4 simple ways to maintain your well-being whilst working from home
07th April in Content
Working from home is a blessing in many ways, particularly when we consider work/life balances, general well-being, and of course, unprecedented times. Aside from the ability to wear pyjamas to your 9 am meeting, roll out of bed a little later than usual and be literally anywhere in the world. At the same time, it’s also allowed so many of us to see a future where we don’t have to compromise on our goals or well-being to have financial stability. We’ve been able to see it in action these past couple of years. But like everything, it comes with its share of burdens to bear.
Working in the same places you usually go to relax can come with its own host of problems. Working where you sleep can confuse your brain into thinking your bed is no longer your sanctuary away from adult responsibilities. Working in your living room can have a similar effect. This meshed with cutting out any walking to and from your workplace, going outside less, fewer breaks in your day since you don’t have people to stop for coffee with, lines blurring between your work-life and your life-life and not wanting to complain because we’re so lucky to be able to do this. It can get a bit overwhelming.
That’s where this post comes in. I’m sure everyone knows by now how powerful it can be to prioritise your well-being and add things to your life that serve rather than drain you. These four tips will help you achieve this and help you continue them in a low maintenance way, acknowledging the full-time, busy-bee worker who too often prioritises others before themselves (you selfless beauty you).
Morning routines are a great way to start your day on the right foot. It subtly acts as a reminder that you do not wake up to work, you wake up to live, and working is a part of that. Having that time between waking up and working can be the perfect separation between your life and your work.
Back when it was the norm to go further than our living rooms to get to work, some semblance of a daily routine was forced into our mornings. Maybe it wasn’t perfect (what is really?), but we would allow enough time to make ourselves presentable, ready for our day at the office, surrounded by people who can see us head-to-toe and not just what we permit them to on Zoom. This allowed us time to mentally prepare for the day, practise some self-care in the way of breakfast, getting ready, and maybe listening to an energy-injecting playlist. Now the lines blur a little easier, and we don’t always allow ourselves the same amount of time. If we mimic that same energy in the mornings, it can work wonders for our work/life balance.
As part of your routine, it’s also really useful to write a daily to-do list. It doesn’t have to be a novel, but thinking about what needs to get done and what’s realistic enough to add to the ‘today’ list sets up your expectations and stops the list-making process happening in your head all day long.
So tip number one, give yourself some time in the morning to ‘get ready’. This can mean whatever you want it to mean, as long as it gives you that time to prepare for your day mentally. Then add a little light list-making to set up your day (and re-allocate the things you don’t have time for).
Prioritise your lunch
When you’re working from home, the time you’re online can feel a lot more regimented than when you’re physically in the office. Something about seeing your day in the calendar feels a little more like you have to prove what you’re doing at all times (just me?). For so many people, this turns into overworking and it’s so easily done when you love the work you do, but missing lunch one day turns into missing lunch every day. Missing your lunch slowly turns into a complete lack of breaks in your day, which we all know isn’t great for anyone involved.
Tip number two: Prioritise your breaks! This prevents burnouts in the long run, which in turn affects the work you’re so passionate about. So really, you taking those breaks is a win-win situation for all.
Water WITH your coffee
You can’t escape a well-being post without it including a tip relating to water. Whatever caffeinated drink keeps you going during the day, I’m happy for you and I don’t expect you to stop. But, consider an addition to your chosen beverage?
Water has been found to significantly improve pretty much all aspects of your well-being, physical or otherwise, and I’m positive that most of us aren’t having our allocated quotient, so let’s make a game out of it.
Tip number three: Every time you make yourself a [insert caffeinated drink here], have a glass of water too. Keep a bottle by your workspace, or fill up a glass when you get your coffee but either way, try to match the amounts of each drink. Your mind, body, and your skin will thank you.
Check-in with yourself
Last but not least, keep checking in with yourself. Being aware of how you’re feeling means you’re better able to see what you need to be at your healthiest. It can be particularly important to do this while working a full-time job at home since it’s a relatively new change for most people, and it can be so easy to get stuck in a cycle and forget about our own needs.
There are several ways you can check in with how you’re feeling. A simple method is taking the time out of your day to ask yourself how you feel (and possibly writing it out). The aim is to bring yourself into the present moment in order to self-assess. Once you’ve got to this part (identifying anything like a potential burnout or being overwhelmed), knowing what to do next comes a lot easier (finding solutions to prevent this happening).
Tip number four: Try out different ways to bring yourself into the present moment and identify how you’re feeling. Take a look at the resources below for some ideas on where to start!
Bonus tip: It’s sometimes more important to find the things that fit best than to find the ones that have the biggest impact. That makes it more likely that it’ll stay in your routine and therefore help a whole lot more than the technique with the most substantial impact.
What to take home
Considering the situations we live with every day, I would say we’re doing a pretty great job. From daily tasks becoming overwhelming to covid rules fatigue.. to who knows what else, it becomes even more important for us to ensure we are put first, that we are the priority, so we can continue to live our lives as vibrantly and authentically as possible. These four tips help us to achieve this. I hope it helps!
- Keep your morning routine (no matter how short)
- Prioritise your lunches and take breaks
- Have water along with your coffee
- Check-ins with yourself regularly