Like many Americans during the CORVID-19 crisis, you may find yourself creating social distance by working from home. This may already be part of your daily routine or may be an anomaly. If you are finding yourself in uncharted territory and out of your element, here are some tips to help you stay on track:
Create a Workspace
Find a specific space in your home and designate it for work only. Make sure there is enough room for your laptop, cellphone, notepads, or whatever supplies you normally use. Make sure you have the room to stay organized and stay comfortable. Pro Tip: not use your bedroom if it can be avoided! It is important to keep certain areas of your home designated solely for relaxation. Try and find a quiet area where you will be able to focus on tasks without disturbing others/being disturbed. Try and keep the TV off.
In order to mentally prepare yourself for the day, get out of your pajamas and put on something comfortable but professional to work in. Dressing for work can help you feel more awake and productive. As tempting as it is to stay in those sweats, putting a dress shirt on and doing your hair can leave you feeling like you are ready to take on the day. It may work in your benefit in case you are video-conferencing with your coworkers as well!
Maintain a Routine
When your work day is finished, put away your devises and other work-related materials. It is important to recharge and to create boundaries around the work day. It will be easy to get lost in the shuffle and to find yourself working too much or too little; both will leave you feeling anxious. Once the day is done, step away from the space and allow yourself to relax as normal. It will help you avoid burn out and ultimately make you more productive.
Now that you will be home more than usual, don’t forget to get some fresh air! Walk outside, play with the dogs, or do some gardening. You don’t want to feel trapped in your home and stepping away from time to time will help alleviate that cabin fever. It is ok to take breaks. Take lunch breaks and coffee breaks as normal.
It is ok to feel a little stressed and overwhelmed right now-most people are feeling the same. It is normal to feel off-kilter. Don’t forget to check in with co-works and utilize video chats and phone calls more frequently than usual in order to stay connected and feel less isolated. Use mindfulness techniques, rekindle the flame of old hobbies, talk more with friends and family over the phone; try and give yourself permission to be still even though it feels difficult and unnatural. Building new routines takes time and remember to be patient with yourself as well. Remember: social-distancing practices will not last forever and they are for the benefit of everyone. We’ll be back in the office soon!