Many of us, myself included, now find ourselves working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for most, this can be quite challenging. Though working from home is not part of my regular day-to-day, I do have some insight that might help many of you. During the Great Recession back in 2008/2009, I learned a lot in my time laid off. And, again during my seasonal layoffs at another of my jobs, I learned more.
So, let me share some of my key takeaways.
- Keep to a Schedule: This is so important. Waking up at the same time (or within a half-hour or so) every day that you were when working, this will help keep your mind active and alert.
- Take Care of Yourself: Just as important as getting up, make sure you shower and take care of yourself. Also, be sure to get dressed. It doesn’t have to be a suit and tie, or some other work attire, but don’t wear your pajamas all day. I’d also recommend not wearing jogging pants or other workout attire as well.
- Limit Your News and Social Media Intake: I think this is something we should practice on a regular basis regardless of a pandemic or not. Too much negativity or “bad news” will weigh heavily on you. This goes the same for social media, if you find yourself easily envious of what others are doing or have, then maybe it is best to avoid it.
- Work if You Can: Those that can, I suggest keeping busy by working. That can be doing what you are paid to be doing from your employer or freelance work if you are a freelancer. If you are laid off, then work on that resume and portfolio. Now is the time to be doing this stuff.
- Visit Family and Friends: I know most of us are under a “shelter-in-place” order, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch with your family and friends over a video chat. There are plenty of options out there, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or some other video conferencing app. Seeing and hearing those that you care about will go a long way in keeping you mentally happy.
- Get Outside: This was the biggest thing I learned. Getting out will do wonders for you. Go find a place to sit outside, or go for a long walk, or ride your bike if you have one. I would go on long bike rides and I can’t stress enough how good I felt afterwards. I felt recharged and ready to take on the day.
I hope my tips on how you can maintain some kind of sanity during our working from home (or laid off) situations. I’d love to hear from any of you if you have any tips too. So share them in the comments below.
Post feature image by Sean Stratton