When well organized and managed, work from home concept could be a wonderful opportunity offering work-life balance, time and stress savings from no commute to and from work, savings on gas and eating out, and comfort of your home work space and yoga pants. But it could also become daunting and overwhelming, when boundaries time settings are not established and introduced to your family members, refrigerator and food pantry and pets. We get particularly stressed during the tough times of social isolation and emergency home schooling, which may lead to feeling like we are being torn apart.
Here are a few tips to keep you sane, productive, relaxed and focused while working from home with everybody else in it:
1. Set rules for others in the house.
a. Sit down with your family and go over some rules to limit interruptions and non-work related tasks during your working hours. Set up several short breaks at certain times (for example – 10 to 10:15 am – kids can come over with questions, needs, homework help and other stuff) to cater to the needs of your loved ones.
b. Ask your children to write down school and home-work related questions (unknown words, math problems, etc.) and tell them to wait till your scheduled break to go over them.
c. Place snacks where kids can reach them in the pantry and fridge, go over their locations with the family members.
d. Establish mealtimes at set times for everybody in the house to get together and spend some quality time over meals.
e. Set an alarm for scheduled breaks and mealtimes to force you out of your work zone. Otherwise you may forget or simply dismiss the breaks.
2. Write your daily goals and to-dos.Nothing will keep you on track like an agenda or a to-do list. Start your work day with planned tasks and activities. Check-in with yourself regularly to track progress, and modify accordingly in case urgent tasks come up.
3. Create schedules for kids. Make sure to list all their activities including school work, play time, meals and snacks, clean-up and caring for pets, screen time limits. Check in with them during your scheduled breaks. Hold them accountable by requesting them to report on their progress. Assign reward points for completed tasks and activities and either make it a competition or give an award at the end of the day to keep them engaged and motivated.
4. Take breaks for meals. It is tempting to skip lunch break and dig into your food in front of your screen. Don’t do it! Take a well-deserved break, spend some time with your family – not only you will recharge and replenish your energy and resources, your meal will be well registered by your brain and digested effortlessly when eaten mindfully, and your kids will bother you less after some quality time with them.
5. Make healthy meals ahead of time.Do some meal prepping the night before to ensure you have healthy meals for the day ahead. During the day you’ll be too busy to cook, with all the work and home related needs, and may end up snacking on mostly processed foods that don’t necessarily support your health goals. To avoid getting caught up in the trap of unhealthy and stress eating, plan your meals and snacks ahead. Make batches of food to last you and your family for a couple of days, just change up the side dish or salad for variety.
6. Get up and stretch. Sitting for long hours may cause discomfort and even pain in your body. Blood circulation slows reducing supply of energy and nutrients to your brain and muscles, leading to fatigue, diminished productivity and muscle soreness. Take a couple minutes every hour to get up and do a few stretches, deep breaths, leg and arm lifts, wrist and neck rotations. You’ll feel the difference in your body and mild with more physical and mental energy, ready to tackle any task.
Hope these tips are helpful. Please submit any questions or concerns you have regarding work from home and how to go about it. Our staff wellness team is here to help you tackle your challenges and become your most productive and stress-free self during this challenging time.
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