For the past year, our lives have shifted as we adjust to the new normal.
Whether companies ordered employees to work from home or families have limited gatherings to avoid spreading COVID-19, people have spent more time in their homes than ever. Staying in these confines can present its own set of challenges including maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Living and working in the same place makes it difficult to separate work hours from personal time and with nowhere to go there's less reason to dress up at all.
Inspired by these times, designer Nicole Shante empowers women to reimagine working from home with her new capsule collection. To roll this out, we've teamed up with licensed master social worker, Phylicia Currence, to share 6 tips on recreating a healthy lifestyle while working from home and meditation teacher, Samantha Stevenson as our muse.
Enjoy these tips below and then head here to shop Nicole's capsule collection.
1. Maintain a morning routine
A bomb morning routine really has the power to shift your entire day. A lot of people religiously stick to their morning schedule on a “normal” workday, but now with working from home; it can be more difficult to get up and get moving. Try to infuse some consistent activities into your morning such as making your bed, enjoying your favorite drink or journaling while practicing gratitude. These activities can serve as ways to ground your day before it gets started and remind you that you get to choose when and how you enter the world for the day. Routines can improve mental health by providing a bit of stability during these rocky months. For an extra bonus, you may even get dressed in clothes that make you feel better about the day ahead. Who said working from home had to be boring?!
2. Allocate a physical space to work
“Working from home” may sound like a tempting idea to work from anywhere in your home, but that may not be true. Keeping your workspace separate from your living space can help to decrease mental clutter as you move throughout your day. Working from bed can confuse your brain about what tasks you need to complete, while having a designated space or even chair to work from can help your mind get into the groove for the workday. This also helps maintain boundaries and can prevent work tasks (i.e., checking emails) from bleeding over over into movie time with a loved one on the couch.
3. Fuel yourself with food that makes you feel good
Food is such an important aspect of the workday, and delicious snacks can work wonders for your mind and body. Working from home can get mundane, so the kitchen is a place where you can spice things up and try out new recipes and foods. You may find that snacks such as nuts and fruits are great brain food while also helping you to feel full throughout the day. Having a meal to look forward to for lunch can also make your work morning a little more exciting.
4. Add aroma therapy to your work space
Aromatherapy is all about attending to your sense of smell which has various benefits for both psychological and physical well-being. Some of the benefits include reducing stress and anxiety as well as treating headaches and migraines, which may be more common now with multiple hours of staring at a screen. Grab your favorite incense, candle, or essential oil and infuse your workspace with a scent to help you relax and focus. Lavender can be used to reduce anxiety, while eucalyptus can assist with energy and help to clear your mind.
5. Move throughout the day
Your body may be settling into the mundane routine of sitting in front of your computers for hours a day. It is imperative to incorporate movement into your work day even if it is as simple as a dance break or mini workout. Regular movement promotes the production of new brain cells and helps with overall brain functioning. Dance, meditation, stretching, and yoga are some quick and easy ways to get moving. YouTube has a plethora of free videos to get started as well as a host of apps that can help you to start, progress and motivate you to stay consistent.
6. Take breaks.
A healthy work from home environment means giving yourself space, both literally and figuratively, to take breaks throughout the day. Getting outside when possible, even if it is for as little as 15 minutes, can make a world of difference. Our brains and bodies need vitamin D, and not only; that but getting fresh air can decrease anxiety, improve your sleep, and strengthen your immune system. Sometimes the weather can make it hard to take breaks outside, but this does not mean you should forego them altogether. Breaks inside may look like stepping away from your workspace, dancing to your favorite song, or maybe playing a game of sudoku or solitaire to get a different part of your brain working.
Words by Phylicia Currence, LMSW and founder of College by Her