Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean self-care is nonexistent. Working from home turns your space into an office for 8 + hours and it becomes hard to clock out. For me, working from home resulted in looking at emails non-stop and logging off hours after 5 p.m. I never truly turned my apartment back into my home.
Finding work-life balance while working from home is hard for anyone. We’re literally just a few feet away from our desk! That’s why setting boundaries is key. Boundaries separate work from personal life which leads to better self-care.
Here’s how I maintain balance and self-care while working from home.
- Create a morning routine. It’s easy to wake 10 minutes before your first meeting, but that doesn’t lead to a productive work day. Set an alarm, eat breakfast, and stretch to kick start and energize your day. Build consistency to get your body into a routine. I typically start my day by going on a short walk with my puppy and breakfast with no email. Starting drowsy and rushed does not set the tone for a successful day.
- No pajamas allowed. Comfort may be key, but pajamas are for sleeping. Swap out your PJs for loungewear that doesn’t feel restricting and keeps you looking professional on video-calls. Upping your sleep to work attire also helps draw a line between work and personal time. Now there’s no need for trousers and blazers, but breathable tops and joggers are presentable and still comfy. I keep it inexpensive and cute by shopping at Old Navy and Target my loungewear needs.
- Set up a workspace. Work-life balance should be taken literally. Separate work from your relaxation areas, e.g. bed, living room. Whether you have a home office, desk, or like to sit at the counter, make it a designated working spot. Use this spot for all your work needs. When you’re at this spot, during work hours, do not disturb is on. I’ve recently invested in my desk area – stay tuned to my Instagram and the blog for decor updates! Pro tip: NEVER work from your bed.
Time is different on a work from home schedule as we typically are working more hours than in the office.
- Break time! Many people get so caught up in the workday, they never take a break, let alone eat! Throw in being at home, you may simply forget to move. Set time on your calendar to step away from the screen for a walk, meal, or just a scroll through social media. The brain doesn’t need 8 hours of continuous work – be sure to rest. Not finding time in your schedule? Learn how to improve your time management skills.
- Time is up. Work your set hours, then log off. Working from home opens the door to working hours past 5 p.m. Of course there are times when a deliverable must get done, but time boundaries must be set. Protect your times and set specific “in-office” hours for both you and your colleagues This way you have more control over when you meet and have a hard stop to log out.
Remember, you work best when you take care of your mind and body. Drop your work from home tips and questions in the comments.