Daily routines are feeling much different for many of us right now as the world works to contain COVID-19. Every day it seems we face a new reality and have to adjust the way we live and work. Thousands of people are sitting in their new home office, or more likely the dining room table, trying to transform a traditional office job into a work from home job. And despite the new anything-goes dress code and endless supply of snacks, the transition can still take its toll. Here are three wellness tips to keep in mind as you navigate this unusual time.
#1 Go Easy on Yourself
It takes serious focus and discipline to do any full-time job from an unconventional space, especially one that wasn’t built for it. If you find yourself working one minute and getting distracted the next, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, ask yourself if what you’re doing is something you would do in your typical office setting? If the answer is yes, cut yourself some slack, then get back to work.
Work from home can open up a whole new world of distractions and it can feel a bit overwhelming at first. Without your boss walking by every so often or colleagues to bounce your ideas off of, it can be hard to stay on track. Setting priorities is important at the office and infinitely more so when working from home. Start with a simple daily to-do list by jotting down what needs to be done and then numbering them in order of priority.
#2 Don’t Forget to Socialize
One of the hardest things about adjusting to work from home can be the loss of social interactions with your coworkers. We often don’t realize the role that these interactions play in our daily workdays because we have become so accustomed to them. But take away your morning chit chat by the coffee or lunches together in the breakroom and you can suddenly feel very isolated. Stay connected to your coworkers by proactively checking in on people. If you usually ask your coworkers about their weekends, keep that up by sending a quick direct message, email, or even video chat them! These little interactions go a long way.
You can also schedule daily or weekly kickoff meetings with your whole team in order to touch base and catch up. Many of us are feeling anxious and uncertain during this challenging time, and suddenly feeling disconnected and isolated at home can intensify these feelings. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to a coworker just to ask how they’re doing.
#3 Remember to Step Away
Just as you would at the office, give yourself time away from your desk (or makeshift workstation). To the extent that it’s allowed and safe where you are during the COVID-19 outbreak, get out of the house at least once a day. Whether it’s to walk the dog, get the mail, or water the plants the fresh air and sunlight will do you good and keep you energized!
Working from home can blur the lines between personal and professional. But it’s important to set boundaries by finding ways to disconnect from work at the end of the day. Create an end of the day ritual to clearly mark that the workday is over. It can be as simple as shutting down your computer, changing your clothes, or going for a short walk.