Some years ago I served in the Royal Navy as a Chief Engineer, most of my time after completing my apprenticeship was spent on Submarines. When asked by some of my colleges how I was coping with the lockdown, working from home, social isolation etc. I have been saying “well in my past I’ve gotten used to lockdown”, as in we would shut the hatches – and trust me you want them locked – and then dive the submarine and remain underwater for weeks on end before returning home to loved ones and the wife!
And all those that know me, know I don’t like to talk about it! But I thought it may be appropriate to share a few tips to make life seem more normal, whilst we are all at sea, so here they are:
We are all creatures of habit, and I am sure we all like our routines as well as our freedom! So I think, like at sea, keep a good routine going. Just think about your personal discipline.
Get up at the same time, wash and dress, if working from home, put your correct uniform on, “working dress” at this point I am not suggesting a suit and tie, but let’s not loaf around in tee shirts and jogging bottoms all day. Especially if you are video conferencing with customers or clients, or the boss!
Keep your day similar to your normal working day, take time for breaks, lunch and finish working at the same time. At sea we kept “watches” normally these lasted 4 hours and you would keep several a day, using the rest of the time to sleep, eat and exercise, which leads me on to my next point.
Of course, being in lockdown, the Gym is closed, there are no classes, and yes I am missing my bikram yoga and water aerobics so again it’s back to your personal discipline. Get outdoors, get some fresh air, get some sun on your face. Okay, on the submarine going outside wasn’t an option and fresh air, well let’s not go there! We actually made our own air, but as I said I don’t like to talk about…
But, we did exercise on a rowing machine, static bike and free weights. Fitness in mind and body as they say, I think the message here is do something. If you can’t run, jog. If you can’t jog, walk. There is plenty of stuff online to help you exercise, but all I am saying is move otherwise you will rust!
Laughter apparently is good for you, and again certainly at sea. And life in the services in general I am sure we had our own brand of humour, maybe it was laugh or cry, again your choice.
Stay in Touch
Take time in your day to call friends and family just to check they are okay. At sea we had radio silence whilst we were on patrol, but that didn’t stop us checking up with each other in the crew. Surprising how a good moan and being listened to makes you feel better! As one of my friends recently reminded me in these troubled times it’s time for the introverts to check up on the extroverts.
Stay safe all.
John is a Charted Financial Planner and ex Royal Navy Chief Engineer, not a psychologist, personal trainer or lifestyle guru!