Some thoughts on wellbeing during self-isolation | Another Country
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Some thoughts on wellbeing during self-isolation

We won’t pretend to have all the answers for how to stay sane and healthy in self-isolation, but what we do know is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The experience of the current lockdown period of someone on furlough at home in the countryside will contrast sharply with the frontline worker, whether that be in a hospital, school or supermarket. We’re all in very different situations and self-isolation consisting of seed planting, bread making and Netflix watching is a luxury not afforded to many around the world.

However, as a company that designs & builds furniture with the natural home & the wellbeing of its inhabitants at the forefront, we’d like to share what advice we can to make staying at home as bearable, even enjoyable, as possible.

1. Figuring out a routine

Whether you’re working from home, homeschooling or furloughed, having a loose routine can help give the days (and weeks) some structure. For us, getting dressed early on a weekday is a must. It sets a feeling of productivity whatever you’re doing, and it makes a late breakfast in your dressing gown a proper treat on the weekends.

Starting the day with some form of exercise is a great way to wake up the mind and body. Some of our team swear by a daily session of Yoga with Adriene (Cosmic Kids is a brilliant, child-friendly alternative) whilst others are struggling through Joe Wicks’ daily P.E sessions. Doing these at the beginning of the day means you’re less likely to put them off later too.

We find food & drink are also a good way of framing your day and having something to look forward to. For us, an 11am coffee break is non-negotiable. Waterloo based Coleman Coffee are delivering in London by cargobike, whilst other roasteries like Workshop Coffee and Strangers Coffee are still roasting daily and shipping all over the UK. If you live in London, Little Places has a comprehensive list of small producers, restaurants & cafés that are offering delivery or takeaway. If you can afford to support these small businesses, we strongly encourage you to do so.

Desk Two & Hardy Chair

2. Create a {insert activity here} space

However you’re spending your day, we find it helps to create an appropriate environment. We don’t all have home offices or playrooms, so you may have to get creative and make the most of the space you do have.

If you’re working, you need somewhere quiet where you can focus & be productive, especially if you’re trying to squeeze work in between keeping the kids entertained. Some swear by the ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’ mantra, but equally some of the most creative people we know have workspaces strewn with books, papers and all sorts. Our office furniture, including desks, chairs & shelving, was designed with simplicity in mind, letting you focus on the task at hand.

For homeschooling, create a space where the kids aren’t distracted by screens, toys and other things they might prefer to do. Our Kids Table One is perfect for little ones to crowd around whether they’re solving quadratic equations (ok, probably a little optimistic) or creating their latest masterpiece.

If you’re just settling down with a good book, put a comfy chair somewhere with lots of natural light. This raises a polarising point we feel quite strongly about. The fact that a lot of us are stuck at home has created the notion that we should spend this time being productive, learning a new skill, starting a business, otherwise it’s time wasted. With everyone in their own unique situation, we think advice like this is misplaced. If you have the time & energy to write your first novel, go ahead. But a lot of people are spending their days juggling work calls, entertaining kids and making sure friends & relatives get the support they need. As long as you’re staying at home, do what makes you happy.

The Ori Coffee Table & Planter

3. Make it natural

‘The Natural Home’ is at the centre of everything we do at Another Country and with people spending a lot of time at home at the moment, we hope this idea will start to mean more to people. It means making the most of natural light, bringing nature into the home in the form of plants and thinking carefully about the objects we allow into our homes. What materials are they made from? What chemicals do they contain? All too often we sacrifice what’s natural for what’s quick or cheap.

So how does that help you now? During the day, follow the sun around the house. Work in the kitchen in the morning and read in the back bedroom in the afternoon. Rooms flooded with natural light are simply nicer places to be. Even better, with this unseasonably warm weather, have lunch outside or by an open window. Houseplants may not be the easiest things to get your hands on right now (although Patch and other garden centres are still delivering), but a few dotted around the home can do wonders for your mental health – there is plenty of evidence to show that plants can reduce stress by calming the nervous system and make people feel positive about caring for a living thing.

And lastly, furniture, something we know a fair bit about. We choose to work with sustainably sourced wood for a number of reasons, one of which is that we genuinely believe that a piece of beautifully designed, natural furniture can only have a positive effect on the mind. In the same way that the corners of our Series One furniture pieces are rounded to prevent painful collisions, our entire collection is designed and made with the wellbeing of its users in mind. Our Ori Collection, in particular, was created specifically to illustrate how design can be used to improve wellbeing.

We’ve had a lot of requests for desks, understandably, and so we have a batch of Desk One in production on a first come first served basis. We expect these to be ready for delivery in around 4 weeks. Please order online or contact us for more details.

Desk One
Desk One

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