For all who have always dreaded waking at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday to get their family ready and commute 30-60 minutes to work, the current work-at-home mandate may be an enjoyable change to your morning routine. It may even add some time back into your day. I have found working from home does have its perks. For example, I save on dry-cleaning costs, food and gas bills (we have six drivers in our family), and upgraded my internet. I’ve taken my lack of commute time to sleep a little longer, too. In addition, I’ve started some needed training for a future project, while still supporting the current one, and started prep work for another.
When I’m working inside the house, I try to work on a project (defined as something which has a beginning and an end) every day. Right now, my biggest project is shredding old documents and creating new processes for shredding documents, purging files, as well as sorting and storing documents (unfortunately, I overheated my shredder in the process and had to buy a new one!).
netlogx also recommended I clean out my digital files as well, e.g. my G-Drive/G-Suite, but I have decided to tackle that after the paper files are done. That will be a more time-consuming project for me. To keep myself motivated, I’m rewarding myself after the file project is done with some carry-out from the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake!
Other indoor activities I’ve engaged in are cooking and family time. I’ve been making all sorts of new recipes for dinner. My family has played lots of games in the evenings to pass the time; board games and card games; a little healthy competition is good for the spirit! If you can agree on activities to do with each other it helps to make social distancing a little bit more bearable. I find it helpful to also keep a sense of normalcy in your non-working hours. For example, laundry on Tuesdays, gaming on Sunday nights, clean bedrooms on Wednesday, make popcorn for Friday night movie, and watch church service on Sunday.
Out of the home, we have been encouraged to check in on neighbors and acquaintances in our community organizations, churches, and clubs. You may find someone needs assistance, companionship, or just a prayer or two! I am still attending church services weekly, since our pastor is posting the services online daily and weekly, so I still feel connected to my church and community as well.
We have also been urged to go outside and get some fresh air each day, if possible. Engage in activities such as playing with the dog, strolling through the neighborhood or a park (if open).
Remember, you can still engage with neighbors or people passing by as long as you keep a safe distance, listening and learning in the process. My neighbor even suggested a driveway party – all of us gathered on a driveway to get folks together, each bringing their own snacks and beverages to help cope with the stay-at-home mandates in our community. You could even grab your cell phone or digital camera and snap some pics! However, you enjoy the outdoors, just get out there and get some fresh air–it can help improve your mood mentally and physically.
Whether indoors or out, we all need to develop some type of physical fitness routine or exercise. Dust off the elliptical, treadmill, or bike and get going! You can jump rope, dance, take up yoga, play basketball, frisbee, or even run around the yard for 15-30 minutes a day. Just running around in the yard with my dog for 20 minutes has been a heart-healthy break from work at lunchtime. There are many fitness apps which can provide some great instruction too, all free of charge!
For some, working in or around the home has added a layer of complexity, with eLearning for children and new routines. However, by using creativity and exploring the service and support opportunities available (check out FSSA), I am sure we can all adjust temporarily, and most importantly, learn to live without for a while and appreciate what we have for even longer.