

Try and stay away from gathering and crowds as much as possible as if a person is infected the pick up rate at a crowd and gathering would be alot more. Be Careful and Be wise. Im not really sure why Boris Johnson didn’t put a ban on this. I think this will be the next stage.

Elderly

It seems that the Virus has a liking to the older generation and this has really upset me. My granni at the age of 93 being a target, and the most vunerable. Although its not very clear what they will be doing for the elderly. He did say that they are aware of the virus attracting the ones with low immune systems and elderly and they are looking into the preventive measures for this.

If you do have a elderly person in the family, or are looking after one. Remember the best way to look after them is to also look after yourself, restrict going out, and also people coming in.

For more ways to help and keep informed of the coronavirus heres a webby:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Ok…. So why no Lockdown?

So far we have had 596 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Of the 596, 10 people in the Uk have lost their lives to the virus, more than 20 of them are in intensive care, and the remainder so far have been in isolation and hopefully will overcome it.

It is being suggested that a further 10,000 people are infected, and we are being told that we are 4 weeks away to get to the point of were Italy is now. In Lock down.

The ‘Delay’ process is being put into place so that hopefully if we follow the rules, we will get a couple more weeks. In no way or form is Boris Johnson saying that The Virus will go away. What is being said is that we can try and prevent it coming sooner. Hopefully enabling the scientists to find a cure.

We are not going into lockdown because its such a long time, and will people conform to the rules in this long period of time? If we educate ourselves and put these preventive measures into place, we can hopefully slow down the amount of people being affected.

Although a lockdown wouldve been the perfect solution, Im with Boris on this one, Just a weekend inside the house with the kids drives us insane, how would be manage weeks and possibly months. The country without a lockdown is in a state of turmoil. It is not good for the mental health of people, we need some sort of normality, and Boris is giving us that…. for the time being.

I hope that this will slow down the process, and I hope that we all help each other at a time like this, because we need each other.

(btw, Leicester people who are buying toilet rolls in the hundreds….. you guys do know that toilet roll are made in Leicester. we dont need to bulk buy! Calm down! *rolls eye* * winks*)

Love and Regards

M11bna

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