Tips to Lower Your Stress while You WFH, Pt.2 - Lumoir

Tips to Lower Your Stress while You WFH, Pt.2

With the current Covid-19 situation, many of us are starting to adapt to the WFH lifestyle, which brings with it numerous perks. Think getting just that little bit more sleep to prepping healthy meals for breakfast and lunch. But besides that, it also gives us a great opportunity to exercise self-care and treat ourselves to a pampering DIY facial while working. Some of the downfalls include: no personal space from pets, children or significant others; lots of stress about the current state of affairs and potentially, uncertain about your finances. Needless to say, it is not all the R&R that it is cracked up to be. 

With that in mind, we have gathered some expert advice on how to lower your stress while you are WFH.

    1. For starters, let’s talk about having anxiety from Covid19.Worrying about anything is not useful. Yes, anxiety is normal and people have it for a reason to help them be aware of danger in order to protect themselves, but chronic worry and panic does nothing but waste hours, days, or even weeks of your life with the false assumption that “If I worry, then the thing I fear won’t happen.” It is a delusion.
    2. Take time to meditate. I have been reading Emily Fletcher’sStress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance and am learning about to be more productive through meditating. I am halfway through the book and starting my practice and I can tell you that it is already changing my life and how I am even looking at the chaos in the world right now.(Grab a copy here).
    3. Address your negative thinking.Once chronic worry sets in, it tends to hijack any other agenda you have for your life. It can take over all your plans, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. In essence, your life can revolve around your worry. You may also adhere to the belief that “If I expect the worst, I’ll be prepared.” This belief encourages you to constantly expect the worst outcome, reinforcing your worry. Use “cognitive restructuring” to address this type of thinking. That means, change how you think. Tell yourself something encouraging, rather than allowing yourself to panic.
    4. Create a routine.While there may be many factors beyond your personal control now, including a loss of predictability, you can exert some control and familiarity by sticking to a schedule. If you have young or elderly people in your life, that predictability can be very comforting. So, get up at a reasonable time, get dressed, and have a plan for your day. At the same time, don’t be too rigid. Try not to overschedule yourself and include breaks if you can.Think of it as a “summer schedule,” which may be somewhat more relaxed than a typical routine. I know that part of my routine is keeping a schedule for my puppy, Harvey, who loves walks and playtime. Besides, Science says pets can buffer stress, boost productivity and help keep you healthy while you WFH. Other studies have shown that having a pet in the home helps you respond better to stressful situations. Dogs in particular help you keep a routine and stay active, which experts say is extra important for your mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic. (And besides, now is the time torescue or foster a pet).
    5. Designate a workspace but don’t be afraid to move around. Set up an area of your house to use as a workspace.Sitting down in this space sends a clear signal to your brain that it’s time to focus. Stay away from your designated workspace when you’re not working. If creating a mobile workspace helps you concentrate, set up a few spaces in your house where you can work. This may help your posture since you’ll change up your seated position. Giving yourself a set amount of time in each location may help you manage your time. Make sure that your workspace is ergonomic. This will remove risk factors that lead to musculoskeletal injuries and allow for increased performance and productivity. While sitting on a comfy couch or your bed may sound nice, typing on your laptop while doing so for a long time could strain your back or neck.
    6. Keep up (or start) simple hygiene and health routines. Take a break andlisten to calm music which has a positive effect on the brain and the body. It can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. Focusing your mind only on serene sounds can help clear your thoughts. Oropt for a cup of green tea in the morning or midday. It has less caffeine than coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.Exercise, even if it's a little bit. Running in place for 5 minutes or doing a couple of simple stretches can get the blood pumping and offer immediate relief in a stressful situation. When you move around, your body releases endorphins which can improve mood almost instantaneously.
    7. Lastly, get some sunlight! Obviously, do not disobey what government officials say but open a window, sit on your patio with your snack. Just get out! Sunlight and darkness trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Exposure to sunlight releases serotonin, which is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. Being out in the sun is proven to make you healthier not just emotionally, but physically as well.

And remember you are not alone. We are all in this together, even 6 ft apart.