Working from home used to sound like a dream come true…that is until you had to share space with your kids, partner, and pets 24/7. But don't worry, we've put together seven different ways that can get you feeling like yourself again!
A few weeks ago, when talking about working remotely, most people would’ve imagined achieving maximum productivity in their favorite coffee shops, finishing up early to catch a movie with friends, or even taking it to the extremes and pursuing full out digital nomadism.
However, reality hit hard as “working from home” turned into doing, well, everything at home. The combination of self-isolation paired with a lockdown of entire cities has ripped away any sense of normalcy in our lives, and many of us are struggling to deal with these changes on an emotional level.
We can’t deny that our sanity goes hand in hand with productivity. When you’re not feeling your best, you’re not working your best. A mild case of cabin fever is a sure way to mess up your entire daily rhythm.
But luckily, you’re not alone. While we are physically farther apart than ever before, there are a multitude of different ways we can stay connected and, more importantly, sane.
Here are 7 ways you can make the most out of your social distancing:
When you’re always at home, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working around the clock. When others that you work with are constantly online, too, it’s even easier to end up working longer hours. To get away from this bad habit you’ll need to set up strict boundaries.
Set yourself up with office hours the same way you would when you were actually going to the office. Instead of rolling out of bed and immediately getting sucked into your emails, set aside time to get ready, have breakfast, and enjoy your morning before you open your laptop.
It takes a lot of willpower, but once you start practicing it will get easier.
There is always work that needs to be done, so while it’s easy to want to catch up on all the tasks that you’ve been postponing for months, you need to put on the brakes.
Part of being healthy is finding balance. You have a chance to focus on yourself, so don’t be afraid to put yourself first and try to make the most out of self-isolation.
This is a perfect time to test out new recipes, catch up with old friends, and read up on all those marketing books that are collecting dust on your bookshelf. So don’t let work overtake all of those activities.
Just because you live alone doesn’t mean you need to suffer from zero human contact. Catching up with colleagues, friends, and family is just as important now as it was before the pandemic hit.
There are still fun and creative ways you can socialize from afar.
It’s important to keep the human part of your relationships active – only so much can be communicated over email! Remember, we are all in this together so even a quick catch-up and seeing another person’s face could make someone’s day and will definitely put a smile on your face.
Now is the time to pick up the hobbies you optimistically prepared for but never really got around to doing. Dusting off your guitar or picking up the yarn and needles will not only keep you busy, but also keep your brain active during your off time.
It’s not only an opportunity to build on your self-interests, but it’s an awesome time to LEARN. It’s so easy to put self development on the back burner when you’re going through the motions of your day-to-day life. Take advantage of your time and turn it into skills!
You could do this easily by attending virtual conferences; plenty of big names like Adobe Summit are just moving venues to an online space. Be on the lookout for webinars and conferences that you’ve always wanted to attend.
In addition, LinkedIn has unlocked 16 learning courses for free geared towards remote working and mastering many of the virtual meeting tools that have become commonplace.
Whatever you normally do for fun might get dull after a while, so it’s good to have your options open when it comes to entertainment.
Obviously streaming is a go-to past time for many people. But streaming all by your lonesome gets old after a while, and eventually (or at least we hope) there will come a time when the content well will run dry.
A good way to socialize while also enjoying a good binge session is Netflix Party. It’s a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch your favorite movies or TV shows simultaneously with your friends with a convenient chat on the same screen.
But even if this pastime doesn’t rock your world, you can still roam around Twitch, which has seen a 31% percent increase in users recently. The platform has many different types of content beyond just gaming, including videos of slow cookers and DJ sets.
ScrabbleGo allows you to challenge all your friends and keeps the games going throughout the day. And if board games are your jam (or you are ready to become addicted), it’s definitely worth visiting the Board Game Arena to check what games they have on offer.
Gamers all around the world are probably a bit happier than others amidst the current situation, with both Twitch and YouTube gaming videos seeing a considerable increase in popularity. But if you are just starting out as a PC gamer, a good option is signing up for a monthly membership on Origin to try out a couple of games and themes to see what do you vibe with most.
If you don’t have a daunting pile of books waiting to be read at home, you can try out Scribd or Kindle Unlimited for some reading inspiration. This is also a great time to catch-up on industry-related books. We can recommend some for our fellow marketers!
If you want to add a social aspect to this, start a book club with your friends! You can get inspiration from Reese Witherspoon.
If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of art, you can check out the exhibitions of the National Gallery of Victoria or take a virtual tour of the Hermitage. Dressing up to watch shows of the Metropolitan Opera for free is optional, but we’d advise you to glam up for the viewing party on your couch.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle is always important, and now even more so. With limited fresh air and space, you need to work with what you have to keep both your body and mind in check.
Gyms and yoga studios all over are offering their classes live, or you could just resort to your app or YouTube video of choice to make your body happy and thankful. Here are some options:
With so many uncertainties paired with an overwhelming amount of news stories, it’s no surprise that people are feeling anxious and on edge. But it’s important to find ways to cope and ensure that you are still giving yourself the care you deserve.
Treating yourself to a “Me Day” shouldn’t stop in self-isolation. Slow Sundays with long baths and great lunches are still a great way to feel in control of your life and slow things down a notch.
Don’t pass up on an opportunity to get dressed up too – even if it’s just for a walk around the park. Same as finding small luxuries that are still possible like ordering a nice meal or splurging on groceries.
Even if you have never practiced meditation before, why not give it a try with Headspace? They also offer sleep and movement exercises that could help to channel your inner Zen.
Reading and hearing bad news every day takes a huge toll on our mood, so there’s no shame in eliminating the time you spend exposed to it. But if you decide on a phone-detox, don’t forget to keep in touch with loved ones – a quick call works wonders compared to scattered messages throughout the day.
We are connected to our technology more than ever before, which means we’re spending more time watching screens, typing, and sitting. Setting up an ergonomic workspace at home on such a short notice could be a real challenge. But there are some essentials you need to keep in mind even if you now work at a kitchen table.
Computers and mobile devices are now even more incorporated into our daily routines, so it is even more important to give them well deserved breaks. Ideally you could also incorporate stretching in your hourly 15-20 minute breaks.
But at a bare minimum, make a habit of following the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at a time and focus on a fixed point 20 feet away.
Although staying positive and joyful while the world is exposed to a global pandemic might be a challenge, it is especially important not to get stuck in a rut.
The options of what to do when you are stuck inside are more diverse than ever as people and companies all over the world are working towards making it easier for others to survive this crisis. And with the right approach and mentality we can plan our days out successfully to get the most out of this temporary situation.
Social media is Sarma’s favorite playground – ask her about her screen time and she’ll change the subject. She’s a proud advocate of social media literacy who loves surrounding herself with data.