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6 Self Care Tips While Working From Home

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Some people work from home by choice and love it. But a whole new contingent of people have started having to work at home over the past few weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Many of those people prefer working in an office, and are missing out on what the environment provides them.

In emergency situations like this one, employees may have no choice about their workplace location. Working from home may be mandated in their company or area regardless of preference—and there may be no clear timeline on when such quarantining will end.

In such cases, you may find yourself wondering how to practice self-care while working from home, and wondering how to cope with feeling anxious, uncertain, scared, and/or lonely. Read on to learn how to make working from home feel more connected and less “out at sea” when you find yourself unexpectedly housebound, whether due to a crisis situation, company reorganization, or other reasons.

Create a Daily Routine 

If you’re someone who thrives in an office setting, one reason why may be the built-in structure that office life often affords. You arrive for work at the same time each morning, have a predictable schedule of meetings and desk time, a lunch break, and an end to the day before dinnertime that you can usually count on.

Working from home can feel the opposite of this, since without creating your own structure, you may find yourself at loose ends, getting absorbed into domestic minutia instead of staying on task with your deadlines and projects. The solution to this is to develop a reliable daily routine that you can use as a framework for your work-from-home days.

A good idea here is to try to model what works for you in the office—at home. If you usually begin your day at 9am sharp with a cup of green tea and a review of your task list at your desk before attending a 9:30 staff meeting, followed by a two-hour block of focused task time at your desk with your headphones on, then see to it that you set your alarm in enough time to get you to your desk at home by 9am with your teacup in hand.

Ask your supervisor if the staff meeting can be conducted by conference call at the same time it was done in the office. After you’ve connected with your team, then reserve that same post-meeting, two-hour block of focused time for your most pressing projects.

Breaks and Lunch

Other ways to create a daily routine for structure are to plan out your lunches in a similar way that you did in the office. For example, if you always packed a sandwich and fruit—making it ahead of time that morning—then stick to your schedule and prep your lunch at the start of the day so it’s ready for your break. If you’re a reliable noon luncher, then don’t let work bleed into the afternoon with your stomach growling just because you are home—instead, set an alarm for noon so that you stop and eat at the usual time.

And if you always sat with a specific friend at work for lunch, then see if you can connect through technology to eat “together” from home. Scheduling a few regular breaks in addition to lunchtime can also help you stay mentally fresh and energized while working from home.

Use Apps to Create Structure and Boost Mood

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to self-care and working from home. See below for some free helpful apps that you can use to meditate, take a break, or focus.

Break Apps

Working for hours without remembering to take a break is unhealthy and can lead to physical and mental ailments, so try out the mobile device reminder apps below that can ping you so that you can mentally refresh throughout the day.

Stand Up! The Work Break Timer

For iPhone and iPad, this app allows you to customize your preferred break time to your specific work schedule. You can set reminder intervals in increments ranging from five minutes to two hours. And, it even provides a seven-day history so you can see how well you’re doing at taking your regular breaks.

Randomly RemindMe

An Android app that you can use to remind you not only to take breaks, but to engage in other healthy habits like drinking water or exercising. Fully customizable for daily, weekly, and monthly reminders.

Meditation Apps

One thing you might want to do on your work breaks, once reminded of them, is meditate. The apps below can help you do it.

The Mindfulness App

Available for iPhone and Android, this app gives you timed sessions up to 30 minutes long (and as short as three minutes) for both guided and silent meditations. Customizable format with bells and nature sounds.

Headspace

Headspace offers an app for both iPhone and Android users. It offers lessons in meditation, breathing, living mindfully—and even sleeping, to restore yourself after your busy workday. Features courses that each have a series of guided meditations.

Focus Apps

Any workplace—whether an office or at home— has distractions. To focus better, try these apps:

Hocus Focus

A free Mac app that clears your computer screen’s clutter by allowing you to view one window at a time.

Brain.fm

A science-centered way to create music that improves brain activity and improves your focus.

Make Your Setting Inviting

Invest some time into creating a work setting that makes you feel comfortable and productive.

This effort begins with the basics, like your home office location. If you have a space that you can dedicate solely to your work for the time being, that will go a long way toward making your space feel like one where you’d like to get the job done. Don’t fall prey to claiming the first thing you see—settling into a chair at the kitchen table where everyone eats, or plunking down on the communal sofa in the living room.

