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The secret to maintaining sanity while working from home.

Posted on April 08 2020

The secret to maintaining sanity while working from home.

Not a lot of us are used to working around parents, spouse, kids or pets. But the COVID19 crises has forced the world to suddenly adapt to an entirely new lifestyle while still being productive. With the blade of economic slowdown hanging above us, not all of us have time to slow down and acknowledge our mental and emotional health.  

Let's talk about some steps we can take, so we can still maintain our sanity during these times. 

Maintaining discipline:

Let's face it, it is easier to procrastinate work when you are in your pajama's all the time and literally 20 feet away from your bed. Procrastination only put's additional strain on your mental health and will shoot the stress hormones up. A lot of times we are procrastinating not because we are spending time with our family or working on our hobby but just binge watching netflix or sleeping. Not having anyone to monitor you, like when you physically go to office, can sometimes make us lazy. Try the following to avoid anxiety attacks around deadlines:

  • Restrict entertainment time: Even if it means a fifteen minutes break at the end of every hour, avoid binge watching your favourite show unless it is your designated entertainment time.
  • Make a daily to- complete list: Keep this list short if you must but make sure to tick all items off before you close for the day.
  • Avoid being too comfortable: Dress in semi- formals and have a designated work area away from your bed. 
  • Focus on the task at hand: Its easy to spiral down the hole of paranoia, but making an achievable to- do list will keep you focused. 

Voice your concerns:

You probably have an air conditioned office with zero disturbance but working from home is not the same. If you have young kids or pets who constantly demand your time, it is probably worse. Not having a full time domestic help could also mean additional household responsibilities you will have to shoulder. Try the below tips to get you through:

  • Have fixed working hours: Communicate with your family about designated times throughout the day that is designated for your work. It is okey to voice your needs and concerns out loud.
  • Avoid going down the guilt lane: Most companies require employees to work extra hours if they are working from home. If you are required to work extra and feel your spouse has to bear an extra load with the house work, device a plan instead of feeling guilty. Most importantly, communicate with your spouse and make a schedule.
  • Seek professional help if needed: Trained counsellors and psychologists could help you online to talk about any negative feelings you might be having. It is ok to feel how you are feeling and seek help when required. 
  • Start a journal: It could be an online blog you write for yourself or a book you maintain. Write your feelings if you have no one to voice them out to. Find creative ways to be expressive. Including chanting's with my morning meditation is helpign me release some built in stress. Try that maybe.
  • Connect with an old friend: Try and call atleast one old friend per day. You will see how all of us are feeling a similar way. We are all unsure of the future and a little anxious. Maybe talking with them will relive some of your anxiety or make them feel better.  

Bring awareness to your mindset.

Just like you have to physically move to see improvements in your health, you will have to take certain actions to see an improvement in your mental well being. Most of us tend to ignore our emotions leading only to bigger problems. Even as little as asking yourself once per day 'how are you' and allowing yourself to express without judgement can highlight your emotions, bringing them to the surface. Here are few more steps you can take:

  • Gratitude time: Set an alarm everyday at the same time and name it gratitude time. When the alarm rings, stop everything you are doing and take a minute to just close your be grateful for one thing that happen to you today.
  • Use social media: Share one positive news about COVID you found online to someone or everyone on your social media. There is so much negativity out there, try and throw in some positivity.
  • Get some sunshine: Nature and sun can do wonders to your mental wellbeing. Find some way to connect with nature atleast once everyday. Could be just looking at the dawn turn into night from your window or drying your hair in the balcony.

Above all, remember, this too shall pass. Whatever is waiting for us on the other side of this, is for everyone. We are all on the same boat and going through similar experiences. By maintaining our mental and physical health during this time. We will only come out stronger.

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