By the time that you read this, I will officially be laid off, permanently. Yup, that’s right. Twelve years with my company and poof, gone up in smoke. Over a video chat too, nice huh? Thanks, “Corona”. I could go on into a tantrum, but hey, I decided not to for once in my life. I’ve secretly wanted this to happen for about three years now. 😉
Now, here’s a little back peddling to this mess.
Up until a month ago, working from home was never an option for me. I’ve always had to commute into the office to do my job. I’d talk to clients over email, phone calls and the occasional boozey lunch, work with my sales reps on ad campaigns and make sure they ran without any mistakes, converse and sometimes argue with layout and production departments over ad placements and begging to get late ads into the papers and then do the tedious commute home.
I did this for almost 14 years. Yes, 14 years.
I’m a Virgo, we like things to run orderly and we do love routine. Not to say I’m not spontaneous, but when it came to work, routine for me, was good. I have a mind that wanders, so having to get up in the morning, get ready for work, make breakfast and go into the office to socialize with my colleagues, who some became close friends and some like another family, was again, good for me.
Enter Coronavirus and everything about the routine I came to know was uprooted, as with many others, obviously.
When I started to work from home because of the pandemic, it was definitely an adjustment for me and I didn’t like it. Not to mention getting a sore lower back and ass from not having a proper desk chair. That being said, there were some good things about working from home. I liked saving the money from the daily commute, not having to get up at 5:30am, playing with my dog and did I mention the money I saved? Personally, I do find it incredibly distracting to work from home, but I had to learn to adapt to a new routine and here are a few ways I managed to wrap my head around this unexpected shock of mixing home life with work life.
Stick To A Schedule
As I mentioned above, I’m a creature of habit and routine. What I found to work for me was to start and end work at the same time everyday as I would going to the office. I’m not really into sleeping in, so getting up before everyone else gave me a few hours to do some writing, make breakfast and enjoy some peace and quiet while drinking my coffee.
Observe Your Regular Grooming Habits
Feeling good about yourself plays a major role is staying upbeat and confident. While working from home, I like to keep up with my regular grooming habits. Having a shower, doing my hair and doing my makeup makes me feel more awake and more inclined to do some work, blogging and just feel better about being indoors all the time.
Get Out Of Your Pajamas
I’m not one of those people that can lounge around the house in pajamas all day. If you are one of those people, that’s fine too, I just can’t. While working from home, I made sure to get dressed everyday as I would in normal clothing for the office. A pair of jeans and a sweater works for me and yes, I am one of those freaks that can lounge around in jeans. 😉
Give Yourself Daily Tasks
It’s easy to get off track while working from home, especially if you don’t have other coworkers around that need your help, or standard tasks from managers. I like to create a to do list every morning and cross things off as I go. Whether it is pulling a report, cleaning out my inbox, or simply writing out a chore list, crossing things off actually made it feel like I was accomplishing something throughout the day. If you purchased a 2020 planner, throw it in the air and just shoot that thing though, since it’s pretty useless now, I guess?
Get Fresh Air & Stay Active
Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day (mon – fri) is a great way to stay active, feel better about yourself and clear your mind. If you feel like you are battling a cough or cold, or feeling tired all the time, you may feel better if you take a daily walk or follow a simple exercise routine a few times a week. Fresh air is a well known immune system booster, so everyday I go for at least a 30 minute walk outside with the dog to breathe some fresh air and keep myself moving in the day. Later at night, I workout by doing another 30 minutes of high intensity cardio along with some stretching and other body weight workouts. Doing cardio is another well known immunity booster and people that workout daily also produce an enzyme that helps combat viruses and other illnesses. Here are some other facts regarding the effectiveness of any sort of exercise from MedLinePlus.
- Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
- Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections.
- The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
- Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
Check On Friends/Family/Coworkers
Talking to others outside of your household is a great way to mentally stabilize yourself. Each day I’d talk to my other team members on a messaging app about things other than work related subjects, or I’d call my friends and sister and chat with them for a bit. It’s a good way to get some outsider info and news and a change of conversation. In a time where everyone is stuck indoors (not by choice), everyone needs to hear another voice and to shoot the shit. Checking in on others is also a great way to combat loneliness for some who live alone.
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Don’t Eat Junk All Day
First off, I’m not telling you what to eat, BUT being under quarantine doesn’t have to equate to people eating like absolute shit all day long. I can’t recall the amount of daily junk food, booze and other unhealthy snack options I’m seeing floating around the web these days. Hey, I get it…I like a good cookie and treat once in awhile as well. Hell, I’ll be the first to admit that I can eat my body weight in Mini Eggs – no problems! I also love a good beer, but I don’t drink on weekdays unless I’m on vacation, of course. 🙂 Sitting sedentary for most of the day and eating not so great choices will actually do the opposite for your immune system, plus it may make you feel worse about yourself and cause a spiral of negative emotions. I’m not saying to eat egg whites and rice cakes for meals and I’m also not saying to not bake cookies and cakes every week, but healthier choices make for a healthier body and a healthier body make up a healthier mind, which will make you feel more positive during these uncertain times.
Keep A Journal
Whether you’re into writing, or not, try writing a “quarantine journal” to look back on years from now to say, “Look at this shit we went through and look how I dealt with it!” Writing down your daily thoughts, new recipe ideas, findings, dreams for the future, cool quotes and anything you find inspiring can be quite cathartic for many people. Being a travel blogger, if I come across a photo of a place that has interest to me, I’ll research the place, the country and write it down for future travels one day because hey, you never know, right? 🙂
Working from home can cause some people to feel pressured to stay at their computers all throughout the day and eat lunch and snacks at their work stations. At home and even in the office, I take lunch and snack breaks at the same time daily and away from where I work. I actually refuse to eat at my desk while I work because it subconsciously makes me want to continue to answer emails. I’ll occasionally eat a snack at my computer while watching a YouTube video though, but I mute my email notifications to actually enjoy my break from work. Give yourself time to take some time away from your desk to clear your mind, rest your eyes, or go outside for some fresh air.
Work Away From The Couch & Bedroom
Try to get out of the habit from working in an area of your home that you consider a restful zone for you. Try setting up a workplace within your home that has a lot of natural light, an open space, such as a dining room table, or if you have a spare room with an office already set up there, well, then you are one step ahead and considered a WFH boss.
Remember, these are just suggestions on how I manged to transition from office life to the working from home life. Not every suggestion I make will work for everyone, nor does everyone have the same amount of time to allot for these suggestions. Hell, some people just don’t care. In the end, try not to stress yourself out too much with everything going on. I know it’s hard, but remember that it’s perfectly okay to just want to veg on the couch with your laptop and plug away. Whatever works for you. 🙂
Have you guys had to work from home before, or is this your first time? Do you prefer having a regular routine, or is staying at home to work the best option for you? Any tips? Let me know in the comments below, so other readers can get some ideas. xo