Reclaiming Routine While Working From Home

While many of us have been in the swing of working from home by now, some days can be harder than others.

Here are a few things we can do to help become more comfortable in the chaos and regain some structure:

In the mornings

  • Try to get up at the same time every day, even if it is later then you used to.
  • Change your clothes in the morning. It may be changing from night time pajamas to daytime pajamas, but it can make a difference.
  • Keep up your hygiene: continue to brush your teeth, use your deodorant, shower on a regular basis. Even though we may not have to, it can do wonders for helping you continue to feel like yourself.
  • Make a priority list daily or weekly. Inevitably you might not get to everything on your list but at least if you get to the first few things, you know you have done what you consider the most important. Even if the first thing on your list is doing your work from home and everything else around the house gets left undone.

Meal times

  • Sit at the table when you eat. If there are others at home, try discussing how people are feeling or talk about the best thing that happened to everyone that day.
  • Attempt to eat meals and snacks around the same time every day. Just as kids appreciate preset meal times, adults can benefit too.

Throughout the day

  • Take a walk. It’s easy to avoid, especially when it is raining, but when you see a break in the weather- get outside! And if it doesn’t stop raining, bundle up and take an umbrella.
  • Reach out to friends, family, and coworkers. We are used to seeing these people more often and sometimes don’t realize how normalizing it is until we make the effort to catch up. It can be a text, a phone call, or a virtual happy hour.
  • Find a way to try and continue engaging in the activity that you love, even if it is now virtual.
  • If you find your heart and mind racing while reading or watching the news, limit your intake. That might look like once a day or, for some people, not at all.

At night

  • Try and new relaxation technique: adult coloring book, crochet, watercolor, or Sudoku. Keep your brain focused on the activity in front of you.
  • Go to bed within the same 60 minutes that you typically would when you were going into the office.
  • Put the screen away at a predetermined point. Please put reasonable boundaries around your work from home schedule.

If you are experiencing anxiety, please reach out to a counselor. The Counseling Center at PRO Medical is a great option and is currently taking new clients via telehealth.

We do want to note that for essential workers, the uncertainty and chaos may look a lot different than simply working from home and we are eternally grateful for what you do.

We hope that some of these suggestions help you manage your routine a little more effectively during these times.

By Ali Sokolow, MA, LMHC, PRO Medical Counseling Center Manager

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