Working from home is at once freeing and constraining, it presents new paths and closed doors. Self-care is vitally important when working from home, and it must be allotted for both across an organization and among individuals.
Mental and physical health could be at risk by the simple fact that your life and your work are separated by a few feet of hallway rather than whole city blocks. This is a weird position for an employee to be in, and they need to be proactive in dealing with that weirdness.
It’s not just on the employees to do this, but team managers as well. Distributed workforces need to provide the tools necessary to mitigate the chances of burnout and overwork, as a moral imperative and as the cost of doing business. This could be mental healthcare, virtual events, or gifting. They’re many types of self-care and self-care activities for adults.
Lost for solutions? Check out our self-care list!
You simply cannot have organized thoughts with a disorganized workspace. Deliberately set aside time each week to declutter your home office. It’s not just emptying the waste basket and clearing away the coffee mugs, it is about making your workspace work for you.
Working from home is full of a lot of distractions, so there are a lot of benefits to a spartan home office to counter these potential pitfalls. Your workspace should have exactly what you need and only what you need. One pen, not half a dozen laying all over the desk and rolling around on the floor. One scribbler, not a pile of floppy notebooks that constantly need to be shuffled around.
Remove anything from this space that does not keep you happy and productive.
You haven’t used that printer in six-months? Consider moving it to a different part of your home or downsizing it completely. Do you need that chair in the corner? Is that paperweight just in the way?
These unneeded and superfluous items fill your field of vision and take up mental space with underline stress. This should be a regular part of your self care routine.
Studies have shown that workers who intersperse numerous short breaks into their work day rather than pushing through hours of work with minimal breaks were more productive.
This study illustrated the finding that the human brain is suited to roughly an hour of continuous high activity and deep concentration and after an hour they’re diminishing returns in productivity.
These results are similar to the Pomodoro Technique. This technique calls for 25 minutes of intensive work followed by a five-minute break, with an added 15-minute break once every two hours.
Taking time each day to be totally present in the moment and aware of our bodies is a powerful tool. Too often our mind takes flight and leaves our thoughts and emotions in disarray in its wake.
Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present, fully aware of where we are in the world and what we’re doing in it, in the moment, and not to be actively reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going outside of ourselves.
Taking as much as thirty minutes a day to breath, castaway worry and superfluous thought and practice mindfulness to aid your emotional health can be amazingly stress relieving and relaxing.
Working from home is a boon for saving money. According to Forbes, people on average are saving four grand a year by skipping the office and working remotely.
There are many reasons for this. They’re less opportunities, or need, for spending. People are not lunching out as much, or going on midday coffee runs, or paying the extra gas it takes to commute in the city.
Worries about money and about the future are a major source of anxiety for a lot of people. You can quell some of these fears by not diverting these savings into Amazon but into a TFSA or RRSP. Money management is an unlikely form of emotional self care.
This anxiety can weigh on people heavily and relieving it can save mental energy for healthier and more productive tasks. Getting your household debt under control can lead you to getting other things in life under control as well.
Looking to give your team the tools to grow their savings, checking our Personal Finance Workshop. This would be a great addition to your self care work activities.
You should not be afraid to take a random day for yourself once in a blue moon. This should be a guilt free day whenever you need to recharge and regain that bounce in your step.
In order for these self care days to be guilt-free, they have to be rare, needed and taken genuinely to improve your mental health and work performance.
What you should do on self care days? Simply, whatever you want or need to do. Take a bubble bath? Read a good book? Go on a daycation with your sweetheart?
The sky’s the limit, kiddos.
It’s important to move your body during productive hours to keep your energy levels high and to prevent procrastination. You should consider doing a little cardio throughout the day, but if that is too strenuous, some light stretching will help.
During particularly stressful days moving your body by doing physical self care can serve to siphon away nervous energy somewhere harmless and beneficial.
Yoga and bodyweight exercises are great ways to reduce stress and build healthier bodies that can be done at home with minimal expense.
Restful weekends are not a privilege, they’re a necessity. It’s tempting to work through the weekend while working from home. After all, your house and your work are not separated by whole city blocks but just a dozen feet of shag carpet.
You need to set boundaries between work from home especially when those borders are fuzzier than ever. This is not just good for you but your employer as well. You’ll be robbing your employer of your best work if you don’t take the time to recharge and prevent burnout.
Kick back or get kicked out!
Team leaders should keep in mind that it takes two to tango and that they need to create a company culture where weekends are sacred if they want to maintain employee morale.
This may seem like an easy one, but it is the toughest mental self care idea on this list. Journaling is about keeping yourself accountable. To daily assess whether you’re moving towards your goals or standing still. It’s very confronting to have a written log of all the things you said you were going to do but didn’t.
Write a list of things you want to accomplish daily or weekly and then write a reflection of how well you think you did towards those goals.
It's tough love. It's self-parenting. Most people wouldn’t balk at scolding a messy, unruly child and you shouldn’t be afraid to take yourself to task as well.
Self-care does not mean self-indulgence or self-gratification. It is about putting measures in place to ensure your future health, wellness, and prosperity.
Self-discipline shouldn’t be cruel nor should it be too kind.
If you work from home, I’m sure you have at least some WFH guilt. There is this feeling we should be doing more around the house because you’re at home already.
You shouldn’t feel that way. You’re not lazing around. You’re working. But try telling that to the emotional, irrational part of your brain.
WFH Guilt can be fended off by a proactive cleaning regime. Plan out what room you’re gonna clean and when. Cleaning can also make you feel vital and get the creative juices flowing. Add housework to your daily self care checklist.
Go for a walk!
Get outside! Indoor cardio is fantastic, whether at the gym or at home, but it lacks some of the key benefits of the great outdoors such as fresh air and direct sunlight. In the northern hemisphere, winter is stretching its legs and preparing to run ragged all over our lives.
This will mean seasonal depression for many people in Canada and around the world. Getting direct sunlight by walking the dog or doing errands on foot rather than behind the wheel during clear, sunny winter days may help to stave off some effects of the winter blues.
Walking doesn’t just need a solution for seasonal depression or for exercise, it can help your self-worth in other ways. Working from home can make people feel like they are on Mars, without Tesla stock, and othered from the rest of society.
Walking around your neighbourhood and smiling and nodding at passersby can make you feel part of the world and mitigate feelings of alienation.
Walking is great for heart health and helps prevent heart disease.