Creating an isolation sanctuary by taking control of your home space can be really positive for your mindset, writes Dress My Nest owner Vanessa Webb

There's not a huge amount we can control at the moment, but one thing we can do is to make our lives as comfortable as possible while we are isolating at home.

Many of us are probably struggling trying to cope with a full family living 24/7 in a house which was not designed to simultaneously act as a home, an office, a gym or dance studio, a toilet paper storage facility and a Disney+ screening room.

I firmly believe that feeling good about your home is always good for you — now more so than ever.

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One thing that can be very beneficial for maintaining mental health during lockdown is the value of setting up specific zones for specific activities — allocating an area for playing games, or for working, or for hiding under a blanket.

Now is the time to get creative with every space you have, think about what you are going to be doing each day and how you can avoid being under each other's feet.

Workplace psychologists are unanimous in saying that working remotely successfully means having a space where you can concentrate on what you're doing, so that you can get the sense that "now it is work time" when you sit down and also have that feeling of "now I am not working" when you get up.

Along those lines we are also finding it very beneficial to put together a daily timetable for our family to give ourselves some structure.

If you're working from home, don't feel bad about carving out an area as your lockdown office.

It's actually way better than trying to concentrate at a laptop on the couch while using additional brain resources attempting to ignore the seemingly-endless Frozen 2 theme.

If you must work in your bedroom — try and put your work items away at night.

Keeping work-related paraphernalia on a tray that you can put away at the end of your work time can be a great way to keep yourself organised and enable you to switch off and relax.

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Feel good about your home.
Feel good about your home.

The same principle applies to kids — while all the experts are saying not to worry about school work — my kids are relishing all of the online learning opportunities and actually have more Zoom meetings booked than I do.

But four of us working at the dining table isn't ideal and let's face it we all need our alone time if we are going to survive.

We have set our kids up in our caravan — they are absolutely loving being able to "go to school" and we're loving having a couple of hours a day without the constant interruptions as well.

You might have an attic, basement, sunroom, guest room, walk in wardrobe or garage that could be converted for the next month, or if your kids have their own rooms they might like to set one up as a play space and one for "working".

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Now's a great time to rearrange the furniture! Why not? There's nothing to lose. If it looks terrible just move it back, at least you're killing time!

Being in control of your space, having things organised — and I'm not talking about necessarily colour coding — but knowing what you've got, knowing what you are using each space for and not having clutter everywhere is a total game-changer.

It has a massive effect on wellbeing and how you feel within your space.

It will without a doubt help keep your spirits up.