While the whole world seems to be baking sourdough and showing up for zoom meetings perfectly groomed – have you been feeling like you’re on another planet? Well, we hear you! Between social media and social distancing, it may seem like everyone has their post-pandemic life on point, but let’s be real, we’re all just coping. So if you feel yourself overcome with stress thanks to work-from-home and, well, everything-from-home – we’re here to help!
In the pre-COVID-19 world, working from home may have seemed like the ultimate luxury. You got to skip the rush-hour commute, the extra-early alarms and even the stress of packed lunches, but when you find yourself missing meals, working overtime and not able to concentrate, it’s time to get real. Working from home comes with its own set of stress factors because honestly, there is no perfect work life! Here are five simple ways to tackle the stress that creeps up on you when you work from home.
A workspace is vital
When you’re working, chilling, eating and sleeping in the same small radius, you’ll find all kinds of boundaries disappear. Netflix with lunch in the middle of the day, working late at night when you should be sleeping, and skipping meals while the snacking never ends. Been there, done that! So the important thing is to bring back these boundaries in little ways to help you remember that you’re not a machine on autopilot going from one thing to the next. The easiest way to do this is to create a workspace that lets you switch into productivity mode as soon as you sit down to work.
Remember when you’d walk in to work, sit down at your desk and your brain would automatically start listing tasks, a mental to-do list already being planned, and you’d shift effortlessly into work mode? You need to do that same thing, except you don’t have a commute to bookend the work day. So do the next best thing – invest in a study desk and chair set that you use only for work. Dress it up with a little succulent, a cute calendar featuring puppies and some coffee in your favourite mug, and boom! You’ll find yourself shifting gears and getting into work mode almost immediately, minus the stress.
If you’re unsure of what you need to set up that perfect workspace, send us a mail at email@example.com and we’ll talk you through it with design consultations and 3D visualizations.
You also need a space to chill
As important as having a space to work is also having a well-defined space to relax. You will probably assume that this is the rest of your house apart from where you work, but actually it’s a bit more than that. Pick a corner of your house – it can be the sofa in front of your TV, the lounge chair out on the balcony or even a comfy armchair next to a window – and call it the laptop-free zone.
Make sure you use this spot specifically to do non-work things that you find relaxing. This could be reading a book, staring into space or even scrolling through Instagram – we won’t judge! But make sure you don’t bring work here, so everytime you sit down in your ‘chill zone’, your body and your mind will automatically take a break! Don’t use this space to do anything you consider work, even catching up with colleagues or taking a work call. Think of this as the home version of the bar you grab drinks at after work – no shop talk here!
If you’re looking to set up a cosy chill corner in your house, we’ve got some great options. Check out our website and get inspired!
Don’t forget to eat!
It’s funny how a concept that was created for busy work days is still relevant when you work from home. We forget how vital it is to stick to mealtimes, not just for physical health but mental as well. Notice how every time you skip lunch because you have too many calls, you end up cranky with an energy slump at 4, and end up snacking right till dinner? It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that a little bit of meal planning will ensure stress-free work-from-home days. Whether you choose to set overnight oatmeal for breakfast the previous night, or cook a little extra dinner so that you have leftovers for lunch, there are many little things you can do to make sure you get less ‘hangry’ in the middle of your work day. You could even schedule lunch break reminders on your calendar if you’re the type who forgets to eat. Think of it as parenting yourself so that you can enjoy a more peaceful day of work from home!
Get that quiet time
We live from screen to screen, these days. Laptops to work, TVs to relax, phones to connect socially, apps to help us meditate – whether it’s work, play or rest, we’re inseparable from that blue light. No wonder our brains are in overdrive and we’re finding it hard to wind down before we sleep. And getting a solid eight hours of sleep is easier said than done in this age of hyperconnectivity – if you’ve ever had a sleep meditation interrupted by WhatsApp pings, you’d know. So what do you do? Put down that phone, shut that laptop, switch off the TV, and every other screen that can possibly distract you, and get some quiet time doing nothing. Yes, it isn’t just for punishing toddlers. You need some time out too but more as a reward for all the thinking and processing your brain is doing all day.
From what to cook to what show to watch, even our non-work hours have us constantly using our brain and decision fatigue is a real thing – look it up! So it’s extremely important to give your brain at least a 10-minute break each day, where it doesn’t have to do anything, not even meditate. Stare at the ceiling if you have to, or just outside your window, but make sure it’s passive. Take the time to watch where your thoughts flow and you’ll be much less stressed the rest of the 23 hours and 50 minutes of your work-from-home life.