The first step is you have to say you can – Will Smith
Today marks the day that my manager phoned me and said that I should start working from home. Let me tell you, it feels like a lot longer. The days (as I’m sure you’re aware) melt into each other and the weekends don’t feel as special any longer because, well, you’re at home anyway. My working from home experience started pretty well, exceptionally well actually. I was still getting up and out of bed, having a shower and putting (comfy) clothes on before sitting at my make-shift desk aka the small dining table we have. I’d boil the kettle and get my coffee ready as I read through emails and had chats with my manager. The days were flying by and I seemed to be ticking off everything on my to do list, plus managing to get on top of my washing as well as maintain some sort of tidiness about the house. It was great. I definitely thought I could do this forever… until it wasn’t so rosy anymore.
I started to slack in terms of getting up, washed and dressed before 8.30am. In fact, it pretty much got to 8.25am and I’d roll out of bed, either throw something on or sit at the table (on the couch yesterday – big, fat no-no) in my PJs and dressing gown thinking that I had all the time in the world because my forty minute commute had disappeared into thin air. I think the lazier I got, the worse my mood throughout the day hit. Friday was an absolute nightmare. I was in such a bad mood, I couldn’t shake it and it ate away at me all day. I felt better when I could switch off from work for the week. Saturday was a really fun day; me and Warren had fun making IGTV content and I spoke with my best friend aka mi mujer who’s currently in lockdown in Spain whilst I drank a glass of wine. But then Sunday and Monday went from bad to worse mood and fatigue-wise, resulting in not being able to stand 40 seconds of a workout to falling asleep for two hours in the evening despite having a good night’s sleep the night before. It was the lack of fresh air, I’m certain.
However, today has been a much better day! I made sure I got out of bed well before 8am. I did a quick ten minute workout to get the blood flowing and jumped into the shower before putting on a decent outfit for once: a leopard print skirt always makes me feel fancy, even if I combine them with comfy, fluffy slippers. I felt productive work-wise and got a load of washing done before heading out for a walk to the shop for a few necessities. Our group chat for work on Microsoft Teams was filled with hilarity towards the end of the day which lifted everyone’s spirits and I’m currently eating Foamy Bananas before I make the tea.
With all this in mind, I thought that I would share some of my tips about working at home. I’m (and I’m sure some of you) one of the lucky ones whereby I have the privilege of working from home, just as some are getting paid to be at home, for my own safety. I know that a lot of people don’t have that and I sincerely salute everybody on the front line who are fighting this disease, helping people, saving lives, being in the supermarkets so that everybody can buy food and doing whatever they can to make sure the rest of us are safe. All of the key workers are absolute heroes and I’m proud to know some of them. That thought went off with a mind of its own… here are some tips that have worked personally for me to get through working from home…
GET UP, WASHED AND DRESSED
Honestly, it seems really simple, but the moment I stopped beginning every day as I would normally, shit hit the fan. Having a shower in the morning always makes me feel a bit readier for the day and to be honest, I feel a bit minging when I don’t shower first thing, even when I’ve had a shower or bath the night before. Having a wash means that your head is in the game and not dreaming of bed.
WEAR SOMETHING OTHER THAN LOUNGEWEAR
I know, I know. Loungewear and being comfy at home are one of the best perks about not having to head to the office. I loved it for the majority of the week, but it got to a point where loungewear turned to PJs and that, my friends, is a bad sign. Unless you work better in your PJs, then go ahead and live your comfy life. I’ll be honest, the majority of my outfits for work consist of leggings and jumpers anyway, but I honestly felt so good today when I decided to put on a skirt. It pulled me together a little bit, gave me some inspiration for an Instagram photo (bonus!) and all-round lifted my mood.
KEEP THE CONSTANT FLOW OF DRINK
Not the alcoholic kind. In work, I constantly have a glass of water on my desk and it becomes a ritual to fill it up (getting those legs moving) every hour or so, but when it comes to being at home, for some reason I’ve been lacking in keeping my hydration up which doesn’t help with headaches, fatigue or general meh feelings. When you stare at a screen all day, you need that extra moisture inside of you to keep going and not feel like your eyes are about to pop out of your skull. And it helps to get up and move about when you’re constantly sitting.
HAVE A GOOD SOUNDTRACK TO LISTEN TO, OR DON’T
I’ve been listening to my top tracks from 2019 on Spotify which always bring a smile to my face. It helps the day go quicker and beats that monotonous silence. Although, I do love that bit of silence to get on with my work sometimes. If I’m really in the zone, I don’t need any distractions. Basically, do what is right for you. Whether you need to have the best tunes blasting around the house, need silence to work, or want the telly on to get through the day, it is your working space and you have the freedom to do whatever you want with it.
SPLIT UP THE DAY WITH EVERYDAY CHORES
Now, you might not agree, and you might think work time is work time whilst home time is home time. You’re working from home now so you can mix it up. I find that instead of scrolling on my phone (guilty!), if I load the washing machine or hang the washing up, tidy a little here and there, between doing chunks of work, my day feels so much more productive. That productivity makes me feel far better about myself and the current situation. Plus, it’s nice to have this time to be able to get simple house tasks done. I don’t think my washing bin has felt so empty since I moved here.
If you are able, take advantage of that quick walk around the block. After a couple of days of staying completely indoors – even one – I could feel my mood drop. Getting that hit of fresh air will do wonders for your body, your mind and your overall health. I felt so much more productive and ready to get my work done once I had returned from my mini walk to the shop. It goes without saying, remember to steer clear of everyone else that you spot along the way.
EXERCISE AT HOME
A quick twenty minutes of exercise in the morning, the middle of the day or of an evening will instantly boost your mood. Getting sweaty and releasing those endorphins is paramount to your energy levels and feel good factor of staying at home. Just twenty minutes a day… or longer if you can. Worth every drop of sweat.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks, plus my little chat. I’m sure that you will have seen them before and know what works for you, but I thought I’d share mine just in case. All I have to do is remember to do them all every day!
How are you feeling about working from home?
Love, Faye xo