This article is part of the guide Remote Working during COVID-19, How to ride out the coronavirus outbreak.
If you’ve not worked fully remotely before, then riding through this COVID-19 crisis will be particularly scary and challenging time.
In this remote working guide we’ve looked at tools, working processes and how to approach remote working post-COVID-19.
But none of that matters if you’re not looking after your mental and physical well-being.
So in this article we’re looking at the tips we’ve been sent from our global freelance community about how to look after your physical and mental health during this crisis.
If you’re not used to working remotely then it’s very easy to let your work life drift into your home life. Here’s some tips for setting up a healthy work/ life balance:
- Set your working hours as if you’re going into the office as normal.
- Set an end time at which you turn your computer off and stick to it.
- Segment work activities from non-work activities.
You cannot escape the fact that you only have a finite amount of attention and energy that you can give each day, no matter how much you might have on your plate, so here’s some ways to give yourself necessary rest time:
- Stay hydrated and keep a large bottle of water on your desk and make sure you have regular drink breaks, especially if you’re involved in back to back client meetings.
- Schedule a lunch break where you step away from you computer. Just because you can’t go into public spaces doesn’t mean you can’t stretch your legs and rest your eyes.
- Consider using the pomodoro technique, to give yourself consistent breaks during the day. The pomodoro technique involves splitting your time into 15 minute increments and working for 12 minutes and having a three minute break. You can make each 12 minute segment complete a single task, to keep you focused.
Keeping your physical fitness is really challenging when you’re confined to your home. Here’s some ways our freelancers have suggested you can keep yourself fit during this crisis:
- Exercise, either before, during a lunch break or after work to keep you mind healthy.
- Think about body weight workouts that you can do in your home. Pretty much every workout you can do at the gym can be done at home if you’re creative.
- Stand and walk every 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Work hard, play hard – even when you’re in isolation. Here’s some options to keep you entertained:
- Find online games that are enjoyable but also help you learn skills, like DuoLingo for language learning, maths games or general brain training apps.
- Get a list of fiction and non-fiction books for both enjoyment and to help you up-skill.
- Don’t work in silence – background noise such as the radio or music can be helpful.
Normally in crisis situations, we come together to comfort each other but one of the unique things about the COVID-19 crisis is that we’ve got to distance ourselves. Here are some ways to avoid loneliness and give yourself the social interactions we all need:
- Join online community groups and forums. There’s online groups for pretty much any topic you can think of!
- Maintain regular communication with at least 1-2 people.
- Communicate with friends and family often.
- Regular communication with colleagues via web-chat or video calls.
- Use this time as an opportunity to build relationships with existing clients and even new ones.
Having the right mindset is key to riding out this crisis. Here’s some small repeatable habits which could really help you keep upbeat and
- Ensure you feel accomplished at the end of the day, having a to do list and ticking things off will add to this.
- Meditate every day to clear your mind.
- Don’t think of this crisis as a time of isolation. Think of it as a one week thinking break like Bill Gates takes (if you’re in isolation for a short period of time).
- Get a dog – they are wonderful company and are proven to dramatically lower stress.
- Don’t interact too much with news channels. Find good, rational news sources and don’t bury your head in hysteria on social media.
- Keep your surroundings clean and tidy. A tidy work space will help you think and act effectively.
We got this information out as quickly as possible and will be updating it over the coming days and weeks. If you have any other tools you want to add, please comment below or contribute to the cause and give your advice on remote working.