As the world is overtaken by a spreading pandemic, more and more people are facing the challenge of working from home. For those lucky enough to still have jobs, the transition to at-home work hours may be a real struggle. Balancing schedules, virtual meetings, and traditional work responsibilities, with the distractions of the home environment is a new obstacle, and may lead to frustration. The truth is, we don’t really know what is going to happen in the weeks to come, or how long our stay-at-home orders will last. So, it’s important to have some strategies to help us stay healthy and sane, during this unusual time.
The first thing to remember is that it’s okay if this transition hasn’t been a smooth one for you. Under the stress of a major health threat, empty grocery store shelves, and a plummeting stock market, it’s normal to feel more scattered, more lost, or more anxious. These things can directly interfere with your productivity and mental health. So, taking care of yourself, through relaxation, nutrition, and supplementation, is key.
No matter what is to come, and no matter all the things you don’t have control over, it’s great to focus on the things that you DO have control over. And take the steps you need, to be as healthy, happy, and productive as you can, while at home. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind during this time:
1. Keep a regular schedule
We humans love rhythm and routine, so when those routines are thrown off, we can lose focus easily and become quite stressed. Even if you don’t have your usual habits or benchmarks throughout the day, do your absolute best to create a workable schedule for yourself. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, and try to stay on top of normal work hours, even if you’re currently in charge of your own schedule. Holding yourself accountable for some kind of structure can keep you on track, and help you avoid the pit of forgetting what day it is.
2. Make sure you’re getting outside
Even under social isolation orders, it’s vital to get outside on a regular basis. We all know it’s not healthy to be stuck inside all day, under artificial lighting, staring at screens, but it can be difficult to remember this wisdom during times like these. Even just 10 minutes of fresh air can make a world of difference for your physical and mental health. Stand outside on your balcony, walk around your block, or sit out on your patio as often as you can. Soak up the sun if it’s shining, feel the breeze on your skin, and take several deep breaths, as a little reset a few times a day.
3. Make more time for sleep
Whether you consciously feel it or not, these unusual global circumstances are putting your brain under extra stress. Accomplishing the same tasks as you usually would is requiring more energy from you, especially if you’re now suddenly juggling work, childcare, pet care, and household chores at the same time. Your body is likely calling for more rest right now, so make some adjustments to allow for a bit more downtime. Perhaps crawl into bed a little earlier, or sleep in a little later. Or, if you have the luxury, take a short cat nap in the afternoons. Don’t fight the urge to rest- this when your brain and body go into repair mode.
4. Break up your tasks
No matter what you’ve been told, we cannot fully focus on a task for long periods of uninterrupted time. Even if you feel under the gun to finish a project, it’s vital to take regular breaks to allow your brain to rest and reset. It’s actually been shown that people who take breaks are even more productive than those who force themselves to work nonstop. The Pomodoro Technique is one popular time-management tool that helps you structure your workflow in smaller sections, to get more done without the brain drain.
5. Try to contain your workspace
While you’re working from home, it’s tempting to let work stuff spill over into all areas of your life, and your literal space. When work invades your kitchen, your bedroom, or your relaxation spaces, it may be hard to get the mental separation you need, in order to maintain balance. If you are able, corral your work into one area, like a spare bedroom, or a corner of your living room. Don’t let work-related things out of this designated space, and do your best not to work from your rest areas like the couch or your bed. This helps create a clear delineation for your brain, to better tell when it’s work time, and when it’s time to unwind.
6. Amp up your nutrition and supplements
Whenever we face a public health threat, and/or a massive change in our routine, it’s important to give our bodies even more support. Now is the time to invest in cleaner, more nutrient-dense foods, fresh juices, big salads, herbal teas like Our Healing Tea, and the right natural supplements. Give your body more cellular support, to stay as healthy as possible during this time, with the right foods and herbs. Consider starting your day with some ripe fruit, or a hydrating smoothie, snack on fruits and veggies throughout the day, and sip on tea in between. Here are some supplements that you might find helpful:
- Focusene – assists your brain in staying alert and productive
- Medi-shrooms – boosts your immune system and enhances cellular health
- Hemp oil – alleviates pain and anxiety, leading to more calm and relaxation
- Ashwagandha – helps your adrenal glands manage stress, and helps you feel more grounded and calm
One easy ritual that I enjoy, to get a nourishing start to the day (or afternoon break), is to whip up a little coffee-free latte. Below is my go-to recipe, but feel free to make some tweaks to suit your tastes!
Brain Calm Latte
1 serving of coffee replacement (I enjoy Teeccino, or another similar roasted dandelion/chicory root blend)
1 dropperful ashwagandha tincture
2 capsules Medi-Shrooms, broken open
1 dropperful hemp oil
¼ cup coconut milk
Honey or date syrup to taste
Brew coffee replacement according to directions. Add the rest of ingredients and blend well- I recommend either using a milk frother or popping it into a single-serve blender for a creamy texture.
Working from home may feel like an insurmountable challenge, especially when you’re juggling many other stressors. But with the right planning, the right routine, and the right nutritional support, you can make the most out of just about anything.