We know that so many of you are working from home these days. And not only this, but your partner could also be working from home, and if you have school age kids, you may also be teaching them from home. With stay at home orders across the country, the bottom line is, everything we do, we now do from home. So what does that mean for the so-called work/life balance we’re always striving to create?
Well, it can be tough! When your kids are running through your home while you’re trying to work, and without the structure of a commute and a workplace, the lines are easily blurred, creating confusion, mess, and even a little extra stress. So today in the journal, we’re reminding you that self care isn’t just helpful, but essential during this time. Your usual outlets are probably not so easily accessible, so it’s imperative to create a work from home environment that doesn’t add to your stress, but helps mitigate it as much as possible. When you’re able to reduce the stress during your workday by adding in these simple self care steps, you may find yourself more balanced, more present, and even a bit more calm. Read on for our six tips on how to practice self care when working from home.
Even though your days look different, try to keep your mornings the same. That means, if you got up and went to a workout class first thing, try waking up and doing an at-home workout instead. If you savored the first cup of coffee in your kimono robe before your kids got up, continue to have that little early morning ritual. Even if it is as simple as showering before work, continue to flow through your morning just as you would if you were headed into the office. This will help give your mind some structure and help delineate your personal time from your work time.
Adding on to the suggestion of maintaining your morning routine, keep getting dressed! It can be so easy to just roll out of bed, pick up your phone, and start doing the tasks at hand. In fact, it can be so easy that sometimes you forget to get dressed for the day. We’re not suggesting that you need to wear a suit or a dress (unless that makes you feel good!), but do wear something that makes you feel special. Whether that’s a soft sweater, your favorite pair of jeans, or a gray floral kimono robe to drape around your shoulders, your physical sensations can help set your mood. Bring a little softness and comfort into your wardrobe to make working from home feel a bit more enjoyable.
It is very obvious when you’re at work that there are certain boundaries around your time and focus. Whether it’s because you work at a company where you have your own office, or you’re inaccessible because you’re a teacher, your family and friends know when they can and can’t get ahold of you. Working from home changes that. If you are always around your family, especially your kids, it can be difficult for them to recognize when you’re working if you don’t create boundaries. But when you’re all sheltered at home, how do you do that? It could be as easy as working in a room where no one is hanging out. Or, it might be as subtle as lighting a candle at your desk, and when the candle is lit, the kids know that mom is working. It might be having strict hours that everyone is aware of, or making sure to schedule breaks with the family so that they get a little time with you that they can anticipate. Maybe they know when you’re wearing your silk kimono robe you’re working, and when you take it off, you’re ready to play. Whatever boundary works for you, create it.
Sometimes when you work from home, it’s easy to forget you are allowed a reset. Take a five minute break on the hour to create a little mental space. Believe it or not, these mental breaks actually make you more productive. They will help you focus, help you breathe, and help you do better work. Your break could be just taking a walk around the house, a quick walk around the block, or stepping outside onto your porch for some sunlight. Whatever you choose to do with those five minutes is up to you, but we highly recommend setting a timer if you have to, and taking a couple minutes to reset.
You know if you’ve been reading our journal and following us on social media for a while, that at KIM+ONO, we are all about creating an environment that enriches and nourishes you. Even just the smallest of acts can feel like a self care ritual: lighting a candle, slipping into your favorite kimono cardigan, listening to relaxing music. Go through your five senses and determine what would create a physical space to keep your mental space clear, and then go and create it for yourself every day.
And remember, most importantly, these are challenging times. Everyone is stressed, pushed out of their comfort zones, and dealing with a new normal that doesn’t really feel normal at all. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed at times, and in fact, allowing yourself to feel this way is the only real way through it. Remind yourself that giving yourself space to feel your feelings is part of the process of eventually finding some comfort again. And sometimes you have to trick yourself physically before you can get there mentally. Slip into your long kimono robe to remind yourself that the little spots of comfort can help slow you down. Flow through a sun salutation to remind your body and breath to work together. Eat healthy, nourishing foods that give your body energy and allow your body to peacefully rest when necessary. All these things can help get you through your workday and remind you that you’re doing your best.
Although these unprecedented times are showing us our obstacles, they will also show us our strengths. Remember that a little self care during your workday will help you become more productive, more balanced, and more in tune with your inner life. Take the time you need to feel good and take care, lovely.