1. Get comfortable in your space.
• Transitioning to working from home can be different. Clean up, tidy, move stuff around so it’s more workable for you. Where can you be comfortable? Don’t opt to sit in bed if you have other seating options. Practice good sleep hygiene! Decluttering the space around you will help declutter your mind and help improve overall mood. Less distractions mean less added stressors that can add to productivity. Make your work area a space you want to be in. How you set up your workspace is not permanent. If something starts to not work for you, change it up! This will also help with keeping things fresh, organized, and a positive working environment.
• If you’re not working, what can you create with yourself in isolation? Get lost in an art form. Is there a book you’ve been wanting to read or write? Do you want to purchase a new puzzle, paint by numbers, or recreate the friendship bracelets we wore in elementary school? Create a sanctuary within your environment and structure time to dive into something you’re passionate about. This could also be an opportunity to set a cleaning schedule. Break down each day for a specific area or room.
2. Create Structure
• Try to keep your normal routine as much as possible. Have a rhythm to your day. Get up, make coffee, give yourself a schedule for what you want to accomplish and when. Don’t forget SMART Goals* Create a “new normal.” Do not operate under the false belief that you are going to be more productive than you were at the office. Manage expectations and remember: productivity is an ebb and flow. There are days you will feel more motivated, productive, and energized. Be kind to yourself when/if you are in a different mood than the day before. We are NOT robots.
• Also, create a system for yourself when you leave the house and come back in. When you do need to leave, have a system for how to touch/not touch things, when to use hand sanitizer, etc.
• Don’t stay in your PJ’s all day. Keep good hygiene in check. Shower, eat, brush your teeth and hair. This may be a great time to do extra self-care activities! Skin care routines, manicure and pedicures, bubble baths, buy those scented candles.
• What do you need to set boundaries with? How much are you sleeping/staying in bed? How much news coverage is really serving you? When is the appropriate time to take a break? Make sure to balance gathering relevant info with uplifting content to prioritize your mental health.
• Give yourself social media limits: Do not – DO NOT – spend all day on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. If you don’t usually work from home, this is a big temptation. Don’t read every single article, don’t get involved in Facebook fights. Give yourself social media boundaries and challenge yourself to use your time differently.
4. MOVE and HYDRATE!
• Create regular walking routes that start to feel good to you. Find ways to move – workout videos, yoga, sitting outside or by a window. Pick a workout video and do it in tandem with your friends. Get creative!
• Hydrate yourself! Remember that personal goal of wanting to drink more water that always seems to slip your mind? Well now you can do that! Set hydration goals. Add lemon, mint, whatever makes you want to drink more water. On the flip side, try not to drink alcohol during the day. This is a slippery slope and alcohol leaves you more dehydrated.
5. Foster Relationships
• Most of us are quite fortunate and have access to technology readily. Whether it’s Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or Snapchat, video chat your friends and family regularly. How can you deepen those relationships? Take time to go deeper with them than just updates on the news. Spread love and create occasions by declaring that you and your friends or family are going to have Taco Tuesday, or soup day, or pizza night! Then text photos, talk about it, watch the same movies long distance. Create reasons to feel like you’re on the same page and do something intentionally together. Social distancing can change the bar for what you feel is interesting and exciting. Get updates on your loved one’s inner lives as well. We all need it.
6. Small Wins
• What is bringing you small (or big) moments of joy throughout the day? Focus on the small wins/victories. Like lighting a candle, engaging in those self-care activities, a great video call with loved ones. Hold on to these positive feelings and remind yourself of those moments if/when it’s more challenging in other moments. Set an intention for yourself during this time. Regardless of how long this goes on, what internal promise do you want to create? It’s tempting to focus on all the uncertainties, but what is something you want to ensure within yourself?
7. Do Nothing. …Yup, I said it.
• Give yourself a break. The extra time at home can bring up feelings of boredom, feeling “lazy,” “unproductive,” and “unmotivated.” These feelings can affect our mood. Be compassionate towards yourself and accept that not every day is going to look perfectly productive and amazing. We all have a lot of time on our hands, and sometimes it’s okay to sit and do nothing. Check in with yourself. What are you saying to yourself? Are you being kind?
8. Now, let’s all take a Deep Breath
• Separate what is in your control and what is not. Gather the relevant facts to remain safe and avoid ruminating on information that is out of our control. Stress hurts the immune system too.
• There’s a lot of external chaos. Your inner peace is in your control. Take a deep breath and say thank you for something in this current moment. Return to this practice whenever you feel overwhelmed.
Conversations will not be cancelled
Relationships will not be cancelled
Love will not be cancelled
Songs will not be cancelled
Reading will not be cancelled
Self-care will not be cancelled
Hope will not be cancelled
May we lean into the good stuff that remains