Back in March when PCG decided to allow our team to work from home, I thought “this will be a great week or two to catch up on work, knock off some long-forgotten to-do list items, and go for some walks during lunch.” Little did I, or the rest of us, know that eleven weeks later we would all still be home.
My days quickly began to turn into an endless, stale routine. Wake up, put on the coffee, hop onto my computer, workout, eat, sleep. Every day for weeks on end this was how my day looked.
One day during my 100,000th hour of scrolling through social media, I came across a quote saying, “It is not selfish to take time for yourself.” For someone like me who sometimes likes to bite off a little more than I can chew, I often leave myself last when it comes to time management. I knew then that I needed to make sure that I was giving myself permission to pause so I know I am being the best person I can be for those around me, but most importantly for myself.
With that, here are some simple, effective ways I found that help me practice self-care:
A Self-Care Journal
I recently found a great guided journal online that allows me to take five minutes in the morning to just worry about me. The journal, “Self-Care Check-In” by GG Renee Hill provides prompts that help you build healthy habits, reflect, and focus. I have found this journal to be super helpful during a time of so much uncertainty.
Connect with Friends & Family
Prior to the quarantine, I would sometimes go an entire day without connecting with my friends or family. It would be all work and no play. Now that I have found myself sitting at home with little to no social interaction during the day, calling or texting a friend just to chat gives me a great dose of serotonin during my mid-day slump.
During the first couple of weeks of working from home, I noticed I didn’t have much of a work/life balance. Everyone can relate to waking up, walking to the dining room, putting your computer down, and starting the day in the same clothes you slept in. It’s a downer.
What I did to combat this was set up a workstation like I would in the office. Coffee, my notebook, and my computer laid out just as it would be at my desk. Then, when I’m done working for the day, I do not go back to that spot. Instead, I go to another room or go outside and act as though I left the office for the day. It’s important to remember during this crazy time that you are actually allowed to stop working. I learned this around week three.
Similarly, during the beginning, I found it easy to get trapped in sitting down to work all day and then rewarding myself by sitting down to watch Netflix. AKA, not getting up and moving. Now, a 20-minute walk every day has helped me sleep better, work better, and overall has improved my mood.
The best part about self-care is that it is completely unique to you. Do what makes you happy, what makes you decompress, and what makes you show up every day being the best person you can be. When you decide to put yourself first, everything else around you falls into place.