WFH Self-Care Guide: Easy Ways To Improve Your Wellbeing
I’ll be blunt: coronavirus absolutely sucks. No matter who or where you are, it has affected us each in one way or another. Many people are now forced to work from home. Some employees are used to working from home, and many companies already have a clear WFH policy. I’ll be blunt again: we’re the lucky ones. Of course, working from home indefinitely is an adjustment, but some people are out of a job right now, and some people’s careers are paused due to furlough.
Working from home used to be seen as a novelty — a perk that ‘hip’ companies offer to attract talent. But it feels different when it’s a necessity, right?
And let’s be honest, it gets lonely. You aren’t face to face with your coworkers each week like you’re used to. Thanks to technology, we can hang out on platforms like Zoom.
If you’re noticing a rise in stress-levels, changes in your sleep schedule, and even starting to see your hair start to shed, I recommend you view this strange time as an opportunity to focus on and improve your self-care tactics! Read on for our simple ways to improve your self-care while working from home and social distancing:
YOUR BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING
Guess what? You can still go outside (just remember to say 6 feet away from others). Taking a walk around your neighborhood first thing in the morning can help you start your day off with some “me time.” View it as your commute to work — an adjustment period where you change your mindset for the day. There are significant mental health benefits to be gained from participating in outdoor activities.
If you have a dog or even a cat that likes going for walks, bring them along, too. Put your walking shoes on and enjoy some fresh air.
YOUR ENVIRONMENT IS IMPORTANT
A designated workplace in your home can help you stay focused. If you’re anything like me, you go back and forth from the couch to the living room table. Do whatever works for you, but make sure you start each day with a clean work environment. The cleaner the workspace, the less stress workers will suffer.
But, remember to clean your screen and keyboard before working. Wash those hands!!!
SWAP OUT YOUR FACE MASK FOR A SHEET MASK
Start or end your work from home day with an aromatherapy sheet mask. Aromatherapy can reduce the perception of stress and increase contentment.
Again, if you’re anything like me, you look like a clown with a face mask on, but who cares while you’re social distancing! Drink a big glass of water, enjoy a face mask, paint your nails, really ANYTHING that relaxes you…do it!
EXERCISE OUTSIDE OR TUNE IN TO A VIRTUAL WORK OUT
When you catch a break during the workday, stretch it out. There are several gyms and professional trainers that are hosting virtual workouts, and tons of quick (and FREE!) workouts on YouTube. Finding time to get your blood pumping is crucial for your wellbeing. Many forms of exercise reduce stress directly and have extra benefits for the mind; the release of endorphins during exercise can benefit your health and wellbeing.
If you’re concerned about getting sweaty during your break, try a relaxing yoga class (also free on YouTube) like Yin or Restorative Yoga to help you relax and recenter your focus.
MUSIC AS THERAPY
Listening to music can increase your productivity during your work time. Music brings us all together, which creates a sense of community. It also reduces stress, relieves pain, and stimulates your memory. Music can brighten your mood and make you feel good, especially at a time when you need it most. So pick your favorite song, turn it up, and jam accordingly.
If you’re looking for something specifically relaxing, try out binaural sound waves, also known as sounds wave therapy. The findings of a 2018 study suggest that listening to binaural beats for a recommended period can affect a person’s subsequent behavior and sleep cycles. The general idea is that variations of different frequencies in both ears ‘hit’ your brain in a way that can help you relax and focus. Easy, right?
DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF EATING HEALTHY
I say “discover the benefits of eating healthy” as I open my 4th fruit roll-up of the day. Regardless of all the unhealthy eating you may have been guilty of during quarantine, make sure your next grocery delivery is full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and protein. What better time to try out a new healthy recipe? Boost your immune system and get more energy with a high-nutrient diet!
Taking the time to meditate and give yourself some headspace to unwind at the end of the day is so important during uncertainty. If you have never meditated by yourself before, or if you don’t know where to start, there are several free meditation apps out there that will walk you through the differences. Taking the time to be present and center yourself can help you put this strange new reality into perspective rather than spinning out whenever you get news notifications on your phone.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN CONVERSATIONS
It’s essential for our wellbeing to still engage in meaningful conversations. We need human interaction. Although it may not be in person, you can video call your friends, family, and other loved ones. When you keep talking to everyone you used to in-person and stay caught up with their life, it benefits both of you, and life seems a little more normal.
Self-care is all about finding what works for you. Although this situation is tough, try to see it as an opportunity to learn about yourself. What inspires you? What does self-care mean to you? By creating a self-care routine and sticking to it, you’ll see positive effects in all aspects of your life, from interpersonal relationships to your work-from-home productivity. A little self-care goes a long way.
This article was originally published on the Red Branch Media blog by Hannah Wilson.