A lot of people are getting tired of working from home. Not just mentally, but physically and emotionally as well.
A few weeks ago I gave a brainstorm training and the participants felt like they were invited to a party. They got to go to the office! Most of them hadn’t been there since April. It was fun to witness their excitement but also confronting to see how much they had missed live interaction with colleagues.
It’s important to find new ways to take care of yourself and to establish healthy boundaries while you work from home.
Where before there were natural borders between home and work—now things get very much blurred. Especially if you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated office space in your house.
I’ve been working from my home office for the past 18 years so I’ve had plenty of time to practice.
Here are a few of my best tips to make working from home a little easier on the senses:
Make as much of a distinction between work and time off as you can. It’s best to work from a different room or at least a different corner of the living room. If that’s not feasible then try to put your work away at night so it’s not visible. Throw a scarf over your laptop if you have to—anything to stop seeing your work. If you must work from your bedroom, make sure to air it after you’re done working.
Try to have specific ‘work’ and ‘private’ times. Ideally work during the day and relax at night. That’ll also do wonders for your sleep. You shouldn’t be in front of a screen for at least the last hour before you go to bed. The blue light lowers the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep.
Wearing different clothes helps too. Keep your business suit or smart clothes for work, and change into something more comfortable once you’re done. Much like you might have done when you went into the office.
All these little steps signal to your brain that you’re switching from work mode to time off. In the past your trip home served as a ritual to shift focus from work to your private life. When you take away the traveltime you need something else to serve as that signal.
Ensure that you take enough breaks. People often think they get more done when they work through lunch but that couldn’t be less true. Your brain needs a regular pause in order to be most productive. Research has shown that skipping lunch will actually lower your productivity and creativity!
Aside from stepping away from your computer for lunch, getting outside for some fresh air is hopefully an obvious choice to recharge body and mind.
For shorter breaks I created this 3-minute Mini Meditation. A quick way to relax and recharge so you’ll be fresh again for your next meeting or work sprint.
Be well and enjoy this meditation as often as you like 🙂
PS For my longer guided activations you can visit Insight Timer. That’s the world’s largest free meditation app. If you follow me there you’ll automatically be notified when I upload a new meditation.