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Work well at home

Work well at home

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Changes in routines can be a challenge. Now that so many people are working from home during this crisis, it’s important to stay well as we adjust to this “new normal.” Here are some ideas that can help manage your physical and mental wellness at home.

Manage your mindset.

  • Stay informed but balanced. Make a plan for news and social media consumption, but don’t fixate on the media. We need to be in the know of course; but we also need to figure out what level of news consumption will best allow us to stay centered and to give our nervous system a much needed breaks.
  • Practice self-care. Build on your foundation for staying well and alert. For instance, you could identify a few things you like doing that take you away from focusing on the negative: singing, listening to music, taking a walk, meditating, having a living room dance party – these are all great for both physical and mental wellness. Schedule time during the day to take time for you.
  • Be of service. Service is the antidote to fear. When you’re getting caught up in fear and worry, simply ask yourself what you can do to be of service. Maybe you can call others who might be lonely, or find a way to support a local business. Why not do a video call with someone who could use a pick-me-up and put your kids or pets on camera? Think about how your knowledge, skills, personal strengths, or other resources can be of service during the crisis – and act on your ideas.

Set up for success.

  • Set up a work station. Your new from-home workspace should not be a laptop on an ironing board! Think about how to set up your workstation to be flexible, efficient, and ergonomic. Incorporate personal features (photos, plants, whatever helps you feel at ease).
  • Create a routine. Set up a schedule for work, knowing that it likely won’t be the same one you’re used to. Keep it loose and flexible so you can deal with the unexpected and still feel a sense of achievement at the end of the day.

Be physically well.

  • Stay active. All the usual cues that get you up and moving in the office will be gone. Consider setting up new cues, whether it’s a reminder on your laptop or phone, or a wind-up egg timer – anything that will snap you out of staring at the screen for long periods of time.
  • The water cooler is gone. Be sure you drink enough water throughout the day. (No, wine doesn’t count toward daily hydration goals!)
  • You will get hungry. But it’s too easy to just snack during the day. Make sure you have a plan for regular nutritious meals, with sensible snacks in between. Keep them in another room (helps you stay active) and don’t eat at your computer.

Last but certainly not least: Embrace change.

Your old routine is over, at least for now. You may not be able to drop by your old colleagues’ desks, go for coffee together, and so on. In fact if you’re a parent, you’re very likely going to have new, much shorter “colleagues” playing beside you as you work. Embrace the chance to be interrupted and to be with them through the day.

Above all, let yourself be human. Each of us is trying to find the new normal. So give yourself a break, be mindful of your colleagues who are in the same boat, and look for moments of joy you can share with coworkers and family.

 

 

 

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