5 Tips to Work From Home
Do you have to work from home now?
If you do, you’re definitely not alone! Many people, including myself, have experienced shifts in their work-life due to the Coronavirus, affectionately known as COVID-19. I, along with many other mental health providers across the nation, are now providing therapy via telehealth online platforms. Industries have had to lay off thousands of workers or cut back hours. But if you are lucky enough and still have a job you’ve likely had to transition to working from home remotely in some capacity. While working from home sounds dreamy for some, for others it’s truly nightmare worthy! Needless to say, if you’re reading this article you (or someone you know) has had to work from home. So, let’s get to it! After all, that’s why you clicked the article, right?…
An Essential List of 5 Tips to Work From Home
1. Keep a regular schedule
This simple tip can truly pay dividends. Create a schedule for yourself that you can follow every day. Without you even realizing it, your job provides important rhythms, schedules, and routines that create a level of safety for you! Even if you hate your job, chances are you likely have to wake up, get dressed, go to work, eat lunch, work again, and then leave. Maybe once you get home you work out, make dinner, help the kids with homework, watch your Netflix… you get it. The idea here is that when we are missing those beats in our day it’s hard to stay motivated. So, as simple as it sounds, create a schedule for yourself. It can be as simple as creating three major goals for the day – maybe you can start there.
2. Get dressed like your going to work
There’s been a pretty phenomenal joke out there – “I declare 8 PM the official time to change from my AM pajamas to my PM pajamas” It’s funny because it’s relatable right now for so many people! Another funny theme of memes and jokes I’ve seen are the teleconferencing joke that people are dressing only from the chest up so maybe their clothes are mismatched (if they even chose to wear pants), they are wearing slippers, you get the drift. As funny as those seem, they can have an impact on how you feel during your day. Remember to continue to dress for the job you want (to keep in this case) and not the job you have at your disposal. This can help you maintain a healthy level of professionalism and keep you in a strong mindset. Plus, your pajamas will feel extra comfy when it’s time to binge on Netflix!
3. Work in a dedicated office space and avoid using your bedroom
Ideally, you create a space that motivates you, helps you feel prepared, and puts you into work mode. I have even heard of clients putting up office hours outside the door to help kids and other family members remember to respect that office space, room, or corner like that person is not really there – they truly are in their office working!
The reason why working in your bedroom is not worth it…
It’s the whole idea of classical conditioning here. Don’t associate your resting space with stress, fast-paced living, and racing thoughts about your tasks. It’s just not a good practice to get into. The Oxford dictionary defines classical conditioning as “a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired: a response which is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.” In other words, the more you pair your bed with hyperarousal (or a high level of energy), over time, the more likely you are to feel that same energy just by being in that same room even when you’re not working. It’s not worth it. Consider even working outside (weather permitting) on your porch, in your backyard, or by the pool. Get creative. Grab a TV tray, a folding chair, and find a great corner. Boom. There’s your makeshift office. But really, you get the idea.
4. Schedule regular breaks
Our day may feel long, boring, or demanding but chances are during your workday, you had to get up to ask a question, make a copy, answer a phone, or run an errand. Welcome to 2020 where our world has radically changed, and rapidly might I add, and now many of us are working from home! Those minor pesky tasks were helping you to take a break from staring at your screen and even provided a bit of social interaction you may not have at home now. It could be helpful to even set a timer every hour (or whatever amount of time you feel is good for you) to help you remember to check in to grab a snack, get some water, walk outside for a second, take a bathroom break, call a friend, grab a coffee, you name it! Just be sure to get up and move around for around 10 minutes or so. There are even some great little mini yoga videos you can find on YouTube for quick office yoga or a quick stretch.
5. Keep a positive attitude
Attitude is everything. Is the glass half empty or half full? When you focus on what you do not have, cannot control, or cannot solve, you are asking for a cocktail of negative emotions. Invite positive emotional experiences into your life as you keep your focus on what you do have, what you can control, what you can solve, and what you are thankful for. There are always going to be things we can remain grateful for even in the toughest of times. Consider keeping a gratitude journal each night. Maybe you’d like to post photos in your office space of people, places things, sayings, or other triggers for positive emotions. Where your thoughts wander your feelings and behaviors will follow – that is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 101!
Well, thanks for joining me for a few tips on how to stay sane during this season.
Contact Flourish Counseling Co. at 407-630-7529 or schedule immediately with us online at www.flourishcounseling.co if you would like to schedule a session or need help managing your stress and anxiety!
Additional Helpful resources
About the Author
Cristina Ally, LMHC, is the owner of Flourish Counseling Co. in Winter Park, Florida. She specializes in women’s issues, sexual abuse recovery, trauma recovery, relationship issues, eating disorders, and diabetic lifestyle adjustment. She has helped countless individuals and families reach optimal mental and emotional health by providing counseling and trauma resolution in the Orlando area since 2015. She is currently the President of the Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida and is a passionate advocate for mental health.