In today’s blog post I wanted to share with you a few tips for working from home in times of COVID-19. The drastic changes we are experiencing today in all aspects of our lives are unprecedented. Perhaps that’s why many of us are having such a difficult time to adjust physically and mentally to this new routine.
Taking care of your physical and mental health is crucial to keep your brain in sharp shape to be able to remain productive in these trying times. At Ingols Digital we have tried and selected a few apps and habits that have made it possible for us to find a good balance between life and business in these trying times where we’re working from home.
Let’s get right to it and dive nose-first into our health tips and prepare ourselves to boost our minds and build emotional resilience to overcome the new challenges we are facing now.
Healthy Habits to support your physical and mental health while working from home:
Keep a healthy sleep schedule
Even though having enough sleep may be seen as a luxury for many, it’s now widely known that sleep is necessary to, amongst others, maintain critical body functions, repair muscle tissue, and support the brain in processing new information. On the other hand, lack of sleep may cause several mental and physical problems, including hindering one’s ability to focus, think clearly, regulate emotions and take necessary action when needed. Moreover, being rested is key to working from home since the bedroom (or the couch) is right there! Chronic sleep deprivation may increase the risk for several health conditions which might impact more intensely people who are already in the group risk for coronavirus due to underlying conditions.
Try a few of the methods here to fall asleep faster!
It might seem an impossible task to keep your mind in the present moment in the age of COVID-19. However, as counter-intuitive as this recommendation may seem to be, Mindfulness practices and meditation might be very effective tools to cope with the uncertainties about the future. Mindfulness meditation practices have been proven to help reduce stress, depression, and insomnia. With anxiety levels rising as people practice self-isolation and see themselves working from home, one mindfulness tool we have adopted (and preach) is the acronym STOP.
S — Stop and notice what you’re thinking and feeling at the moment.
T — Take a breath. If your mind is wandering, paying attention to your breath will bring you back to the present moment.
O — Observe what’s happening inside yourself — are there any thoughts or sensations?
P — Proceed with more awareness of the way your own body and mind behave when you feel stressed, anxious or depressed.
There are several meditation apps available for Android and IOS like Calm, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier and, our utmost favorite Insight Timer.
Establish daily self-care habits
While you’ve been working from home for the past couple of weeks, it’s possible (if not likely) that you have slacked off on the self-care side of life. Such disruptions to our routines like the ones imposed to us due to COVID-19 may make us prioritize the things we perceive as more important and self-care might not come at the top of the list.
Countless scientific studies have shown that self-care (exercise, nutrition, socialization, and so many more things we can do for ourselves that make us happier!) is directly linked to our emotional well-being. Self-isolation means there’s no more going to the gym or the yoga studio, there’s no more happy hours at the pub or bi-weekly salon appointments. However, there are countless ways to keep ourselves active and social from free YouTube exercise and personal care (did anybody say makeup?!) content, home exercise apps, and group video chatting apps that even have games!
If we are lucky enough to be working from home at this time, it’s a great opportunity to include some great self-care habits and rejoice in the fact that we can still be active and chatty despite the circumstances!
The best tools and habits to boost productivity while working remotely:
Collaboration tools have gained huge relevance with social distancing and working from home setups. From synchronization apps, team communication tools, to remote brainstorming tools there are many free options to get the job done without negatively impacting your budget.
- G Suite — think document sharing with chat capability, cloud storing, team and client mailing lists, calendar, video meetings and presentations there a Google free app for all of that! If you or your organization use Google you might want to check their Tips to Work With Remote Teams for all the deets and how to’s! And if some of your contacts don’t work with Google apps, check out their Tips to Work With People Not on G Suite.
- Trello — one of the most used free project management tools in the market, uses can manage everything from their personal lives to their clients and business by arranging them in different categories and boards in this platform that’s available for desktop and mobile app.
- Slack — perfect tools for small businesses and startups, Slack allows remote team members to work together by enabling and facilitating connecting your most important tools in one place while sharing documents, images and any relevant info with your teams.
If you were suddenly required to manage your team from home and don’t have clear remote work policies, you can count on the team at Harvard Business Review (HBR) that have created the Guide to Managing Your Newly Remote Workers with specific, research-based steps that managers can take without great effort to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees, even when there is little time to prepare. The guide not only covers the common challenges of remote work and how to overcome them but also outlines some of the ways managers can support their teams that are now, all of a sudden, working remotely.
FREEBIE 1. If you got tempted to try mindfulness meditation, for a limited time only, Mindworks has opened its Meditation Fundamentals course so, if you want to commit to learning the basics, this is a great opportunity and place to start!
FREEBIE 2. If you’re interested in mastering productivity while working from home, Mindvalley has released its 5-day free program Productivity For Working From Home!
Remember that while we’re working from home to keep ourselves and everybody else healthy, balance is the key! By taking care of yourself first and making use of some great tools and freebies we suggested here you will be able to make this difficult time a little less difficult!
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