To say the last couple of weeks have been nerve-wracking would be an understatement. We are going through a time like no other and we’ve all had to make major changes in our work, parenting, and daily routines. Schools are closed and only “essential” businesses are open. A lot of people are working from home and taking care of their children. We only leave the house when it’s an absolute necessity in order to help control the spread of this virus. Our medical professionals are overloaded and our country is strained. If you are feeling anxious during this time, you are not alone!
A New Normal
I miss my happy hours with girlfriends and being able to see my nieces and nephew. I’m worried about my parents, who live in Broward County, which has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Florida. I often think about the foster children who can’t have in-person visitation with their parents and siblings right now. There’s a lot to worry about!
I’ve been working from home for the past two weeks, and have had to adjust some things and make changes in order to make the most of this time. I wanted to share some working from home tips and suggestions with you to see if these can help you feel more “normal” too!
Working From Home Tips
1. I change out of my pajamas
If you aren’t used to working from home, it can be hard to get on a schedule. I set my alarm each morning, depending on when my first call or Zoom meeting is, and then shower and change. I don’t stay in the same pajamas all day. Now, I’m not saying I change into my normal work clothes, but I do put on joggers or yoga pants and a tee shirt. If I have a video call that day, I put on makeup as normal.
2. I practice mindful breathing
Years ago, I earned my 200-hr Yoga Teacher training certificate and still use what I learned in my everyday life. When I am feeling anxious, I stop what I am doing and practice a breathing technique called Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, or alternate nostril breathing. After a few rounds of this technique, I feel much calmer, clearer, and less anxious. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit comfortably.
- Relax your left hand on your lap or on your left knee.
- Exhale completely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
- Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your right ring finger.
- Release your right thumb from your right nostril and exhale through this side.
- Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril with your right thumb.
- Release your right rung finger from your left nostril and exhale through the left side.
- This is one cycle.
- Continue for several cycles.
3. I take care of my skin
If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I am a huge advocate of having a skincare routine. If you don’t already have a routine for morning and night, right now is the perfect time to implement one! Read my skincare routine post here for recommendations for all skin types and budgets. I’ve also been taking better care of the skin on my body during this time. I’ve been exfoliating twice a week in the shower, and then applying lotion all over morning and night. My skin has never been softer! This body lotion is my all time favorite.
4. I have a cleaning schedule
When I am in the house all day long, I start noticing areas I need to clean and/or organize. I would start dusting, then I would notice an area that needed to be vacuumed, then I would see clothes piled up that needed to be put away, and this cycle continued and felt overwhelming! So I made a list of cleaning and organizing tasks, and assigned 2-3 tasks for myself per day. For example, every Tuesday I clean the toilets and bathroom counters and sinks, and wash the sheets. Every Thursday, I Swiffer the wood floors and vacuum the bedrooms. This helps me feel more in control and our apartment has never been cleaner!
5. I take breaks frequently
I usually have between 2-4 conference calls and/or Zoom meetings per workday. Some of these calls are a couple of hours long. If I was still in the office, I would be walking around, talking to people between tasks. So I keep that same break schedule at home (except there are no people to chat with- Chris still goes into the office!). After each call, I get up, walk around, stretch, get a glass of water, and step out onto our small balcony to get some fresh air for a few minutes. I also take a real lunch break, away from the computer. I’ll watch a little TV while I eat lunch, or scroll through Instagram.
6. I nap when I need to
If you are feeling more tired than usual lately, that’s normal. Our bodies are feeling the anxiety and stress of this situation, and sometimes we just need to rest or nap. The other day, after a couple of conference calls for work, I was feeling completely drained and sleepy. So I got back into bed and took a 30 minute nap. I woke up feeling much better and was ready to finish my tasks for the day. Since I’m working from home, I’m able to adjust my schedule a bit since I’m most productive in the morning or much later in the day (after 8pm).
7. I started exercising at home again
About 2 months ago, I just stopped exercising. I don’t really know why, I just did! Before that, I was working out at home 3-4 times per week using the FASTer Way to Fat Loss online workouts. Since I started working from home, I realized I had no excuse to not start working out at home again. In fact, I NEEDED to start working out again since I wasn’t moving as much as I was when in the office and I was feeling the effects. Luckily, so many gyms and studios are offering live stream class right now, and a lot are free. My yoga studio, Warrior One, is holding their classes via Zoom, and I started doing my FASTer Way to Fat Loss workouts again too. It’s only been a few days, but I am already feeling SO much better! I’ve also been eating better since I started adding in exercise. Win-win!
Are you working from home? Do you have any tips that help you maintain a schedule and prevent yourself from going stir-crazy?