• The Positive Professional

Survival Tips for Working at Home During the COVID- 19 Pandemic

Updated: May 6, 2020

Are you wondering how you'll ever survive the COVID-19 stay-at-home order? Do you find that no matter what you do, there is always something else that isn't getting done? Is chronic anxiety and/or depression getting the best of you? Working from home is a challenge for sure. But even with the kids thrown into the mix, there are definite coping strategies that you can put to use to make things a lot more bearable. Below find some ideas:

Take frequent breaks. Don’t stay chained to the laptop or whatever you’re using. Every half hour or so (or every time your computer starts “thinking”), get up and move around. Get up and pet the dog. Have a mini dance party with your kids. Stretch your muscles. If you have to use the potty, get some extra steps in and climb the stairs to the upstairs restroom.

Balance computer with noncomputer tasks. This is seriously how you work from home, get most of your to-do list checked off, and not lose your mind. Stand up, throw in a load of laundry. Go back to the PC and type a few sentences. Sweep the kitchen, put dishes away. Sit back down and send an email.

Give your eyes a rest and a workout. Too much screen time will do terrible things to your eyes and vision. Make sure that you break away and use the gift of your sight. Focus on objects near and far. Close your eyes and cup your palms over them while doing some mindful breathing. Get out and drive, even if you have no specific destination in mind. It’s good for your long-distance vision. Do activities, like backyard sports, that engage your peripheral vision. Too much screen time affects that, too!

Do yoga every day. Yoga and stretching, in general, are extremely important for reversing the effects of too much computer use. Hunching at the keyboard is terrible for your posture. Poses like cobra, upward dog, and camel pose reverse that. Find a good yoga video and engage your core. Sitting at a computer greatly weakens the core, but it’s fixable. Screen time also affects our mood. Yoga, when done right, greatly improves it.

Go out into the sunshine. Your hormones and immune system need natural light, not LED light. Follow the sun… head outdoors for short breaks throughout your day. Bring your laptop outside on a sunny morning, this way you’re working but in a favorable natural environment. Practice mindful connection. Make an effort to have conversations where people ask questions and look at each other for more than a minute or two. Think a lot about what family members are saying. Pay attention to body language and engage in sustained eye contact. Take content based conversations back into the real world. If you find funny one-liners on a website, don’t just forward. Memorize the jokes and share them with your kids. Have them do the same.

These are just a few of the many ways to balance home, family, and work-life under one roof. Try them all… it's likely that even amidst the chaos, life will improve and you’ll be so happy that you did!

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