Well folks, we are approaching the 1 year “corona-versary” and for many of you that means you’ve been working from home and really starting to feel the effects of it. Stress, anxiety, and overall tension has skyrocketed, overwhelm is setting in, and you’re ready to get back to some normalcy (we feel ya). Until then, we’ve laid out some tips & tricks to help get you through those long WFH days and feeling more like yourself again.
Separate Your Space
Our environment greatly influences our state of mind. With that being said, it might be difficult to get into a productive groove with 90 Day Fiancé blaring in the background. That’s why setting up a separate space in your home for you to get your work done is so important. If you don’t have a separate office space to do this, no worries! There are many options that can help you work efficiently from your home.
One strategy is to create an area in a room that’s separated from everything else. You can do this by facing your desk towards the wall, moving around furniture to section it off, or even changing around décor. However it might look, the goal is to create a separate and distinct space so when you enter it you can switch into a productivity mindset. Another important tip is to create rules to prevent any distractions and disturbances while working in your home office. You can do this by communicating with your household and letting them know what hours of the day you can’t be disturbed. Or you can create a system that lets everyone know you’re “unavailable”. I.e. hanging something on the door, creating a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign, or simply shutting the door. Using noise cancelling headphones is another simple option.
Design the Ideal Setup
This goes hand in hand with Tip #1; the aesthetic of your space can greatly affect your attitude and mindset. This doesn’t mean you have to go all ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ and completely revamp everything. This could simply look like purchasing a new plant for your office, hanging up some inspiring quotes and photos, or adding a new light to the room. Whatever you choose to add it should help put you into a productive headspace and be a source of focus and inspiration.
As people continue to work from home, our society has become more and more sedentary. Currently what that means for the majority of the population is sitting 5 days a week for 40 hours as demanded by their jobs. If you haven’t heard yet, sitting is the new smoking. Sitting for long periods of time is actually detrimental to your health due to lack of movement, decreased circulation, and improper biomechanics. All of this leaves you more susceptible to injuries and degeneration, especially in your spine.
So, the way your workstation is setup matters greatly and can be the difference between promoting better health or accelerating degeneration. When setting up your computer you want to make sure the screen is at eye level to prevent forward flexion of your neck. You can do this by purchasing a standing desk, monitor stand, or simply stacking books underneath to raise it up. You’ll want to sit so your elbows and knees are at 90 degrees, and your feet are flat on the floor. Your back should be straight with shoulders back and down. Using a fully adjustable chair will help to accommodate this position; if needed you can place a platform (boxes, books, etc.) underneath your feet to help. If your current chair is uncomfortable, try using a wobble cushion or a lumbar support to help with your posture.
Take Frequent Breaks
Even though you’re technically “at work”, it’s okay to let yourself have some downtime and take a break once in a while. Research shows that small frequent breaks actually boost productivity and mood throughout the day. So basically working less means getting more done?? We’re here for it! Try to take a 5-10 minute break every hour to move your body and clear your mind. Go for a stroll down the block, play with your dog, or do a quick yoga flow to get things stretched and moving again. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get up and move! Your body will thank you.
Create a Routine
The days seem long but the weeks are short. Working from home can create a type of vortex where all of a sudden it’s Thursday but you swear the week just started. With mental health issues on the rise, creating a self-care routine during this time is more important than ever. Here are some simple things to implement into your day-to-day to help establish structure in your WFH routine.
- Get ready for the day, even if it’s just to go out to your living room. Going through the process of getting ready will help set the tone for the rest of your day.
- Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. This helps set your circadian rhythm and biological clock.
- Eat meals at regular times.
- Start and end your workday at the same time. When working from home, the lines can easily blur between work and home life. If you normally end work at 5pm, the same should go when you’re working from home. This allows you to be fully present so you can enjoy your life outside of work.
- Keep up a daily exercise schedule — have grace with yourself, this doesn’t mean you have to run a 5K every day. Aim for intentional movement, even if it means a quick 10 minute stretch sesh, just get up and move!
See a Chiropractor
Regularly seeing a chiropractor is one of the best things you can do to combat the stressors in your life. Chiropractors work with the spine and nervous system, which is where a majority of stress is stored. Regular adjustments help your body adapt to the physical, chemical, and emotional stress in your life.
Because adjustments affect the nervous system, AKA the master control system of your body, this helps keep everything feeling and functioning as good as possible. Chiropractic also helps your body recover quicker meaning less aches, pains, and tension throughout the day. So whether it’s physical stress from sitting at your computer all day, or emotional stress from let’s say…working through a pandemic, chiropractic ensures that your brain and body are functioning optimally so you can continue being the WFH boss that you are! Visit your Fort Collins Chiropractor to learn how you can benefit from chiropractic care.