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While working from home may seem like a dream, for many, this change can be a source of anxiety for those making the transition to their new office.

Here are some tips to stay balanced while working from home: 

Keep your routine. Even if you are not going into the office, it is important to maintain your normal routine. Exercising, showering, getting dressed in “work” clothes, and doing your hair and makeup just as if you are heading into the office can help put you in the right frame of mind for work. 

Take a break. Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to the same breathers. Stepping away for breaks throughout the workday helps boost productivity. You can set a timer on your phone to focus for a 20-minute block then take a break when the time goes off. During your break, fix yourself a cup of coffee, stand up and stretch or unload the dishwasher. Five minutes is all you need to refresh your brain. 

Get structured, but not too much. Be thoughtful about where you choose to set up your workstation. You will want to find a quiet area for tasks that require deep thinking and concentration. Also, make sure to designate “work-free” zones in your home so you don’t associate those spaces with work. 

Repurpose your commute. Just because you are no longer commuting to work, doesn’t mean you need to start your workday when you would have left home for the office. Instead, use this time for self-care or family time. 

Set clear boundaries. When working from home, it’s important to communicate with co-workers as well as household members what your work schedule looks like and stick to it. Working from home doesn’t mean you are working more hours. When your workday ends, be sure to put away your work equipment or stay out of the room designated as your workspace. 

Don’t forget to eat. Without a commute eating up your morning, you’ll have more time to prepare a substantial and healthy breakfast. Hydrating and fueling your body with healthy foods helps boost energy and productivity. Don’t forget about lunch. You can use that extra time in the morning to prepare your lunch. 

Stay connected. Even though you can’t physically pop over to someone’s desk, you can take some time to drop your coworkers a text, message, or phone call. If you have video meeting capabilities, you may choose to get in some face time with your co-workers. You’ll create more meaningful interactions and avoid loneliness. 

Some additional resources

  • Consider the Employee Assistance Program (EAP): free counseling to help employees navigate workplace stress.
  • Access your comprehensive health care benefits, including options like Teledoc.
  • Take a course on the Science of Well-Being, by Yale University, through Coursera, a free online learning platform.

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