There are some people that work from home by choice and love it. But in the past year, there have been many people who have had to adopt this new style of working from home. Whether you love staying at home, or not, being cooped up in one area can be physically and mentally taxing.
In these cases, you may find yourself wondering how to practice self-care while working from home, and wondering how to cope with feeling anxious, uncertain, scared, and lonely. That’s why we’ve developed our own self-care tips on how you can stay well and positive throughout.
1. Set boundaries
While working from home it’s important to create new routines and schedules that help you distinguish between your home life and work life. When you are off-the-clock, turn off all of your work notifications and wait until your next workday to respond to work-related emails. This can help you feel like you are away from work.
Another important boundary is to make sure you have a designated workspace in your home. This way, once you are done with work, you can step away from your work area and decompress for the rest of the evening. If possible, find a desk and chair that allow you to comfortably sit up straight for hours at a time.
2. Create a routine
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has changed many people’s usual routines. For example, you may have been used to getting ready for work by doing a morning exercise routine, showering and eating breakfast. Maintaining your regular morning routine can help you stay motivated and ready to start your workday. You might also find ways to improve or lengthen your morning routine with the time you usually spend commuting to work if that was part of your previous schedule
3. Communicate your concerns
Working from home under these circumstances requires some adjustments. If you have any questions or concerns about how your work will be impacted by the coronavirus, communicate them to your employer or manager. They can help you create strategies to stay productive during this unprecedented time.
4. Keep your home organized
A clean work environment can help you feel more relaxed while getting work done. Take some time to keep your work area and home clean and organized. Along with helping you feel better, cleaning your home regularly can also help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a set of recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting your home.
5. Eat healthy snacks
Invest in healthy snacks that you enjoy and make you feel good. Doing so may help you maintain your energy level and stay focused throughout the day.
6. Find a workout you enjoy
Exercise has many health benefits, which is why it is such a great form of self-care. When choosing an exercise, find something that you enjoy doing. Since the CDC recommends that you stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to find fun exercises you can do in your home. Several gyms, yoga studios and other fitness organizations across the country are offering free or reduced-cost virtual workout classes you can access online.
7. Get enough sleep
Most adults need between seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep helps you maintain a healthy mind and body, improving focus throughout the workday. A regular sleep schedule can help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day.
8. Take breaks throughout the day
Taking regular breaks throughout your workday is essential to staying focused and reducing burnout. Step away from your work area to have an actual lunch break. You might also consider trying the Pomodoro Method by setting a timer for 25 productive minutes, followed by a short five-minute break. Mini exercises like stretching, jumping jacks, running in place and deep breathing can help you to stay motivated.
9. Connect with Co-Workers
Being intentional about maintaining connections with your coworkers virtually can help you relax while building relationships. Find a form of communication that can help you feel connected to your coworkers. It may be beneficial to start an online chat group that feels like casual conversations you may have around the office. You might also consider establishing a regular virtual happy hour, book club, lunch club or some other meeting time where you can connect weekly or biweekly to talk about non-work-related topics.
10. Think about meditating
Meditation is a great self-care method that may help you adjust to working from home by offering an exercise to relax and readjust. Online meditation organization, Headspace, recently created a meditation collection called “Weathering the Storm” to help people cope with the outbreak. This free collection includes meditation, sleep and movement exercises. They also have this one-minute meditation that can help you find a relaxed sense of focus.
But most importantly, stay safe and positive.