Coronavirus lockdown: Staff give their best tips and advice

Some of the team have sent in their best tips and advice for working from home, keeping in touch with loved ones, staying safe, keeping everyone entertained and much more. Thank you so much for sending in all your wonderful tips for getting through this incredibly tough time.

Anna-Marie Knipe, Partner, Private Client, Leyland:

Favourite TV show / films
Peaky Blinders/Power and like shows like Catastrophe and Divorce.
Favourite pastime
Anything my 7 year old likes to play – Minecraft or whatever game is popular at the time! I had started to enjoy hot yoga so hope to start that again as soon as it is safe to do so.
Best tips on keeping a work/life balance
Structure and routine, it’s what everyone says but think it’s necessary. I’ll be celebrating 10 years with Birchall Blackburn next month, so I think my car could drive me to our Leyland office Monday to Friday on its own!
Best keeping fit tips
Again, some sort of structure and routine to the day. Preparation is key too.
Best tips for staying in touch with friends and family
I’m now in loads of WhatsApp groups and have made sure my parents know how to use WhatsApp chat and Facetime. My mum likes to read Twitter so she’d love a shout out at home with my dad (Pattie and Jim – follow them on @pattieknipe ), safely in isolation for the past 11 days, can’t wait to see them properly as soon as possible.

Mervin Smith, Serious Injury Solicitor, Manchester:

Favourite TV show / films
Just been captivated over the last few weeks with 2 series of Hidden on BBC 4 (in English and Welsh – with subtitles when in Welsh). Two brilliant drama series set in North Wales near Snowdonia/Anglesey in the Skandi drama style. The main character is a Detective Inspector who investigates a series of murders. Well worth going to catch-up to download.
Films – well for sheer escapism and buoying you up in present times nothing beats the Star Wars trilogy or Lord of the Rings.
Favourite pastime
I love Scrabble and doing crosswords – vital for oldies like me to keep the old grey cells functioning! I also like gardening and cooking, as they never feel like chores.
Best tips on keeping a work/life balance
Avoiding as best you can the one intruding into the other – give each 100% and you will feel the satisfaction of a job well done and providing our clients with the best service we can, and outside of that a life lived to the full with those we love.
Keeping fit tips
For me, at the moment, gardening. It is a safe haven, with lots to do as Spring emerges into Summer, and the benefit of fresh air and exercise, which lifts my spirits and perks me up.
Staying in touch with friends and family
I am getting great solace at the moment from chats on the phone with family and close friends and messages of support and encouragement to/from friends via Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp. We need to keep each other’s spirits up and know that we are not alone!

Stephanie Costich, Associate Solicitor, Specialist Property, Preston:

“We have been playing board games with grandparents over video.
For example, we played snakes and ladders last night.
We set up the camera, the grandparents had their own dice but could see the board. My 6 year old loved it!
They normally see their grandparents at least once a week (normally more) so keeping away has been difficult and they don’t always want to “talk” to them on the video so playing games is great.”

Esther Thompson, Associate Solicitor, Litigation, Preston:

“We are all working hard  at my house  either working from home or doing school work. We did take time out on Saturday and had an art afternoon making candles and cards.”

Rob Jones, Associate Solicitor, Serious Injury, Manchester:

Favourite TV show / films
Revisiting the classics to educate my teen son – Lost boys, The Outsiders, Trading Places, Brewster’s Millions and Bill &Ted
Favourite hobbies

Rob Jones Birchall Blackburn Law Personal Injury Solicitor

Best tip on keeping a work/life balance
Start work when you would have left the house and finish when you would
have left the office. No TV! Treat working from home like a normal working day with the benefit of being able to make toast.
Top keeping fit tip
Gardening is great for both
How to stay in touch with loved ones
Whatsapp for ridicule with mates. Facetime for parents.

Stu Hughes, Marketing Manager, Chester:

Favourite TV show / films
‘Lost in Space’ and ‘The Good Place’ on Netflix or ‘King Gary’ on the good old Beeb. As for movies, it’s probably ‘Jaws’ but I will literally watch anything that is classed as a film.
Favourite pastime
Writing and reading. Lots of writing and reading. And chocolate. And coffee. Lots of writing and reading and chocolate and coffee.

Best tips on keeping a work/life balance
Say ‘yes’ when any family member or good friend asks you to do something with them. It could be anything from going to see musical theatre (I’m not a fan but would still go!) or just simply joining them with a cup of tea on FaceTime or WhatsApp.
Your best keeping fit tips
Running is the one constant in my life but if you can’t get out and run at the moment then look up Joe Wicks on YouTube. It’s a good work out at home with no equipment.
Best tips for staying in touch with friends and family
Set up a WhatsApp group and make each other laugh with jokes, photographs and videos. Keep it to a set time each day and don’t expect or require everyone to message back – keep it chilled.

Leanne, Partner in the Serious Injury team, Manchester:Leanne Tattam

Wash your hands properly, clean down surfaces with antibacterial spay and wipe door handles but then relax, your home is you safe haven!
If the weather is nice read a book in the garden or by a window where you can let some fresh air in.
If you are working from home do just that – work brings a great sense of normality to these very strange times but beware of falling into the trap of just working! Do a day, a normal day but then stop, make tea and do something else in the evening.
Watch something funny on TV – yes keep up with the news but don’t just watch programmes about the coronavirus outbreak – it will only increase anxiety! I can definitely recommend Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for a light-hearted take on the news, Belgravia for any Downton Abbey fans and if you have Netflix this is a great time to get lost in the Crown!
Go back to your childhood – it’s fun! Courtesy of my partner we currently have a Nintendo from which I am learning the joys of Super Mario Kart, Mario world and Zelda!
There’s plenty of exercises you can do at home or if you are a runner go for a run, if you’re not but have access to YouTube there’s loads of 10,15 and 20 minute full body workouts available on there which will tire you out and stop you feeling like you are becoming at one with the sofa!
Talk to friends and family lots whether it be by phone, WhatsApp, Skype or Zoom! Video calling is a great way to see people and whilst it doesn’t replace going round for dinner with them it is better than just a phone call so make use of the technology we have.
We are going to be in this boat for some time but remember we are all in together and if we can look after ourselves it gives our wonderful NHS staff the chance to look after those who really need it. Stay safe.