The problem with these areas is that they are already designated for other functions, and will likely come with their share of interruptions. It’s also difficult to set up anything permanent there, since you’ll need to frequently move your laptop and papers when the space needs to be used for something else (or by someone else). Instead, claim a quiet corner in a room where you won’t be disturbed. See if your company allows for reimbursements for materials related to your required home office, such as a proper desk chair and printer.

Also consider the decor of your home office space. Small touches like plants, pictures, and filing cabinets can help keep your work space feeling like a place you want to be, and can help you feel better while working from home.

Adapting to Working from Home and Practicing Self-Care

Working from home, especially when unexpected, can present challenges. But there are many benefits to remote work, as well. Saving time by avoiding a commute, minimizing environmental footprint, and increased productivity are just a few.

So, make the best of your work-from-home experience and take some initiative toward your own self-care. You can boost your mood and feel more connected from right where you live.

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My Recommendations For At Home Spa Treatments for Cold Weather Self-Care

If you live in the East Coast, then you are aware that the weather temps are pure disrespectful! It’s a great time to stay indoors and keep warm. Whether you’re recovering from the bomb cyclone or stuck indoors because you’re on bed rest, one sure fire way to soothe your body and get some self care is to pamper yourself.

Personally, I am a BIG fan of pamper products, facials, manicures, body scrubs, pedicures, peels, you name it. All of it is not just great for helping you relax, but spa treatments can also help you expel toxins from your body. The top of the year is a great time to get a head start.

Pregnancy generates all sorts of hormones in your body that you can’t control. You may find yourself having a difficult time dealing with stress, and may be short tempered, moody and otherwise just irritable and miserable. A good facial, massage or body scrub can do wonders to ease some of that tension.

Start with some home brewed herbal tea. Chamomile, Peppermint, English Breakfast will work too. Sip slowly throughout your day to calm your spirit.

You don’t even have to leave the home to get a good facial or body scrub Hubpages has some great low cost recipes that you (or your spouse or partner, if you are on bedrest) can whip up using items already in your fridge and kitchen cabinet! Fab!

Facial Mask Recipes

Recipes for my favorite at-home face masks. Each provides unique benefits, but all are quick and easy to blend up at home, with ingredients you use every day.

Body Scrub and Salt Glow Recipes

Use these easy at-home body scrub recipes to bring life back into tired skin and give you the youthful glow of nourished, healthy skin all year round! Coffee Body Scrub Coffee tightens and rejuvenates skin.

Facial Cleanser and Scrub Recipes

Try some of these easy-to-follow recipes for homemade cleansers and scrubs that provide amazing benefits, for a fraction of the cost of those expensive brand-name formulas at the drug store.

If your budget can afford it, I recommend investing in a parafin foot tub. Add the wax blocks they come with that are infused with lavender and peppermint, then plug in and let the wax melt, dip in  your feet, elbows, knees, hands or whatever body part needs smoothing and watch it work wonders. I have a tub under my desk as I type.

The South Korean face sheets were big and trending last year and the obsession with them has spilled into this year as well.  Per InStyle mag,  Chrissy Teigen and Karolina Kurkova to Lena Dunham and Lady Gaga hailing them for their skin-plumping, mind-stilling abilities.

Purchase them in your local drug or department store or order online and use them at the end of a stressful day or for no reason at all. There is no need to have an excuse to treat your body right. They start as low as $1.50 online.

Aromatherapy is excellent for the mood as well. Invest in a diffuser and some essential oils and have rosemary, lavender, sage waffling through the air as you work, do some housecleaning, listen to your fave podcast, or read a good book.

Essential oils can get costly so your best bet is to get a kit. My fave is ArtNaturals Aromatherapy Essential Oil and Diffuser set which comes with a vial of Peppermint, Tee Tree Oil, Rosemary, Orange, Lemongrass, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Frankincense.

I love that it glows in 7 colors and for safety it shuts off automatically. At $43 this is a steal because if you were to purchase each vial separately in a lot of places, you’re looking at spending $80 for the oils alone!  

All of these recommendations will surely help you re-center yourself and your sensibilities and be able to tackle all that life throws at you…at least for the next few days, then repeat the process and get carried away all over again!

