Six months after the first COVID shutdown, we’re still in quarantine. How do we continue to practice self-care, so that we bring our best self forward?

Aren’t things supposed to be back to “normal” by now?

Most are still working from home, ordering takeout, and socially distancing. And perhaps, your patience and motivation for emails and meetings is increasingly thin.

This may feel odd. Afterall, you’ve been working from home for more than six months, shouldn’t you have adjusted?

When all of the chaos first started and work-from-home orders were first given, our bodies were running on adrenaline. We tended to our mental health, ordered desks for our homes, and gritted our teeth, hoping it would all be over soon. But we’re in this for the long haul, and now that our initial adrenaline has dried up, it’s no wonder we’re crashing.

It’s time to take a breath and figure out how to refocus. Self-care and mindfulness are more important than ever now for those continuing to work from home. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Reexamine your work/home boundaries: By now, you’ve hopefully set work/home boundariesfor yourself. (If you haven’t, it’s never too late to start!) Now is a great time to sit down and take inventory of your boundaries. How well have you been following them? Do any of them need to be adjusted? Don’t beat yourself up; just make tweaks where you need them, to be more productive.
  • Declutter your workspace: When we’re in the midst of a big project or feeling unmotivated, our workspace often becomes cluttered with empty coffee cups, old papers, receipts, and trash. These items can serve as distractions when our eyes glaze over and we want to do anything but read our emails. Take a few minutes at the start of your day to remove the things you don’t need from your desk, so you can keep your focus on the task at hand and prevent burnout.
  • Set a timer: One of the best ways to tackle work when you’re feeling unfocused is to chip away in increments. Set a timer for 15 minutes and give your project your undivided attention for that length of time. When you hear the timer beep, take a break—grab a glass of water or read an interesting article. After a few minutes, set the timer again and return to your project.
  • Mid-day refresh: Set aside time in the middle of the day or the mid-afternoon for a refresh to care for your mental health. Plan to step outside to grab a cup of coffee, call a friend, or hop into a meditation class. Multiple studies have shown that taking time for yourself improves your overall productivity. Taking a break can also help clear your mind so you can approach a challenge in a new way.

These tips will help you keep focused while we continue to work from home, and don’t forget to check out the Be meditation schedule to sign up for your next class.