October 5, 2020
5 Mindfulness Tips for Working from Home
By: Audrey O.
Work is looking a little different these days. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more people than ever are working from home.
As offices shut down, employers told their team members to stay home and find a new workspace at a moment’s notice. People were forced to get creative. They developed new work environments in places such as their basement, child’s bedroom, and even their laundry room.
These unusual circumstances have led to increased sitting and less time to focus on oneself. The pandemic has also made it more difficult to establish ergonomically-friendly work environments. This has taken a toll on people’s posture and wellbeing.
Fortunately, practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can help make the adjustment to working from home easier. These are simple strategies that, when implemented, will make a noticeable difference in your daily routine.
It is essential that everyone practices these five mindfulness tips while working from home in order to reduce stress and avoid painful positioning.
1. Create a comfortable work environment
It is important to take the time to assess your workspace to ensure you are optimizing your comfort level. While working from the office, employees were equipped with comfortable chairs, adjustable equipment and proper desks.
With the chaos of the pandemic, some have neglected these essential elements of a workspace. You may not have access to the exact equipment you used in the office. But, you can make small changes that will pay off by improving your posture and comfort level.
First, make sure your chair is supportive and the correct height. Your feet should be able to rest comfortably on the floor. If your feet cannot touch the floor, use a small stool to help you maintain proper posture.
Next, place your computer in a position so that the top of your monitor is at eye-level. This will reduce the strain on your neck that occurs when you have to look too far down or up at your screen.
These modifications will allow you to focus on your work as you will no longer be constantly adjusting your body positioning to accommodate your workspace.
2. Move around every 30 minutes
Studies have shown that moving several times throughout the day rather than completing one bout of exercise leads to greater alertness and less fatigue.1
Take a two minute break every 30 minutes to get up from your desk and move around. Just a few moments walking around the house or stepping outside to grab the mail can help to reduce stress and calm your thoughts.
Frequent movement throughout the day has also been shown to lessen appetite and curb food cravings. Stepping away from your desk allows you to stretch your muscles and regain focus before sitting back down to work.
3. Practice breathing exercises throughout the day
Another tip for practicing mindfulness while working from home is to participate in various breathing exercises throughout the day. It has been shown that deep breathing exercises can improve concentration and reduce anxiety.2
There are countless guided meditations available that can be completed in just a minute of your time. These are simple and yield immediate results.
minder by obVus Solutions offers several breathing techniques that can quickly calm your heart rate and declutter your thoughts. These exercises such as 4-7-8 Breathing, Equal Breathing, and Diaphragmatic Breathing only last one minute but noticeably increase relaxation.
4. Avoid multitasking
During the workday, it is easy to get caught up in various activities at the same time. This is especially the case when you are working from home.
You do not want to find yourself watching a video call, while checking your email, while listening to a podcast. This is simply too much for you to process at once, and it distracts you from completing a task with a focused mindset.
If you make a to-do list, you can check each task off one by one. This way, you can give your maximum focus to each task at hand. Focusing on individual tasks leads to better productivity, as you will not be attempting to complete multiple items at the same time.
Next time you catch yourself trying to accomplish too much at once, slow down and write down your responsibilities. Then, prioritize your list so that you tackle the most important task first.
5. Connect with others
When employees were able to physically go into their office building, there was more time for people to make daily connections with each other. This human interaction is valuable because it allows people to socialize and destress.
However, with so many people working from home, it is easy to go long periods of time with very few interactions. Although video calls provide employees with face-to-face time, they almost always consist of work-related discussions.
You can practice mindfulness by taking the time to check in with a friend, or grab coffee with a family member (even if it is virtual). Socializing provides an opportunity to take a break from thinking about work-related topics.
Now more than ever, humans are in desperate need of social interaction. It is important to reach out and check in with others. Not only will they be happy to hear from you, but you will also be doing yourself a favor.
Remember: working from home does not have to be a stressful, uncomfortable experience. By practicing these mindfulness tips, you can create a workspace that suits your needs and supports your wellbeing.
Taking breaks throughout the day to move, meditate, and connect with others will reduce stress and allow you to regain focus. Integrate these tips into your daily routine to optimize your work from home lifestyle.