Nine ways to improve your mindfulness while working from home
Many of us over lockdown have been forced to work from home. However, the reality is that after the Coronavirus crisis ends many of us will work from home much more than we did before. Whereas for most of us it occurred out of necessity, in the future it will become a much more normal part of the everyday work/life balance.
However, even then as now, we will need to be mindful of the impact that working in such a way has on us. Sure, being able to skip the commute and get to spend more time in bed in the morning has its benefits, but it can also be an incredibly isolating experience – especially if there’s more lockdowns on the horizon. So, what can you do to combat these feelings and try to feel happier while working from home?
Get some exercise
Whether it’s going on a daily walk, run or ride, exercise can make all the difference to your mental health. While doing exercise outdoors is most effective, if the weather is atrocious, then you may not want to step out. In which case, try an online exercise class you can do from the living room – loads popped up during the pandemic and will continue to find an audience afterwards as well.
Don’t fall into the trap of oven chips and pizzas every lunchtime. Make the most of your kitchen and prepare yourself a healthy, feel good lunch during your mid-shift break. Your mind and your body will thank you.
Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated keeps you energised, helps you focus and works towards keeping all of your bodily functions ticking along as they should. With a glass of H20 nearby at all times, you’re less likely to forget about it, especially if your physical activity has taken a hit too – meaning you won’t feel as thirsty as you usually do.
Get some sun
It’s scientifically proven that a little vitamin D goes a long way in keeping us happy, try to get as much natural light as you can. Position your workplace near a sunny window to maximise your intake and go for a walk (weather permitting) in your lunch break.
Keep it clean
Being at home all day means that there’s plenty of time to make a mess. Try to keep everything clean and tidy. Orderly surroundings make it easier to work, reduce stress and boost your mood. The act of cleaning itself will also add some much-needed extra physical activity to your days.
See some faces
Working from home removes the possibility of popping over to a colleague’s desk for a quick chat – work related or not! However, thanks to the now-normality of video calls, we can still check in with our work buddies. So, each day you work from home, make time for a few quick catch-ups.
While video calls aren’t quite the same as seeing someone face-to-face, they have been scientifically proven to help people feel less lonely.
Separate work and play
Working from home physically and mentally blurs the boundaries between work and leisure. This is bad if it starts to feel like you can’t relax once the working day is over.
To help prevent this, create separation between work and home. In an ideal world, we’d all have a study, but this isn’t realistic for many of us, so a dedicated workplace where you do your job between set work hours is the next best thing. That way, you can pack it all away at the end of each day, then set it up again in the morning when you ‘go to work’. It might take a few extra minutes, but when compared to all of time you’re saving on your commute, it’s very minimal.
Take a break
Being at home, the temptation is always there to work flat-out for as long as possible so you can hit your quota and then knock off early. In the long-term though, this is going to wipe you out. Instead, work hard but work steadily. Take your lunch break – make sure that you get away from the computer by reading a magazine or book, sitting outside, eating well and getting some movement into your body. Take ‘tea break’ times as you would in the office too – you’ll feel much happier for it.
Easy on the booze
Many people reported dramatic increases in their alcohol consumption over the first lockdown. If your increased alcohol-consumption then ticked over to ‘the new normal’ of working from home, take some positive steps to reduce it. Alcohol is one of the key contributors to feelings of negative mental health once the booze high has gone, so make sure that you pay particular attention to your imbibing.
Working from home has many benefits, but as with anything, it needs to be kept an eye on:
- Get some exercise
- Eat well
- Drink lots of water
- Get some sun
- Keep it clean
- See some faces
- Separate work and play
- Take a break
- Easy on the booze