4 Ways Moms Can Get ‘Self Care’ and ‘Me Time’

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It is a fact and even studies support the fact that raising a child or children can be  an extremely stressful and busy time. Of course, it is well worth it. Parents are proud of their children.  But given all the strain and pressure of managing a household and childrearing, it is important that moms (and dads) take time for self-care.

Self-care can be defined as care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you.

Women and moms, especially, do not take time off to engage in fun activities or things they love. Many of us remember a time when we used to read for leisure. Sadly, a lot of us cannot remember the last time we picked up a good book and dug into it uninterrupted.

Here is a roundup of things you can do just for fun to let off some steam or just let go.

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Engage in A Hobby – Either get back into something you might have enjoyed before kids or pick up a new one like embroidery, gardening, or painting. You need something that you can dip in and out of, and something that will help you unwind after a stressful day. You do not need to be amazing at it, but just find the thing you enjoy and use it to give yourself a bit of ME time.

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Start a Blog – These days blogging has become a profession for some, but it is still a great way to journal your life, your family’s life or talk about some topic that is dear to you. If you are at home, you can easily start up your own blog. You can download an app to your phone so you can update quickly and easily so it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time! You can talk about anything- your baby and children tips, easy to make dinners on a budget, home and interior advice, or even just your amusing musings on the life of a mother. It is a great way to keep the old grey matter working, and also to share your experiences with the world.

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Play Online Games – You’ve probably gotten invitations to play one of the many online games that are part of your favorite social networking sites. Believe it or not, they are not a waste of time but also a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your memory or strategy skills. These days you can also download an app to to your phone and play a great range of popular casino games whenever you want and wherever you are! All Jackpots Casino online offers a super range of all the popular casino games and it also offers great prizes and payouts as well! Who knows, you could strike it lucky. Imagine being able to win some money while just kicking back just be careful you don’t make it a habit.

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Pick Up a New Exercise Trend – Work out trends like pilates, yogilates, kickboxing, cross-fit come and go but some look like fun and once you become addicted or join a fun class where you know all the other members, you’re more likely to go often. Soon, meeting up at your fave class becomes something you look forward to while getting into shape. And if you are on maternity leave, you can also start. You may be tired and exercise might feel like the last thing that you want to do, but as soon as the endorphins kick in, you will think differently!

Being short on time doesn’t mean you don’t have time to look after yourself. The key is to find an exercise that you can do at home and even with a kid in tow!

5 Self-Care Tips for Brand New Moms

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When you are a new mom, you have to deal with a lot of pressure and stress of taking care of your newborn, dealing with the stresses of work, spouse or maybe another child in the home you are caring for. Self-care is often last on the list of concerns, but it shouldn’t be.

The transitional weeks between end of summer and early fall often prove unexpectedly hectic. As families try to squeeze in one more long weekend, unearth a few extra days of vacation, or begin to gear up for the busy fall season, this time of year typically feels anything but relaxing. Factor a newborn into that mix, and stress levels can skyrocket, causing new Moms to feel pressured and exhausted as they struggle to adjust to the changes brought about by the arrival of a new baby.

For those of you who have just given birth or are due to welcome your new arrival this fall, the makers of Water Wipes, curated a list of five things you should consider to ease your anxiety and stress level as the Autumn season begins.

  • Push Back Against Pressure: Don’t feel pressured to plan that final weekend getaway or start reorganizing closets for the upcoming change of seasons – spend these early weeks focused on your newborn and getting used to your new life.
  • Turn Off the Noise: New Moms get a lot of advice – online and off; solicited and unsolicited. If it becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to focus solely on what works for you and your baby. Remember, you are all your baby needs!
  • Try Saying “No:” With fall right around the corner, invitations will soon begin to arrive – from friends and organizations alike – looking to reconnect after the long summer. In these first few weeks of your baby’s life, do what’s right for the both of you – not what’s expected – and remember “no” is an OK response.
  • Turn Baby Care into Bonding Time: To help feel more confident about caring for your baby, look for opportunities to turn baby care basics – such as diaper-changing – into bonding time. After wiping and diapering, place baby skin-to-skin against your chest and take note of your natural ability to calm and soothe your newborn.
  • Think Instincts: Moms intuitively know how to care for their new babies – but it can be difficult to remember that in the middle of the night. Just remember to trust your instincts – and don’t let anything come between you and your newborn.

They also released a video series about three women starting their motherhood journey, and through their first days, other new moms can learn a few things. Check it out and pass it along to a new mom in your life.