If the days have started to blur together, it can be incredibly challenging to remain productive, let alone sane. Everyone is unique and responds to hardships and changes differently. Still, the following eight tips can help you practice self-care and anyone can use them, even after social distancing practices have been lifted.
These are tips many people might think are common sense (and they are) but, being stuck inside can feel more exhausting than relaxing. With that said, this is a time to focus on ourselves – physically, mentally and spiritually if that’s what helps you centre yourself.
How to stay healthy and productive when you work from home
TIP 1 – Stick to a schedule
By establishing a routine and schedule, you will likely be more productive when it comes to completing work tasks and more relaxed, knowing you are still getting things done. Waking up to a shower and a fresh cup of coffee and a morning walk may seem irrelevant, but they can give a sense of normalcy that is priceless. When you clock out for the day, turn off notifications and close work programs, so you genuinely feel like you have left work.
TIP 2 – Designate your own office space
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance is to create a designated workspace. It should be separate from other living areas as well as independent from areas meant for post-work relaxation, like your bed or couch. Curating your own space can also be a creative, destressing project in and of itself.
TIP 3 – Socialise and stay connected
Although you may be desperate to give hugs and share stories in person with friends, thanks to technology, you can still keep in touch with those you love. Zoom, House Party, FaceTime are some of the best tools to catch up and play games with coworkers, friends, and family. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, there are many outlets you can reach out to virtually, including online counsellors and 24-hour hotlines.
TIP 4 – Get a good night’s sleep
Circadian rhythm is one of the first things to go when our bodies and minds are under high levels of stress or anxiety. Circadian misalignment is becoming increasingly and late-night shopping, off-shift working, or extended blue-light exposure are all sources of circadian disruption. Making good sleep a priority and allowing yourself at least seven to nine hours of sound sleep will likely ease stress and fatigue.
TIP 5 – Keep a Healthy diet
You may be surprised to find out that your stress levels and how good your gut feels are closely linked. What you are eating during this period of uncertainty can have long-lasting adverse effects. It can be extremely tempting to seek stress relief through our favourite comfort foods like sweets, alcohol, and fast food. If you are noticing excessive inflammation, indigestion, food sensitivities, fuzzy thinking, mood swings, or fatigue, it may be worth testing for a leaky gut. Extreme stress can cause a leaky gut, which may be the source of many seemingly unrelated conditions through damaging effects on your stomach.
TIP 6 – Remember to exercise
Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy, even more so when our stress levels increase. Many people have had to come up with creative ways to stay active outside of the gym for weeks now. Becoming one with your bed or couch can be tempting, but a regular exercise routine helps get blood flowing and releases endorphins, which are guaranteed to make you feel better. If you haven’t already, get into a daily routine that includes a fair amount of activity. Many gyms and personal trainers are even offering free or discounted online workout programs and classes for those struggling with where to start.
TIP 7 – Take Breaks
Mixing up your tasks and changing your scenery can improve your attention span and ability to concentrate. Getting fresh air now and again is one of the best ways to stay sane when the day seems to be stretching on.
TIP 8 – Relax
Although a good TV binge-watching session is its own form of unwinding, limiting daily screen time can have a positive effect on mental clarity and productivity. There are many classes for beginners on Youtube, like practising yoga, breathing techniques or even learning a new program could help switch gears – while at home.
Self-care is really about finding balance and a routine that works for you and your family. Reach out for support if you need it, and engage in as mentally and physically stimulating activities as possible. Be present and remain in touch with your emotions and physical well being so you can make a plan to stay as healthy and stress-free as possible as you are working to adjust to a new normal.