This article is written by Sarah Smith.
The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us staying home, and that means millions of people are now also working from home. The sudden change to working from home can be difficult for many people and can lead to detrimental imbalances.
No matter if you’re staying home in self-quarantine or are housebound by chronic illness, there are steps you can take to care for yourself while working from home. Correct the imbalances working from home has created and care for yourself with these tips and tricks.
1. Set a Schedule
While you are isolating at home you must take care of yourself. Without the normal routine of waking up and leaving the house for work, it can be easy to become too lax with your daily routine. You had a schedule before the quarantine, and you should create one for home isolation so you can maintain some predictability in these uncertain times.
Determine when you need to wake up for work, when you need to take breaks, when to eat your meals, and when work is finished for the day. You can make your schedule as detailed or as minimalist as you like but include enough details that you can track your progress throughout the day without missing essential tasks.
Your schedule should include a healthy dietary plan. Do not be tempted to eat junk food for comfort, as adopting a poor diet will only make your overall health worse. Instead, start a healthy diet plan that includes plenty of prebiotics, fruits, vegetables, and other essential nutrients. Tailor your diet to your tastes and what foods you can attain. Eating a healthy diet needn’t be boring or restrictive. Grab produce that is in season and enough spices to make sure any food you make will delight your taste buds.
2. Create an Office Space and Mentality
Adjusting to not going into the office every day for work can be difficult. Your usual routine has been disrupted, but you can create the same feeling by designating a space in your home for work and keeping yourself in the office mentality. Separate or designate an area of your house to use as your home office. A spare bedroom is ideal, but if you don’t have an extra room, you can place a small desk in your living room to serve as your office space. Creating a designated workspace helps you mentally differentiate between work time and home time.
However, creating an office space only fixes part of the problem. To keep yourself in work mode and maintain balance, you need to manage your office mentality. Get ready for the day as if you were going to the office. Do not skip showering, getting dressed, and any other steps you would typically take to get ready for the workday. Continuing these steps, even though you are not leaving your house, helps to keep you in the office mentality. When you put yourself in a working mindset, you will be less distracted and more productive throughout your day.
3. Relaxation and Socialization are Important Too
Your usual work routine should include breaks and socialization. Breaks are essential for resetting and coming back to work with a clear head, which leads to improved work quality and productivity. Even though you are working from home, take breaks throughout your workday to keep yourself balanced. Try to avoid using your break time to do household chores and instead truly relax for a moment. Take a walk outside, make a cup of tea, check social media, call a friend, or do something that lets your mind take a break before getting back to work.
Breaks are critical to a balanced work-life, but socialization is another element that you should include in your work from home plan. When you go into the office, you see and talk with your coworkers throughout the day. While working from home, you should continue socializing with coworkers and friends. Organize a video call with your coworkers so you can eat lunch together or at least talk for a few minutes. Even though you won’t be socializing in person, just seeing and talking with friendly faces goes a long way towards keeping your mental health stable.
Working from home has upset your natural balance, but by taking active steps to correct yourself, you can work from home while staying healthy physically and mentally:
- Set a schedule to keep you on track and monitor your diet to ensure you are receiving all the nutrients you need.
- Create an office space and maintain your office mentality to stay productive and easily walk away from the desk when work is done for the day.
- Don’t forget relaxation and socialization are critical elements in maintaining your mental health.
By practicing self-care, you can successfully balance yourself and work from home.
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