Creating a healthy work/live from home routine

Since coronavirus entered our lives, we’ve been spending a lot more time at home than we’re used to. It’s easy to slip into a pattern of waking up late, staying in your PJs and hanging around not knowing what day it is. There’s nothing wrong with doing this every once in a while but over time, you’ll begin to notice the ill effects that this lack of structure takes on your physical and mental health.

I’m not here to tell you what you should do with your day but rather how you can better structure your days. I’d also recommend including activities daily that encourage mental and physical well-being, whatever that looks like for you!

 

Build a schedule where you can

My first recommendation is to default to the schedules you were following prior to the shutdown. I might suggest using our gym’s class schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 12pm) as a good starting point.

Try this: if on Saturday you were prone to attending the noon class, then be sure to wake up before then as if you were still going to make that commute and jump in our Instagram LIVE class. Grant yourself some extra time before class starts too, to stretch and warm-up, just like you would in the gym.  

 

Re-Purpose Your New Free Time

For those of us who are fortunate enough to work remotely, you may find you have more free time in the morning without a commute. This free time can be repurposed to your advantage.

I used to want to meditate in the morning but found it difficult to find those spare 10-15 minutes every morning to do so. Now, without having that commute – I’ve been able to recycle that time towards building a morning habit of meditating. This helps ground my mind before I jump into my workday. Maybe for others, you’ll sleep in but have more time to stay up late practicing an instrument you’ve neglected lately.

Try this: look at your week, and perform an audit of the extra time you have each day. Then ask yourself how that time can be repurposed in a way to take better care of yourself, whether that’s body, mind or spirit.

 

Create Separation

When we’re at home all the time, some of what makes it feel like a blur is that there is not the same clear delineation from one part of our day to the next. We’re not “going to work” and “going to lunch” and “heading to the gym” afterward.

 

When you make a physical change, you change your mindset.

 

When we’re living in one place and not physically changing our environments, it can make it challenging to feel as though we are mentally switching for one task to another. Conversely, it’s also tough to relax when your workspace and home are one in the same.

It’s important to create separation between the different areas of your life and there are a few ways you can do this:

 

Don’t work in bed

Where you work and where you sleep cannot be the same – you won’t be able to mentally leave work when you need to sleep and vice versa.

Try this: put your phone away at least an hour before you go to bed. This way your body and mind have time to relax before drifting off to sleep. Otherwise the endless news scrolling and blue light will keep your mind active, preventing your body from getting those solid 8 hours our body requires each night.

 

Mentally label your rooms

Re-label the rooms in your living space in your mind. For me, my living room is where I “go to work,” the kitchen is where I “go to lunch” and because it’s the biggest room in the house, the kitchen is also where I “go to the gym.”

Try this: maybe you’re someone who needs more of a physical distinction. Grab a Sharpie and a sheet of paper and PHYSICALLY label your rooms and tape it up on your wall. Might seem silly, but over time your mind will adjust and deepen the separation. 


Change your clothes based on your activity

Changing your clothes is another important signifier that you can use to create separation between different parts of your day. You can still get dressed before work, even though you may not necessarily wear the same thing for WFH as you would to the office. You can still change into gym clothes to do the at-home-classes – just don’t just wear athleisure at home all day and then do gym classes in the same clothing. You’ll still be wearing your “lazy” clothes instead of having changed into your “kicking ass” clothes.

When you make a physical change, you change your mindset.

 

Add Intermissions

Adding “intermissions” into your day can be helpful too. At the office, you might have taken a break at 2pm to make a tea in the lunchroom and chat with coworkers. At home, you can similarly leave the room you use as your workspace to make a tea and text a friend to check-in. Or you could take a walk around the block to get some air a few times a day.

 

Don’t Let Your Impulses Take Over

If you don’t make a plan for your day, it’s more likely you’ll be led astray by your impulses. Using these tips, you can pre-plan what you’ll do for the day and have a clearer sense of purpose as you move from task-to-task. Our lives are wildly different and our routines have changed but the world is not entirely out of your control – you can still choose to structure your day to take care of your physical and mental well-being.

ADD COMMENT