Working from home (WFH) is the new thing for 2020 for a lot of people. No one expected the year to start like this. After a few weeks of isolation and social distancing from our family, friends, and community, it can cause us to feel depressed, unbalanced, and stuck in a rut.
Some mornings we wake up full of motivation to get dressed ready to “show up” for the day. While other days, we awake feeling sad, not well-rested, and that puts us on a roller coaster of emotions of high’s and low’s. It can make us feel like we are living on the edge and uncertain about our lives.
We ask ourselves, “am I doing enough to care for my loved ones and me at home?” Am I being productive with work and making the most of this time? All while still trying to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle. Is it ok to be feeling like this? The answer is YES!! We don’t have to know what to do or how to be right now. The most important thing to do is to stay physically and mentally healthy, learn to adapt to the new ways of life, and try not to lose ourselves in between the good and the bad days.
During this uncertain time, before we begin to care for anyone else, we must learn to care for ourselves.
What does your self-care look like?
Take control of the things YOU CAN control, like starting the day with a 15-30min morning routine. It can be as simple as drinking a cup of coffee, a good full-body stretch, and a warm shower.
For me, the first thing I do is go for my cup of coffee, and while it’s brewing, I stretch out my upper body, arms, shoulders, and neck in the kitchen. It helps to relieve muscle tension build-up from the night before. I take deep breaths and exhale any negative energy.
After a warm shower, I then go to my (WFH) desk and make a “Things to Do” list for the day. I create 2 lists, personal and professional. This practice has worked for me for years. I still use pen and paper to write down my tasks for the day. It’s visual; it helps prioritize my responsibilities and holds me accountable for the things I must take care of to advance my goals. When I get sidetracked, which happens often working from home, I can always come back to my list and get back on track. Crossing off items on the list will give a sense of accomplishment.
When you are working from home during this quarantine, still “show up” for your day. That means to get dressed and do your makeup in the morning. People ask me why I even bother to get ready to go nowhere? I like to call this the “look good, feel good, do good” effect. A lot of how we feel can depend on how we look. It does not mean get fully done up, but sometimes the cure for our little funk is adding bold lipstick, cheek color, add a little highlight to the cheekbone, and slick that hair back, even if you are still in your robe! With little effort and little makeup, you create a clean, classy look. Not only do you look good, but also feel good and ready to accomplish your goals for the day.
Towards the end of the day, I like to read a book for 30mins or longer. Read a biography, listen to an inspirational CD or podcast of someone you admire and want to learn from who has overcome obstacles despite challenges.
Work to develop new skills and habits that will enrich your life. Get inspired! Limit your time spent watching the news and social media. These media outlets can cause fear, stress, and panic attacks with the amount of negative information that is fed to us.
It is essential to remain connected with your loved ones. Some evenings I connect via facetime with my family and friends to share ideas, views, laugh, and share silly jokes and stories. Keeping in touch has helped ease my anxiety and is a positive distraction for a moment of the chaos going on in the world.
Remember, we don’t have to know what to do or how to be right now when life seems uncertain.
But we CAN CONTROL our day to day, how we feel, our environment, and the type of energy we put out into the world.
Take a few minutes of your day to focus on your self-care routine. Stay committed without judgment or guilt and focus on the things YOU can control.
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