It’s been more than a year since the world declared Coronavirus as a global pandemic. For many of us, that means more than a year of working from home. And although most states are opening again, a January poll by Gallup showed that 44% of U.S. workers prefer to continue remote work. Likewise, many employers seem open to extending the work-from-home options for the indefinite future.
We love the idea of working from home in our jammies, but what does this mean for self-care? What is the work-life balance you currently have at home? Is it sustainable? Where do you make time to unplug and unwind when your office is your living room?
Below are some tips you can use to start planning how you can thrive in a long-term work-from-home environment.
Manage Your Expectations
Start with acknowledging where you are. Do you work more often now that you’re home? Do you work less often due to distractions? Are you struggling to find a place in your home to unplug, or are you finding it hard to create a productive workspace? Once you’ve identified your pain points, you can set new expectations with grace.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
When you used to sit in a cubicle, that was your space. Have you made a space in your home where you work? Boundaries are pivotal for your mental and physical well-being, so do your best to separate work, relaxation, community, and play.
Take Regular Breaks
Embrace your need for breaks whenever you need to. Just because you’re working in the comfort of your home doesn’t mean you don’t need mental breaks in your workday. Breaks can be a walk around your neighborhood, watching a show, doing a hobby, meditating, or anything that brings you joy. And, if small breaks aren’t enough — don’t feel bad for using your vacation days from home. The purpose is to take care of yourself and your mental health.
Establish A Routine
This pandemic has shaken up routines, leaving us all scrambling to establish a new normal. First, understand that things may never go back to how they used to be. You have the power to create a new one with fresh, new ways to prioritize yourself. Plan a daily routine that adequately fits in sleeping, eating, productivity, relaxing, and family time. It will help you sustain your mental well-being.
Communicate Your Needs
If you are experiencing an imbalance that’s leaving you drained, stressed, or overwhelmed, communicate to yourself first. Allow yourself to feel and acknowledge what your heart needs. Then, make sure you are expressing those needs to your family, friends, and colleagues. No one can read your mind, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
Let Us Hear From You
Do you want to continue working from home, or are you ready to get back in the office? What are you doing to re-establish a healthy work-life balance post-pandemic?