Now more than ever, our work and home lives have blended into one. Technology makes it possible to run a business from your living room, educate kids remotely, and stay connected to friends and family. But now we need to find ways to unplug and make the shift from work to home in the same space.
Here are six simple tips to navigate this new normal, while keeping your productivity high and your stress low.
Turn on the tunes
Listening to music can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping you feel calmer. There’s no right or wrong type to listen to. But if you’re looking for recommendations, listening to this song was shown to reduce overall anxiety by 65%, according to a British study. Bonus: Working from home means you don’t have to compromise on music selections or volume.
Do one thing at a time
Multitasking might seem efficient, but it can lower your productivity and make you prone to mistakes. Checking off one item at a time not only helps you accomplish more overall, but it also increases feelings of accomplishment.
Take a walk outside
It can be hard to step away when you’re working from home, but you should take time to head outside and leave your phone behind. Taking a short, uninterrupted stroll around the block (or in the backyard) can clear your head just by changing your scenery. Walking can also boost your energy, so you’ll feel refreshed when you get back to work.
Take an artistic interlude
Grab some crayons or colored pencils and channel your artistic side. Love to write? Work on an original poem. You could even read a piece of literature out loud. Engaging in creative activities helps give your mind a reprieve from work stresses. It’s also an opportunity to give your kids some digital downtime. Everyone wins.
Scents can have a powerful impact on your mood. Infuse your space with stress-fighting essential oils like lavender or bergamot. Both have been shown to calm the nervous system by lowering blood pressure and heart rate, promoting feelings of relaxation.
Get enough sleep
Resist the urge to stay up late answering emails or watching TV — and aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Even one night of sleep deprivation can increase feelings of stress, anger, sadness, and mental exhaustion. When you’re well-rested, you have more mental bandwidth to cope with stressful situations. Tip: If you can, avoid working in bed to establish boundaries between worktime and home time.
Creating harmony throughout your day might take some extra effort at first. The good news is that devoting even a little bit of time to self-care can go a long way toward relieving stress, so you can feel your best wherever you are.