It’s been about a year that we’ve been working in our pyjamas. Literally!
While it all seemed fun and liberating at first, working from home is rearing its ugly head on us. Not being able to switch off from work, working round the clock, having back-to-back zoom meetings to accommodate different geographies is leaving us restless and tired.
Staying indoors to avoid getting caught in the crosshairs of a pandemic is leaving us vulnerable to loneliness, anxiety, depression, and many more mental health issues. We launched our home-grown brand of fine fragrance candles a year after COVID-19 shook the world but the groundwork for it started long before. While the staff at our manufacturing unit comes into the office for obvious reasons, the rest of our teams work from home on most days. There are days when we struggle more than others and here’s how we try to find balance. These are 8 ways how we try to switch off after work.
1. Put together a morning and evening routine
When the lines between work and home have blurred, it is up to you to draw these lines again. Blurred lines bring confusion, confusion brings in chaos and chaos brings in anxiety. An anxious mind can’t really concentrate on anything well — be it your home or your work. Routines help our brain segregate things into different folders so that we can switch on and switch off depending on which folder we’re accessing.
A morning routine could be as simple as waking up, making your bed, brushing your teeth, prepping breakfast for yourself/family and then eating your breakfast peacefully. For some of you, your morning routine could include some form of exercise such as walking, running, or yoga. After this routine is completed, you can step into your makeshift home office and begin your workday.
An evening routine could be equally simple. Going out for a drive or walk, catching up with friends and family over call or video, or putting together the evening’s meal or even better helping your spouse with the meal.
Is your current routine working for you?
2. Put together a plan that works for the entire team
This pandemic is hard on everyone. Therefore, it’s necessary that you communicate with each other clearly and set the right expectations. Discuss with your manager and team members about when you will start work, when you will turn off for the day, which days will you stretch longer – depending on deliverables and meetings, and whether you’ll be reachable after work. Speak to your teammates and manager about any concern you might have. Communication lets everyone know what’s happening and leaves zero room for assumptions.
3. Give technology the cold shoulder
When you’re no longer going to an office or leaving an office cubicle it’s difficult to completely shut off and the tendency to reach out and answer that one last email takes over. STOP!
Set a time for when you will log off all work devices and as part of this routine, shut your work computer and phone off and stay away from it for the rest of the day. This will help in setting a clear demarcation of your day and help you unwind at the end of your workday. The same goes for the morning. Don’t check work emails as soon as you wake up. Go through your morning routine before you launch the first online meeting of the day.
In our experience, a periodical digital detox works like magic. Use your weekends or maybe one weekend to go completely off-screen. Use the newfound time for yourself — play board games, read a book, have a dance party in your room!
4. Get a move on it
Once you’ve sent that last email and shut your laptop, get up and get going. Doesn’t matter what you do — walk, run, jog, play. You could stay indoors and play your favourite music and dance or choose an online workout routine and get to it. Get that adrenaline pumping and let the emotions of the day work its way out.
5. Compile your favourite podcasts, shows, and music
There’s nothing like listening to some uplifting music at the end of a day. Or better still, start your day with some inspirational podcasts to get you in the right mood for a productive day. Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix have such a wide variety of content for every type of mood. It’s as easy as plug-and-play.
6. Cook to de-stress
Hear me out on this one. You’ve disliked kitchen chores when you were travelling to and from work on a daily basis. And this chore has become quite a bore. But now that you’re working from home, your travel time is reduced to zero, giving you the opportunity and the energy to de-stress in the kitchen. Shopping for groceries online, chopping veggies while listening to music, kneading dough for chapatis, and stirring the pot of soup are great ways to relax and relieve stress.
Want to know how cooking can help relieve stress? Read this!
7. Create your space of peace
Create a small space in your home that’s dedicated to your work and another for relaxation. This space can be your bedroom or your balcony. Curl up near a window with your favourite coffee and a good book or pour in some bubbles in your bath or choose a hot shower or pick some healthy snacks and binge-watch the shows on your wishlist or do all three. We’re not judging.
8. Mood to meditate
We all know the benefits of meditation. But getting to sit quietly can become quite a task and a cause for anxiety. Don’t let that happen to you. Create the right aura to let go of the busy day that was. Light a few of your favourite fine fragrance candles and let the perfume help you relax. Lavender and Bergamot are known for their calming and stress-relieving properties. Using candles with beeswax ensures the air around you is getting purified instead of polluted (as with paraffin candles) while also releasing negative ions. So you’re left with a sweet-smelling space that has an overall positive effect on you.
And that’s it. Our list on how you can make working from home a less stressful business. Try one or try a combination of a few to see what works for you and your lifestyle.