Whether you’re working from home or self-isolating with your family, this is an unprecedented chapter and it will take some time adjusting to our ‘new normal’. Balancing home life, work demands and home schooling your children requires great energy and patience and in this new landscape you might be feeling more squeezed than ever before.
What will help us through is a simple daily routine, infused with life-giving practices to keep us calm and connected. We need a broad self-care toolkit accessible in our own homes, in ways that take little time or energy. We need soothing practices we can share with our kids, keeping them engaged, bonding us together in the process.
Here Work Well Being Associate Suzy shares her top tips for working from home and maintaining your equilibrium during these uncertain times.
Top tips for working from home
- Build a daily routine
Routines give a sense of rhythm and purpose to our day which is reassuring. It also helps to boost your circadian rhythms, promoting the chance of better quality sleep which we all know is central to feeling good.
Keep a regularity to the time you rise and go to bed, shower and dress in an outfit that helps you feel put together and kick off your morning with a life-giving breakfast so you can think with clarity.
Create some loose boundaries to your working day, knowing when you’ll clock on and down tools at the end of the day. There needs to be time to hydrate and feed your brain, to move for your mental health and breaks to boost your mood throughout your day. In the evening set the intention to relax and restore so you are ready to focus again tomorrow.
2. Create a harmonious environment
Outer order helps to create inner harmony, so make your bed, tidy up your living space, throw the curtains open to maximise natural light and make your work area as clear as possible to help you concentrate.
If you can, get outside and enjoy the soothing effects of being in Nature, but even watching the moving trees from your desk can help you feel calm. Talk about your favourite calm safe places for a dose of nature therapy and use them as inspiration to write your own journey meditations.
3. Focus your mind
When your mind feels full up or worries are spiralling, bring it back to what lies within your control. We can get caught in endless ‘what ifs’, but ‘what can I do’ puts you back in control. If your mind keeps flitting to things outside your control, go gently on yourself and use the happy distractions in the remaining tips.
4. Move for your mood
We often associate the benefits of movement with the physical body but we need it just as much for our mental health. Nothing fancy is required! Some gentle yoga stretches to release stress, a swift walk up and down the stairs to get the blood and endorphins pumping or a kitchen disco session can be a great mood boost! Try out a guided home workout using just your own body weight. There are some fabulous free resources out there, some you can even do with your kids (Joe Wicks YouTube channel)
5. “Micro moments of nourishment”
Dot your day with nourishing practices to uplift and sustain you. It can be as simple as massaging in some hand balm with a scent you love, a single piece of music or a minute of meditation to calm you.
6. Breathe better to feel better
Slowing down your breath can calm your mind and body, but if focusing on the breath alone feels difficult, move with the breath instead: find a comfortable place to rest your hands, palms facing upwards. As you breathe in, open your hands fully and as you breathe out, make a gentle fist. Keep focusing on the movement of your hands and notice how this relaxes your breathing – a great distraction from unhelpful thoughts.
7. Make time to connect
We need connection as much as we need food in our tummies so make the time to talk on the phone, pick a photo and reminisce over WhatsApp or send a text to check in. This is a golden opportunity to communicate care.
8. Reboot yourself
You are no different from your devices so switch off and nourish yourself with your downtime. While technology is essential for keeping us connected, be mindful of your visual diet and make sure there is screen free time. Fill your spare time with activities like games, puzzles, TED talks, podcasts, audiobooks, guided relaxation like ‘yoga nidra’, TV and movies that inspire you, try your hand at a spot of gratitude journaling or build a bank of happy memories with your family.