So many of us are have been working from home recently and even with the vaccine on the horizon, many of us will not be going back to the office full time for a while.
It's important when you are working from home that you don't end up lounging in front of the TV on your laptop day after day as this can have a negative affect on your mental health.
Here are a few tips to shake things up a bit and get both you and your brain energised.
WORK FROM HOME TIPS
OPEN THOSE CURTAINS!
If you are watching the Crown on Netflix, you will notice that one of the first things that the Royal family's staff does in the morning's when they come in to wake the Royals from their comfy beds, is open those curtains to let the light in.
Now I'm sure we would all love someone to bring us tea in bed and open our curtains for us but until that happens, it's a really important step to do everyday - first thing.
Even better, if you can brave the cold at the moment, is once you open the curtains is to open a window to allow fresh air into your room.
In your bedroom, pull back the covers to let the sheets air too. Leave it like this for about 20 mins (longer If you want) to allow the room to breathe.
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Sunlight and fresh air are good for your brain.
The effect of sunlights lowers anxiety and boosts your mood.
Put your desk or work area close to a window.
You will reap the benefits of letting the light in but it's also relaxing when you do pop your head up from your work that you see the outside world going by.
As the afternoons are getting darker around 4pm, invest in a desk lamp to light up your work space towards the end of the day.
CREATE A PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE
My flat in London is literally next to the A406 which means a constant hum of traffic and sirens.
This is not particularly helpful when I am trying to concentrate.
The best solution is to put my headphones on and play music I enjoy.
This can be anything from Max Richter to Post Malone, just depending on the mood.
Often, I will listen to podcasts or even put a Joe Rogan episode on in the background.
Find what works for you, but if you are alone I find music and talking in the background good company.
KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE TIDY
This you should always do, even once we are all back to working normally in our offices (fingers crossed) Having too much clutter around you affects your mood and performance.
Nothing is less inspiring than a messy desk, you want a zen, neat environment that will inspire you to deliver your best work.
At the end of your work day, put away all your notebooks, pens and other pieces that you have required access to during the day.
Once a week, take everything off your desk and give it a good clean.
The same goes for your laptop, clean the screen and the keyboard.
Go through your inbox once a week and file or delete any emails that you have dealt with, I tend to do this on a Friday.
This will help lower anxiety when it comes to opening your inbox on a Monday morning as you will have a clear idea of which tasks are still outstanding.
I miss my commute! Can you believe it?
I don't miss the early starts and delayed trains but I miss my 20 minute power walk to the station - that was my cardio and a good chunk of my daily 10,000 steps!
There is nothing better than a brisk walk in the morning and has so many benefits.
Try to get out and go for a brisk walk in the morning, it clears your head and sets you up for the day.
Another great way to combat not moving is by doing yoga.
I cannot stress how important and incredible regular yoga is for your metal health and for your physical health.
I follow the Yoga with Adriene programs on her Youtube channel.
On average sessions are about 20 mins and there are 30 days challenges to follow. If you do nothing else, do one of her 30 days programs, you will soon realise that you can't live without it.
All you need is a yoga mat, access to Youtube and the willingness to show up everyday.
Get yourself a house plant.
Plants improve the air quality around you and reduce anxiety and stress.
Our brains associate nature with relaxing and this helps boost our moods.
If you aren't a 'plant person' consider getting succulents as they are low maintenance.
THE SOCIAL SIDE
We all enjoy the banter of our respective workplaces and connecting via Zoom isn't quite the same.
It's important to have actual social interaction. Consider planning your day out and include regular breaks as well as a lunch hour within your schedule and make full use of it.
Take a walk or even pop out to your local coffee shop and grab a take away lunch. If the weather allows, go and sit in the park and have your lunch.
You could even plan to meet up with a friend and have a picnic lunch together.
These small, simple social interactions will keep your batteries charged and enhance your mood.
Whichever bits of advice you choose to take from this work from home article, remember to look after yourself.
Looking after your mental and physical health is paramount right in now in a world of uncertainty.
Take care, stay safe and stay positive.