Most of us stuck at home are grappling with different realities. Some of us are in tiny apartments in concrete jungles and have little nature to escape to. Others are locked in with their families, working from a less than idyllic make-shift office. Some of us are cooped up and bickering with our partners, and others are facing loneliness.
Even for those of us who are used to working at home on a remote team — 2020 is a massive challenge!
While some busy-bees might derive comfort by ploughing through their To-Do list, many of us are trying to find middle ground. Striving to maintain productivity while prioritizing wellbeing is the new tightrope to walk.
Here are some ideas for little self care rituals that will hopefully inspire you to lead a positive, healthy and productive life!
Start Within — Your Body Is A Temple
Exercise and eat healthy, whatever that looks like for your body and lifestyle. Exercising on your workbreak has never been easier, and can help shake you out of the mid-afternoon lethargy. Chances are your at-home desk is not optimized ergonomically either, so be extra kind to your body by mindfully stretching and moving. With the plethora of at-home workouts available, the options are nearly endless— so get creative and experiment. To make it interactive, turn to live online classes. Live stream classes are gaining popularity, and can make your workout even more motivating as classroom attendees hold space for each other digitally. Yoga is a great example of this as well as pilates, core classes, crossfit, and impromptu virtual dance parties.
Cooking for yourself, apart from being meditative, can help you make healthier choices. Eat well and eat mindfully. While there’s been a buzzing interest in bread making, pickling and canning lately — eating well doesn’t need to mean taking up new hipster skills. Instead, it can mean returning to or upholding your regular eating routine. Taking comfort in familiarity and with nothing fancy needed, focus on giving your body and brain the fuel it needs to function optimally, so your mental wellbeing can more easily follow suit.
Make Time For Downtime
Finding separation from the different facets of your life, while you’re confined to the same physical space can be a challenge. Weekends don’t really feel like weekends and days tend to slip into evenings uneventfully and without much distinction.
Make an effort to schedule in downtime every day, and honour it. Whether it’s having a bath with epsom salts and a candle, painting your nails, reading a book, having an extra nap, journalling or knitting your dog’s sweater. Do at least one thing you love a day, something that truly brings you joy. And remember that doing your best requires rest.
Practice mindfulness. Meditating is an excellent form of this. However, in its traditional sense it can bring up some unwanted emotions and resistance. If this feels like you, consider finding other forms of mindfulness to practice. Colouring books, which became popular years ago among millennials are a good example.
Practice good phone hygiene. As we rely more and more on digital means for connection than we ever have before, it seems like our entire life is spent glued to the screen. The temptation to scroll through social media channels as a distraction is overwhelming. Whether it’s longingly looking at photos from our last vacation or going down a directionless YouTube rabbit hole, finding balance is imperative. Set time parameters around your phone usage. By knowing that you are giving yourself thirty minutes to catch up on your Insta feed, you can enjoy a separation from the digital and the reality — to make more time for you, in your offline world.
Make Your Home Your Sanctuary
We are sensitive to our external environments, so give your home some extra love. A clean space can greatly affect our mood and productivity levels. Comfort should not encourage clutter, so practice regular cleaning and tidying habits. Spending more time at home also means more opportunities to create mess, so establish cleaning schedules and distribute tasks with those you share a space with to avoid conflict.
Add green space. Capitalize on the springtime energy (for those of us in the Northern hemisphere) by adorning your house with plants to take care of. Plants not only lift up the mood by encouraging productivity and combating stress, but improve air quality. With some corners of the world deeming gardening services essential, it’s the perfect time to bring the outside inside (or to your backyard or patio). For novices, spider plants are famous for their low maintenance nature. They also produce babies like crazy — which you can later give to your neighbour as a gift.
Play music for you and your plants. Supporting a productive and relaxed environment can be as simple as a relevant playlist, one that supports your workflow, concentration and happiness. Classical music and nature sounds are safe bets. Check out some suggestions we’ve already given here!
Hang In There
We all have different patterns, coping mechanisms and wellness needs. Now is the time to identify and nurture the things that make us feel good. Read positive news. Laugh when you can. Be kind to yourself. Be extra kind to others. We are continuing our lives under extraordinary circumstances but we’re all in it together!
The Copy Posse