Five tips to stay mindful while working from home

By Emily Byrne, Marketing Executive at YUDU

Header Image by Gemma Smith, Graphic Designer at YUDU

WFH, what’s not to like? No more business dress. Bye-bye long commutes and stupidly early rises for many (well, me actually). Hair tongs dumped. Makeup discarded. It’s a messy bun and PJs all day long. (Note to self: don’t forget video conference calls so disable webcam or make self presentable from neck up.)

But of course, the truth is there’s quite bit not to like about WFH. My work colleagues may drive me nuts half the time… but I have a suspicion I’m going to miss some of them. We’re all feeling it. The only commute we now face is wandering, bleary-eyed from our beds, to our desks, to the fridge… to the kettle… and back to the fridge again.

Inevitably, we’re all going to have to get used to our over-familiar surroundings and compromising faux pas on Zoom video calls for the next few weeks at least. So, here are 5 tips and tricks for staying mindful while pretending your bedroom is an office.

 1. Shape up your stationary

To do lists, highlights, post-its and coloured pens are a great way to liven up your workspace, help you to prioritise, stay on task, remember everything and basically ensure that you’re always winning. You could also allow your dog to sit under your desk, unfortunately this will mean you get no work done, but it will cheer you up.

 2. Keep up Comms

The digital age we live in allows for many of us to continue to work in these turbulent times. Slack, Teams, Zoom and WhatsApp open up endless opportunities for conference calling – which can be fun and informal.

Not just a great way to stay in contact with your team and your managers, but an epic way to shed light on the working day and eliminate loneliness in this uncertain and scary period. Just make sure your partner is fully dressed before turning on your webcam.

3. Feng-Shui your desk space

It’s all about the desk set up. Call me a dotty hippy, but my desk is right by the window and decorated by some of my favourite crystals, ornaments and plants. This gives my workspace a sense of personality and security – especially when comfort is of the upmost. Ensuring you feel happy and have everything you need will increase your productivity and enjoyment of daily tasks. A constant stream of sunlight and fresh air will do wonders to improve your mood – so soak up that serotonin as much as you can whilst the sun shines for us. Alternatively order in Chinese food, which can have exactly the same effect.

4. Lift your spirits with those you love… (before you start tearing each other’s hair out)

Make the most of those you’re isolating with in your household… even if you’re beginning to drive each other up the wall. One of my colleagues advised: “We have initiated random dance parties during our tea-making breaks to lift the spirits. We chose a song that’s great to sing along to. This morning was ‘The Power of Love’ by Huey Lewis and the News. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes!” Or as suggested by my colleague, Jim Preen – how about putting on ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ (Chuckles to self.)

5. Treat lunch breaks are essential ‘you time’

 Be sure to break the day up with something you enjoy doing, whether it be yoga, practicing mindfulness, a crossword, or reading. Stay away from the news and take some time for yourself by doing something that will entirely distract your mind from work. This way you’ll feel instantly more relaxed, refreshed and self-fulfilled. Make sure you’re exercising your body as well as your mind – another mood booster and completely compliant with the government’s lock down rules. I’ve been benefitting from the extra endorphins myself, whilst making sure I’m not a ten tonne Tess when I re-emerge from isolation.

I’m a real believer that for every cloud there’s a silver lining. In the words of Albus Dumbledore:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light.”

There is no denying the Coronavirus outbreak is devastating, petrifying and anxiety-inducing all at once. However, some extra hours in the day habituating in our own space will allow us to reconnect with our work, whatever it is we do and also appreciate the love we share with our households. Maybe the free time we have will force us to appreciate the simple things in life which we once took for granted, as we continue to work and live amidst the madness by going back to our roots.

And on that note…


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