Some of us choose to be self-employed, but many are now made to work from home due to the current pandemic. Working from home can be challenging. I’ll share 4 tips to help you not only survive but actually thrive when working from home here!
My own struggle to make the transition to ‘WFH’…
I still recall how I struggled with it when I first relocated to the UK 2 years ago, transitioning from a vibrant, multi-culture co-op workspace to a small, quiet flat. The sense of feeling isolated and “forgotten” affected both my morale and performance. Some days, I felt like this:
Now? I LOVE working from home! My days flow with autonomy, creativity, and a sense of purpose. So let me share 4 essential tips that can help you not only survive but THRIVE at working from home.
No. 1: Be a Rock, Not a Sponge
When you wake up in the morning, do you:
Immediately connect your device and start browsing?
Much like a sponge, you quickly absorb all the information and jump right into the whirlpool of the day: kids, emails, food, calls. The demands are nonstop and before you know it: you are in a trance of responding and reactivity. At times like this, you can easily feel overwhelmed because your mind can only take so much.
Instead, start your day like a Rock: grounded, mindful and with intention. There are generally two types of activities that are beneficial:
- Mindful movement: yoga sequences, stretching exercise, a walk or a jog on your own;
- Meditation practice: breathwork, body scan, chanting or praying.
For me, one-hour vipassana mediation in the morning has helped improve my mental health immensely. I’ve become more patient and compassionate through this practice.
By engaging with yourself before rushing into engaging with the world, you proactively create your day with calmness and clarity. It’s you preparing your mind and body to meet with the tasks a new day throw at you. It’s also you showing yourself the love and care you need the most when circumstances are challenging.
Start your day like a Rock, not a Sponge.
No.2: Perfect Your Routine
We, humans, are creatures of habit, and what is a routine? A set of habits! Now that we are working from home, our routines define the quality of our life. Here, do a quick check-in with yourself. Does your routine involve habits that:
- Nourish your body?
- Honor your personal and others’ space and boundaries?
- Give you joy from responsibilities?
- Connect rather than alienate you?
- Express who you are?
Body, mind, spirit. You get the gist. If you are new to working remotely, take this as an opportunity to re-examine your automatic behaviors and create new ones that support your wellbeing. This can mean eating healthier now that you are not sitting in a traffic jam. Taking mini-breaks throughout the day such as stretching or a quick workout. Having more conversations with roommates, loved ones or friends.
When you nail your routine, your days feel like a free flow of energy.
I’ve also discussed 3 transformative habits here.
No.3: Go to Nature
We, humans, are drawn to nature. Our eyes are always quick to spot the greenery wherever we go. When we are in the parks, the woods or the mountains, our minds immediately calm down. As the 20th Century Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti put it:
“Nature is not put together by thought, as religion and belief are….Nature is part of our life. We grew out of the seed, the earth, and we are part of all that”.
Going to nature means we put aside our agendas and be with the wonder of something BIGGER, something that is completely out of our control. The rough surface of a tree. A squirrel swiftly dashing across the boughs. Those pale pink magnolia buds hanging on the braches waiting to bloom. The familiar yet strange songs sung by the neighborhood blackbirds. Green meadow grass gently swaying in the distance.
When we are in communion with the extraordinary beauty of mother earth, we tap into that sensitivity in our tender hearts. It’s the same sensitivity that allows us to connect and to love one another.
Always schedule some time to hang out with Nature, for she doesn’t discriminate and teach us the ceaseless changing of life.
No.4: Keep on Learning
Learning new skills keep our brains young and fight boredom, which can be very important when we work at home. Repeating the cycle of monotony makes us feel and even become dull. Whilst as we learn something new, our minds and perceptions change. So we’re constantly training ourselves to adapt to changes. Voila!
Now is a great chance to utilize the time you have and learn something new. Take an online course that improves your craftsmanship (I notice that Harvard University provide free or low-cost online courses). Learn to cook something delicious for your family. Create an art project with your kids.
As you keep on learning, you are not only having new experiences but also access to some new opportunity that can rejuvenate your working life, or bring you new sauce of income. Here is a brilliant example:
One of my clients is a private language tutor in London and her tutoring schedule has been affected by the current situation. After a couple of coaching sessions together, she shifted her focus from worrying about not having enough students (=incomes) to learning and working on her collage art. She also reached out to a world-class Brazilian collage artist and showed him her work. Much to her surprise, the famous artist responded with praise and even interest to work together (=potenial new income)!
Big wheels keep on turning. We keep on learning.
How about you, what are you doing to ease the transition to working from home? Any tips to add? Let us know by leaving a comment, please.
Request a free consultation with me to talk about your fears, life, relationships, or spiritual journey. It’s 100% confidential and you’ll get answers about how coaching with me can help you and will be able to assess whether coaching with me is a good fit for your needs.