As the world battles the COVID19 pandemic, there is no doubt that humanity has to adapt to a “new normal” life. As a recent graduate entering the workforce, I can definitely say that remote working as a default mode of work really does need some getting used to. It really has not been easy, but I discovered some ways that helped make working from home easier.
I find that keeping a schedule to stick to has really helped me work from home better. By creating a structure, my body naturally follows the rhythm and keeps itself in check. By waking up around the same time every day, having designated lunch/break times and going to bed at the same time “tricks” your body into thinking that you are still working in the office like we did before the pandemic. Keeping this rhythm can also be a form of motivation that helps you keep yourself accountable day-to-day.
It is so easy to lose track and go too easy on yourself, especially working in the comfort of your own home. What I found keeps me feeling less lethargic, is to eat as healthy as possible. Working from home has allowed me to use the kitchen more often, so I prepare my meals instead of eating out all the time like I did pre-pandemic. This has actually made me a lot more aware of the things I put in my body; consuming more greens, choosing wholemeal options, eliminating (red) meat where possible and controlling the amount of oils, sodium and sugars in my food has made me care a lot more about my health and what I use to fuel my body (admittedly I sometimes tend to reach for the biscuits and crisps to snack on while I work, but hey, treat yourself right?). Furthermore, meal preps and eating from home saves me so much money compared to eating out.
Another thing that I found to be important, is that we also need to sleep well. As we move to working from home as a default mode of work, the lines between work and home are incredibly blurred. There is no set time to tell you when to stop, so many do tend to work way into the late hours of the night. I found that I had to stop myself from working at a certain time, and wind down to be able to sleep at night. It forces me to switch off, allowing my circadian rhythm (aka my internal “body clock”) to remain in balance. Countless sleep research concludes that adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, in order to stay healthy and be productive. Moreover, sleep is the only time the cells within your body have time to repair - making it a crucial part of your day you really need to have. However, I do know that many of us have trouble sleeping, myself included. Instead of reaching for the strong sleeping pills (which in many places you would need a prescription for), I turn to more natural sleep aids like melatonin and passion flower supplements that I take before bed to help me calm down; making it easier to fall asleep. Even then, one should never be too reliant on them.
One of the things I find hard to stick to while working from home, is keeping active. I would be so busy and caught up with work, exercising and working out has been left on the back burner (for far too long, I must admit). I noted that I would have to force myself to take breaks; taking a walk or doing basic stretches that keep my body warm. With so many physical activities moving to an online platform, it is much easier to try new things from the comfort of your living room. Take a HIIT class, try a basic yoga lesson or even a dance cardio class online! (No audience, no judgement) As a Ballroom & Latin dancer and occasional yoga practitioner, I definitely do recommend taking dance classes as a form of fitness activity. I get to learn about my body a lot more, helps me take my mind off things, and gives my body something to focus on.
This is something I am absolutely guilty of: staying hydrated throughout the day. Water and fluids are essential for a lot of our body’s processes, so staying hydrated is crucial. As a person who tends to forget that I have to drink water, I made it a habit to keep a large Yeti tumbler full of water near me at all times, or brew myself mugs of green tea to drink throughout the day. I stay away from heavily caffeinated drinks (sodas, coffee) as they actually do not do much for me personally. Herbal teas are much better for your body; some promote calmness while others promote healing.