It’s the end of the week. Give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve made it through several days of unexpectedly working or schooling from home. How do you feel?
Very few of us feel comfortable suddenly spending so much time in a confined space. The time we are home might be a drastic change from past routines. Below are a few tips to help with your emotional well being and sanity.
- Routines: The “Commute” – Your commute is gone! However, not only are you not fighting traffic, tired and grumpy in your car – you also have lost time that is normally spent preparing or decompressing. Mental rehearsal of the day to come and emotional detachment at the end of a work day are important norms for many people. These routines are not built into the day any more. SOLUTION: Be mindful of the routine change and act. My solution is that I leave the house every morning to get a coffee and breakfast sandwich. The bread goes to the dog as a treat while I munch on bacon and egg. At the end of the day my wife and I take a ride to someplace close but interesting. While my “new routines” involve my car, yours may involve exercise, walking, reading, meditating or other activities you set time aside for and have a physical component.
- Routines: Exercise – Work and school from home can deteriorate into hours in a chair in front of a screen. After the work or school day is over, you might feel tired or overwhelmed and need a hug and a latte instead of a trip to the gym. SOLUTION: One habit is to work out at your desk every hour. Stretch or use a 5 pound or 10 pound kettle ball to lift “mini weights”. Walk around your apartment or house. Emerge onto the balcony and breath some fresh air. During meetings, stand and if possible, create a standing desk for yourself. Check you posture often. At the end of each day, look at these suggestions as a check list and if you cannot check all of the boxes tomorrow is always a chance to do better!
- PRO TIPS When using a “screen” use 2 if possible! In this case, the more the merrier and size matters. Larger screen sizes prevent headaches from squinting.
Most of what I have suggested so far is physical. I have heard it said that our physiology affects our psychology and working from home illustrates this. While working from home can be a great way to build work-life balance, it also may feel like imprisonment! Do you find this happening to you? What are the things you do to avoid feeling like you are “tied to your home work space”? Feel free to leave comments below – after all, I work from home too and your comments are a great way to connect when otherwise that would not be the case!