With COVID-19 putting the country (and world) on high alert, a lot of people are dealing with heightened loads of anxiety and stress. Plus, many people are working from home now, possibly for the first time ever. This is probably causing isolation and loneliness on top of everything else.
If you’re one of the many people switching from the office to working from home, you aren’t as alone as you probably feel!
I don’t have a magic bullet cure for any of this, but I do have some insight that might help. As someone who has already worked remotely for years, I have figured out some ways to not only survive, but thrive while working from home full time. I have shared some of them below!
And as a note, these tips are useful any time when working from home – not just during a pandemic 🙂
1. Avoid the internet first thing in the morning.
In our perpetually connected society, it is easy to fall into the habit of waking up and immediately grabbing our phones to scroll through Facebook or check the news. I encourage you to avoid this, especially during COVID-19. All the news is bad and scary right now, and starting your day with a dose of fear is going to wreck your psyche. Instead of immediately grabbing your phone the second you wake up, leave it on your nightstand and just get out of bed. Open the shades to let the light in, brush your teeth, wash your face, drink some tea. Get ready for the day free of technology, and that will put you in a better mental state to handle whatever you see online.
2. Maintain your normalcy.
Working from home makes it very easy to live life on the couch and in pajamas. But these are bad habits that will decrease your energy and motivation…which is obviously not good for your mental health. Keep things as normal as you can. Wake up, and do what you need to face the day. No, I am not saying to put on a control top dress and a full face of makeup – you should still embrace the perks of working from home. But that doesn’t mean becoming a bum! Wash your face, put on non-pajama clothing (even if it’s just comfy pants and a hoodie) and eat breakfast. Also, and this might be the most important: set up an actual work space. Don’t try working from bed, and avoid the couch at all costs. Having a dedicated room with a desk is ideal, but if you don’t have the space for it then get set up at the table or kitchen counter. If you can, close the door to your work gear (or put it away) at the end of the day so you can mentally “leave work.”
3. Get outside as much as possible.
When you work from home full time, it is too easy to isolate yourself (and not just in a COVID-19 capacity). If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself going days without ever stepping foot outside of your house. This will make your whole world shrink, which in turn makes everything else seem a lot bigger than it really is. So take every chance you can to get outside, soak up the sunshine and fresh air, and remind yourself the world is still there and that it is bigger than just you. Go for a walk around the block on your break. Eat your lunch on the back deck. Do whatever you can to leave the confines of your home.
I’m willing to bet that if you give this a fair shot, you will end up falling in love with remote work!
And as always, if you need someone to talk to, I am here for you!