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Home is where your heart, (and work and school, and shopping and exercise) is – make it work for you.

Home is where your heart, (and work and school, and shopping and exercise) is – make it work for you.

By Natalie Rabson.

marie kondo living spaceWe are all living in a world redefined, and more so than that, in redefined spaces. This can and has caused anxiety for many people.  Use these tips on how to gain back a feeling of control and in doing so, manage each day with a more sure footing.

First off, we need to define our spaces. We are homebound. Home is no longer just home. It is school, it is a playground, it’s our office and our college campus. In some instances, it is also our shopping centre. And its food central! We need to aid our brains to know what is expected of us in each space! This will aid us to perform the correct activities at the correct times, with better focus.

No matter how big the overall space is where we live, we need to creatively define a space for each activity. If we make food and carry it to a space to eat, make sure the dishes are immediately cleared up, washed, and stored. Don’t allow spaces to be redefined as a kitchen or to be cluttered with coffee mugs. Our minds need clear, clean spaces in which to operate. And our external environment has an effect on our internal one.

Get creative! Make each space feel appropriate to the activity. Your work/study space should have easy access to pens, pencils, a ruler, a calculator, textbooks, and a phone charger. Make it neat and pretty. House stationery in repurposed and cleaned glass jars, or cleaned tins with the labels peeled off. If you are working from home, bring your colleagues into your workspace! A screenshot printout of a zoom meeting stuck on the wall reminds you that you are part of a team and that you are all working towards a greater purpose. Are you studying? Pinup your exam timetable, mindmaps from your modules, and the email addresses of your lecturers for when you need assistance.

Create a vision board. Get some images of your goals, photos of friends, a graduation gown, and use words that you find inspiring.

Have we managed to convince you to meditate yet?  A few minutes at the start of every day helps bring mindfulness to your actions. Your meditating space should be clear of clutter, sitting on the floor facing a blank wall works. If you need a visual aid, try to find an image from a magazine – one of the sea or a forest, something that allows you to lose yourself in the image and breathe. Stick that low on the walleye level with where you will sit.

Try and keep work, studies, and socialising (ok – social media) away from your sleeping space. Your mind needs to define this space as a space of rest, free from anxiety. It needs to be uncluttered with textbooks, laptops, or notes. Yes, we know you will be using your phone in bed, so discipline yourself by placing your overnight charger in a different space. Or commit to putting the phone on airplane mode at 10 pm. Train your brain to sleep!

We hope that you have managed to create time and energy to exercise. Lacking motivation? You now have three hours of freedom – use it! Get out your home, get some vitamin D, walk up and down your street, run around your block, and move briskly! Put on your sneakers so your activity is as defined as the space you are using.

By defining each space, and each activity, we are training our brains to compartmentalise our lives in order to avoid the tendency of everything all blurring into one. If each activity is defined by its physical space, it will make us more effective when we participate in that activity.

Exercise better. Eat healthier. Work effectively. Study smarter. Sleep better. And hang in there folks – this is temporary.

Boston City Campus offers online registration and qualifications including degrees, postgrad, and diplomas. See www.boston.ac.za

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