If you’re struggling to cope with the demands of working from home during lockdown, you’re not alone. Whether you often work from home or not, it’s fair to say current circumstances have added a new layer of stress and challenges to the working day.
The key to success is often the ability to adapt – Anthony Brandt
krysallis have compiled our five most effective tips to help you adapt, thus minimising stress and maximising success to look after your wellbeing whilst working from home:
1. Stick to a routine
Sticking to a routine keeps the distinction between work and leisure time, allowing you to focus when necessary and switch off when the working day is done. However, be mindful that a bit of flexibility may be necessary in lockdown. For example, is it still beneficial to focus on your budgeting spreadsheet in the morning, when the kids are doing their Joe Wicks exercises in the next room? Maybe this can be done later in the day. Are you experiencing an afternoon slump in energy levels? Think about planning less taxing tasks for that time, or schedule a walk at lunchtime to boost your motivation.
Remember that everyone is an individual; your routine has to work for you in order to be successful. Click here for more ideas on personalising your own routine.
2. Minimise distractions
This can be easier said than done! Many of us are living with others and trying to co-habit peacefully as well as getting our daily working tasks done. But even those of you living alone may find it difficult to tune out the background noise and interruptions. Remember, there are only so many things you can control in lockdown. Happily, your working environment is one of them.
Discuss boundaries with others and define your expectations. When is it ok for them to attract your attention? If you need 3 solid hours on a project, say so. If you need a whole day undisturbed, make this known. At krysallis, we remain part of a team by keeping in touch with each other daily, but a quick ‘are you free?’ email often preempts this to avoid unnecessary distraction.
More information on how to focus here.
3. Look after your mind and body
As stressful as things may be right now, it’s important to look after your wellbeing. Working from home is affecting everyone differently, but there are a few basic things you can do to keep healthy and connect to the here-and-now, boosting your productivity in the meantime.
Lockdown affords us the opportunity to get creative with exercise! Maybe it’s the time to try pilates, line dancing, or the NHS’s free Couch-to-5k programme or app (tried and tested by Yours Truly with positive results!)
Meditation is a great way to quiet the mind and connect to the present moment. Focusing on the breath, stepping out of ourselves and just ‘being’ helps us stay grounded and able to navigate the challenges working from home presents. Try the Headspace app, which currently has offers free Covid-19 support and meditations to try, or Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (more info on the book and link to download the app here)
4. Take regular breaks
A friend of mine is a physiotherapist and recommends ‘microbreaks’. Put simply, this is a strategy involving several short breaks (a couple of minutes each) throughout the day in which you engage in exercise (a little more than stretching but not a workout – think ‘repeated, rhythmic movement’, i.e. several squats or some ‘wall’ press-ups).
Human beings can only maintain high levels of concentration for so long. It’s important to take short breaks as well as a longer lunch break when working from home. This will help you to gain clarity and focus before returning to your desk, reduce aches and pains, and allow your eyes chance to recover from screen use. Read more about micobreaks here.
5. Stay connected
Working from home, for a lot of us, means experiencing much less social contact than usual. This can understandably contribute to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. It’s important to keep in touch with others for a sense of reassurance and comfort. If your work is fairly solitary, use your lunch break to connect with loved ones. Zoom, Skype, and other online platforms are great ways to check in and stay close. Or if online isn’t your thing, going for a walk with members of your household or phoning a friend can boost spirits and lift morale, ensuring you’re happier and more productive in general, not just during work time.
krysallis are delivering online and phone sessions. We are here to help with a range of work-based coaching and counselling support services. Remember: the lockdown will end, but you don’t have to cope alone in the meantime.
We are also providing support for individuals, couples and families. We are offering 50% discount on therapy sessions for key workers. Check out more information about our coronavirus support services here.