Generally speaking, humans are a social species. At the moment, however, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re having to distance ourselves more than usual. Maintaining a good amount of personal space is second nature to some people but others might find themselves struggling to do so. How we act outside has definitely changed but we might also need to work around how we behave inside our homes.
Establish an office space
If you’re working from home, you’ll find yourself needing some peace and quiet. Family or housemates may not be working at the moment, and therefore may not understand your requirements. Set up an office space in an area people don’t visit often. You won’t want to be disturbed or for someone to be in the background of your video call.
Use messaging within your home
This, again, is more useful for home working. If someone needs to speak to you and they simply cannot wait, ask that they text you first. You can treat this as a warning system. If you reply, it gives them a signal that you’re able to speak for a few minutes. If you ignore it, you’re busy and they’ll know not to pop their head around the door.
If you’re stuck in the house with someone all the time, you might become easily irritated. Make sure to spend at least some time in different rooms. Nobody needs to be around another person 24/7 and the time apart makes the moments you do spend together more fulfilling.
Consider your neighbours
Being stuck at home can get boring. You may want to crank up the stereo or play video games with loud explosions. We are all learning more about the meaning of community and that means turning things down from 11; so it’s probably best to also avoid early morning DIY! If you respect your neighbours, they’re more likely to return the favour and not knock on your door demanding that the noise stop.
Take up a hobby at home
Maybe you enjoy reading and can spend hours with your head in a book. Maybe you see yourself getting really into jigsaws… Perhaps you’ve been inspired by everyone else who’s baking bread to make your own sourdough starter. Find something that takes up your attention so, even when you’re in the room with someone, you don’t feel trapped.
Order online when you can
Even with a range of supermarkets to choose from, there is a shortage of delivery slots. Perseverance is key here. Be persistent when trying to find delivery slots and searching for alternatives to your normal supermarket. Most non-food items can be found online. If you can’t find something online but it is available in store, think about how much you actually need it. If you can wait until lockdown is over, do that. If you need the item, buy it when you do your food shopping.
Avoid peak times for essential trips
Even though many of us are working from home or on furlough, and so available to shop at any time, people are still trying to stick to some kind of routine. Weekends and evenings are still generally more popular for supermarket trips. On top of this, there are queues at opening times as people try to get to the food first. However, shelves are not stocked first thing in the morning and fewer people are around at midday, so it might be best to plan your shopping trip then.
Step away when someone gets close
Not everyone’s resistance to the virus is the same and some people will still approach others without worry. If this happens, it’s up to you to take a step back and ask that they stop. Walk away if they continue to come towards you. If a conversation is really that important they will get to the point quickly.
Tell your family and friends when you’re free
Personal space is more than physical. Right now, more people are communicating by phone or video chats. Don’t be afraid to ignore calls or tell people when you’re free. They don’t know what you’re doing with your day or what else you’ve got on. You may be working or dedicating hours to a hobby. Remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you don’t want to talk and you shouldn’t feel guilty for passing up on a chat.
Turn your music down
Music is great for shutting out the world when you’re running errands, or when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Unfortunately, for now it’s time to turn it down. Normally, if your music is loud but someone needs your attention, they will get closer to you. You don’t want people to get closer so you’ll notice them. Keep your music down or off so you hear people straight away.
Find the right time for exercise
A lot of people are off work and sleeping in. Others are working from home and counting down the minutes until 5pm. Mornings are your best friend. If you work from home, you can either wake up earlier for a walk, use your lunch break or wait until evening. People are out of the house in the early afternoon and you may want to avoid this peak time.
Exercise on two wheels
Walking is great but cycling gives you distance. Riding on the road is safer with fewer cars around you’re less likely to run into other people. Cycling on towpaths and in wooded areas will mean you do bump into people occasionally but they are unlikely to stop you for a chat, and anyway, you’ll be past them in an instant. If you are lucky enough to live in a remote area, you could take a mountain bike on an adventure.
We appreciate life is difficult and uncertain at the moment and you may be itching to get outside but, right now, you should prioritise yours and everyone else’s safety. Please follow government guidelines and help to save lives.
However, cycling and other exercises are still permitted once a day. Even with fewer vehicles on the road and more awareness of danger, accidents do happen and something could happen to you* or your bike. Having insurance for your bicycle can help to provide peace of mind when riding. The Insurance Emporium’s Cycle Insurance policies are still available as normal during lockdown and provide cover for Theft, Accidental Loss Or Damage as standard. You could also get up to a 25% discount^. Take a look at our products page to find out more.
* Person Accident cover is limited to injuries sustained while riding or pushing your bicycle. Within 12 months the injury must be the sole cause of death, total and irrevocable loss of hearing, sight or limbs or permanent dismemberment.
^ The 25% discount is made up of 15% Introductory Discount plus 5% Aged Related Discount and Security Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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