By Melani Schweder
As the world is overtaken by the pandemic, more and more people are suddenly faced with a new challenge: working from home. For those of us lucky enough to still have jobs and the flexibility to work from home, the transition to an at-home work environment is still a struggle wrought with disruptions. Balancing schedules, virtual meetings, and work responsibilities along with added distractions and pressures are new obstacles for us to navigate. The truth is, we don’t really know what’s going to happen in the weeks to come, or how long our stay-at-home orders will last. So, it’s important to have some strategies to help us stay healthy and focused during this unusual time.
The first thing to remember is that it’s okay if this transition hasn’t been smooth. Under the stress of a major health threat, empty grocery store shelves, and a plummeting stock market, it’s normal to feel more scattered, lost, or anxious. Unfortunately, these unsettling things can directly interfere with your productivity and mental health. So, taking care of yourself, through relaxation, nutrition, and supplementation, is essential.
No matter what is to come, and no matter all the things you don’t have control over, it’s great to focus on the things that you DO have control over. And take the steps to be as healthy, happy, and productive as you can while at home. Here are a few simple tips to help you stay focused:
1. Keep a regular schedule
We thrive on rhythm and routine, so when those routines are thrown off, we can lose focus easily and become stressed. Even if you don’t have your usual habits or benchmarks throughout the day, do your absolute best to create a workable schedule for yourself. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, and stay on top of normal work hours, even if you’re currently in charge of your own schedule. Having a daily routine and some structure releases chemicals in your brain that help keep you focused and improves your overall well being, so set yourself up for success.
2. Make sure you’re getting outside
Even under social isolation orders, it’s vital to get outside on a regular basis. We all know it’s not healthy to be stuck inside all day, under artificial lighting, staring at screens, but it can be difficult to remember this wisdom during these difficult times. Even just 10 minutes of fresh air can make a world of difference for your physical and mental health. Stand outside on your balcony, walk around your block, or sit out on your patio as often as you can. Soak up the sun if it’s shining, feel the breeze on your skin, and take several deep breaths, as a small reset several times a day.
3. Make more time for sleep
Whether you consciously feel it or not, these unusual global circumstances are putting your brain under extra stress. Accomplishing the same tasks as you usually would is requiring more energy from you, especially if you’re now suddenly juggling work, childcare, pet care, and household chores at the same time. Your body is likely calling for more rest right now, so make some adjustments to allow for a bit more downtime. Perhaps get to bed a little earlier, or sleep in a little later. Or, if you have the luxury, take a short cat nap in the afternoons. Don’t fight the urge to rest – sleep is when your brain and body enters its crucial repair mode.
4. Break up your tasks
No matter what you’ve been told, we cannot fully focus on a task for long periods of uninterrupted time. Even if you feel under the gun to finish a project, it’s vital to take regular breaks to allow your brain to rest and reset. It’s actually been shown that people who take breaks are even more productive than those who force themselves to work nonstop. The Pomodoro Technique is one popular time-management tool that helps you structure your workflow in smaller sections, to get more done without the brain drain.
5. Try to contain your workspace
While you’re working from home, it’s tempting to let work stuff spill over into all areas of your life, and your physical space. When work invades your kitchen, your bedroom, or your relaxation spaces, it may be hard to get the mental separation you need, in order to maintain balance. If you are able, corral your work into one area, like a spare bedroom, or a corner of your living room. Don’t let work-related things out of this designated space, and do your best not to work from your rest areas like the couch or your bed. This helps create a clear delineation for your brain, to better tell when it’s work time, and when it’s time to rest and relax.
6. Amp up your nutrition and supplements
Whenever we face a public health threat, and/or a massive change in our routine, it’s important to give our bodies even more support. Now is the time to invest in cleaner, more nutrient-dense foods, fresh juices, big salads, herbal teas, and the right natural supplements. Give your body more cellular support, to stay as healthy as possible during this time, with the right foods and herbs. Here are some supplements that you might find helpful:
- Ashwagandha – helps your adrenal glands manage stress, and helps you feel more grounded and calm
- Focusene – assists your brain in staying alert and productive
- Turmeric – boosts your immune system and is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- CBD/Hemp Oil – alleviates pain and anxiety, leading to more calm and relaxation
One easy ritual that I enjoy, to get a nourishing start to the day (or afternoon break), is to whip up a little latte. Below is my go-to recipe, but feel free to make some tweaks to suit your tastes!
Serenity Turmeric Latte
What makes this latte so great is that it takes antioxidant-rich coffee and combines it with healthy fats. That makes it easier for our body to absorb the nutrients from our cup of joe. Further feel the benefits by adding some savory turmeric and the support of Serenity Hemp Oil.
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coffee
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 T ghee (or grass-fed butter)
- 1/2 T MCT oil
- Stevia (optional)
- 4 drops Serenity Hemp Oil
For more turmeric recipes please click here.
Working from home may feel like an insurmountable challenge, especially when you’re juggling many other stressors. But with the right planning, the right routine, and the right nutritional support, you can make the most out of just about anything.
Be sure to comment below and let us know how you’ve been able to stay focused during this transition.