Whether you already have a home office or have temporarily set up shop at the dining room table, working from home is the new normal for many of us. While this situation isn’t ideal for everyone, we can do a lot to improve our work from home environment to maximize productivity, and most importantly, take care of ourselves and each other. Together, we can help each other get through this challenging time.

Sunshine, My Only Sunshine

Letting in natural light brightens the room and boosts serotonin and other important neurotransmitters. Regardless of the circumstances, exposure to sunlight is essential to maintaining good mental health. Also, soaking in direct sunlight by stepping outside for fresh air every few hours will help avoid cabin fever.

Flower Power

We all have to venture out at some point to shop for groceries and other essentials. Stop by the flower department and pick up a few plants or bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Placing them throughout the house helps brighten the space and serves as a good reminder that spring has officially sprung.

Movement is Medicine

Ergonomics is not the focus of our homes, which makes movement even more important while working remotely. These simple recommendations can help:

  • Move your body. To keep back and neck injuries at bay, get up from your desk and walk around every hour for at least eight to ten minutes.
  • Dust off that Fitbit. Use it to increase steps throughout the day.
  • Stretch. Download one of the many yoga apps and take a midday class.
  • Exercise. High-intensity exercise, like running or cycling, reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Be mindful of your body position. In these makeshift work environments, remaining aware of how you are sitting or standing can help reduce fatigue.

Structure, Structure, Structure

Set a structured schedule and stick to it. Build in breaks for exercise, sunshine, homework help, and family meals. And, set boundaries, otherwise, work can easily spill over into family and self-care time. Know when to work and when to stop. 

Love is as Important as Ever

We all need love right now – let’s spread it around. Take the dogs for a long walk and make time for your significant other and yourself. Try limiting your time on social media and the constant, negative news of the day. Connect with family, friends, and colleagues through FaceTime or Zoom. “Face-to-face” interaction is so important to our mental health.

Nourish the Soul While Feeding Your Family

Local restaurants enliven our communities. Right now, they are struggling and having to lay off staff. Let’s support them by ordering take out or making donations. Most restaurants are offering free delivery or curbside pickup.

Above all, know that we will get through this, together as one community.