By: Shannon Dougherty, Fit Mom Living
When your alarm goes off and it’s time to hop on a Zoom call, the last thing you’re thinking of is protecting your energy. Walking ten steps to a desk and starting the workday can be convenient, but it can also be a cycle that drains your energy and keeps you from being your best self every day. The virtual desk job is uncharted territory for many people and companies. Evaluating the effects of living with your work computer screen within arm’s length of your bed might be the self-reflection and wake-up call you need.
From the moment the workday starts, it can be difficult for a lot of people with remote or online jobs to separate their work brain from their at-home leisure mindset. It is important to be able to differentiate between these two in order to keep engaged in your career and be able to maintain a relaxing home environment. Mixing these environments and energies can lead to brain fog and other negative feelings towards your work or home space that can be solved by adjusting your routine. Small changes can improve your overall lifestyle, protect your energy, and can be easily achieved.
When your living space is overrun by your workspace, differentiation is important.
As a mother of two, leading and managing a business on my own, I’ve learned how to create a world where I can protect my energy: where I can have both a safe home space, and an efficient work environment. Setting yourself up for success is easier said than done when all of the most important moments in life are spent surrounded by the same four walls.
Routine is key when setting yourself up for success every week, no matter what setting you may work in. When your workplace is your bedroom, living room, kitchen, or home office, the distractions of your environment can take over, making it harder to work and find peace in your home. By setting up a routine for your workday, you can set aside time for each task you have without feeling overwhelmed or guilty.
When creating your routine, I highly recommend setting aside your ‘me’ time. This can be as simple as getting up 20 minutes early for a walk or a quick workout, preferably outside. You can try meditating, reading a book, or writing in your journal. Regardless of how you choose to spend your ‘me’ time, taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary.
Don’t feel confined to one routine either. Adjusting your schedule to fit your lifestyle will ultimately give you better results in your work and in your home. If one task brings up too many red flags, acknowledge it, think about it, and see how you can modify it to improve your day.
Remember to breathe. The best way to clear your head and center yourself is to take deep breaths and process your day in intervals. In order to remind yourself to relax, set a timer for a couple minutes every hour to take 10 deep breaths. This acts as a mental and physical reset on the job and trains your mind to not get overwhelmed. Another great method of relaxation is to download the Calm app. This app guides users through resting and recovering meditation, while also creating reminders to rest in general. To set the tranquil atmosphere while you’re on the clock, utilize calming music to assist your mind in putting you at ease. Throughout the day, you can organize tasks to make yourself feel fulfilled. Try working in some mindful to-dos like drinking water, marching in place to get your blood pumping, or journal daily affirmations for yourself, reminding yourself that you are doing a great job.
When it comes to fueling your body, working from home provides you with the flexibility to maintain a healthy lifestyle and hold yourself accountable. My biggest tip is to make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Often, the days can fly by, leaving you to realize at the end of the day that your water intake was minimal. No matter how busy you are, be sure to drink plenty of water. Always have a full water bottle or glass of water on your desk so that when you see it, you drink it.
While your eating schedule may be more adjustable when working from home, it is essential that you schedule your lunch and snack breaks. Try to eat away from your desk to enjoy a different view and location in your home. Long days at work can suck the energy out of you, resulting in meals taking the back seat. Your mind will not function without fuel. It’s time for you to take control.
Planning out your meals and meal prepping is going to allow you to protect your energy by fueling your body even when you have a jam-packed workday. Take the time over the weekend to plan your meals and prep as much as possible to make your schedule that much more efficient and productive. Make a calendar of external hobbies and commitments to get you out of the house and enjoying some fresh air. Working from home can slowly creep into your personal life if you don’t take some proactive steps to protect your energy and your schedule. The preplanning is well worth it in the long run and will benefit both dimensions of your life.
Don’t forget that this is all up to you. Set the tone and set boundaries that will help you achieve your personal goals, whether professional or in your home life. Deciding when and how you show up for your friends and family will allow you to set realistic expectations where you and those you love are feeling satisfied. You cannot take care or love others if you cannot do the same for yourself. When your workday is over, turn your work email notifications off and park your computer somewhere where you are not reminded of work. In addition, set up specific time during the day to spend with family members, so you have something to look forward to and you ensure you won’t be interrupted during your workday. Set a timer or alarms to help with sticking to those commitments and don’t let your work overflow into your personal obligations. If you feel fulfilled in your personal life, you will be motivated to conquer your work life.
It’s time to start prioritizing you.
Shannon Jay Dougherty created Fit Mom Living in 2020. Her company aims to empower and guide determined women to drop fat and gain confidence through flexible nutrition. Dougherty’s background in health and nutrition motivated her to spread her knowledge and become a Certified Macronutrient Coach. Furthermore, as a mom of two, Dougherty has used her Fit Mom Living programs to share what she knows in order to improve individuals’ lifestyles and maintain consistency.