Keeping It Together While Working from Home
Just as we were adjusting to a little bit of normalcy as per pre-COVID-19 pandemic, some states are undergoing another round of conditional movement control order (CMCO). With the rising number of cases, this appears to be a necessary measure to help to curb the spread of the virus. Implementation of the CMCO would also likely mean that you're back to working from home for at least a few days a week. For some, as schools have also been ordered to close, that would mean overseeing our children's online classes or homeschooling our young ones. So, once again, we're made to adjust and adapt to juggling work, our kids and our mental health. As we are in this in the long-haul, ensuring that our mental, emotions and physical well-being remain healthy is of utmost importance. Hence, just in case you need a bit of a boost in this area, here are some tips:
1. Make your bed
In a commencement speech for the graduating class from the University of Texas, Admiral William H. McRaven advised was first to make your bed when you wake up. Completing a simple task like that can set the tone for the rest of the day. In his own words, he adds that that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
Hence, start the day right and get folding!
2. Practise your usual morning routine
After making the bed, don't immediately check your email or turn on your laptop. Instead, treat the start of your day as a typical day at the office. Get dressed comfortably (one of the perks for working at home), have breakfast and read the newspapers or catch-up on some world news if that's your habit. That familiar routine will help put you in the right frame of mind for a productive day at 'work.'
For parents with young ones at home, practise the same routine for a regular school day. Younger ones might need a little bit of help with setting up their online classrooms, but similarly, a familiar routine helps put them at ease.
3. Prioritise eating right and staying physically healthy
In an article by Readers Digest about 16 Things CEO's Always Do Before Bed, 3 of them are all about food. Though we're all for a good bedtime routine to help with a good night's sleep, eating right throughout the day while working from home is of equal importance. One of the advantages of working from home would mean you would be able to prepare your meals, knowing precisely what's in it. That way, cutting down on foods that make you feel sleepy and lethargic is easy to do. We recommend using the weekend to plan for the week. Thus ensuring you have all the ingredients you need and you wouldn't need to go out so often. It will also help with the daily rush of juggling between preparing meals for your family and work.
Working from home often mean less physical activity as well— walking to the car, out for lunch or even to the restroom. Hence, consider a lunch-time workout or once you are done for the day, focus on yourself and practise yoga, Zumba or any other forms of exercise. There are plenty of fitness trainers, yoga instructors and more that could also use your support during these trying times. Many are offering online classes for a small fee. Now might be a good time to try out Pilates or that fitness programmes you've wanted to start but have been putting off because there's just 'so much to do.'
4. Set your priorities right
We're sure you've been advised many times to keep your workplace separate from your bedroom or couch. The temptation to take a quick snooze may just be too difficult to resist. Perhaps, consider preparing a to-do-list the day before or in the morning, making a note on each task that needs to be prioritised first. This will help you to be mindful of what needs to be completed for the day. We promise, cancelling off a task for the day on that list is incredibly satisfying, even more so when all of them have been ticked off at the end of the workday at home.
5. Take mental health checks
These unprecedented times can be overwhelming at times. Worrying about your safety and that of your family, job security, financial situation, and more can take its toll. What more when you are still required to juggle between changes in work and life with minimal opportunities to release one's frustrations or stress. But as we adapt, we must find ways to do so. Read a book, call a family member or a friend for a chat, distract yourself by taking up a new hobby and even limit your media consumption. Appreciate little joys of the day and remember to take things one step at a time.
On that note, do quick checks on your colleagues as well. Sometimes, a simple and honest 'how are you?' can make all the difference for someone else.
All-in-all, remember that we are all in this together. Let's help pull each other through this together. Until then, let's take each day one step at a time and do the best we can.