Working remotely consistently and social distancing can be extreme changes to our daily routine. We have all heard the term social distancing, but if you haven’t seen a clear description yet, social distancing is the concept of physically disconnecting ourselves from those outside our home. It doesn’t just apply to work and school, but also the social aspects of our lives like events, going out to eat, seeing friends, and generally being in places where large groups congregate. Social distancing is also practicing maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others when you need to make essential trips out of the home.
Social distancing is hard! It profoundly reorients our daily habits. While it is really about physical separation, that doesn’t mean that we have to actually disconnect socially from one another. With all the technology available, it is easier than ever to stay connected even when physically apart.
We want to support and help you all however possible through this transition. Below are some tips on working remotely and staying sane while social distancing. I have also included some free resources to help as you adjust your lifestyle.
Tips for Working Remotely
- Where possible, have a dedicated workspace. Even if you can dedicate a small part of a room as a workspace, having that separate place makes a huge difference. It helps you to create some separation between your workspace and your home space.
- Create and stick to your routine. You probably had a daily routine before this started and just because you aren’t commuting and going into the office doesn’t mean you should skip your weekday routine. It helps you mentally prepare and create your mindset.
- Create a schedule/to-do list. Prioritize tasks that are most important and budget your time to help you stay on task.
- Take breaks and know when to turn it off. Stand up, walk around, and take mental breaks throughout the day. Also, know when it is time to be done for the day. Set an end time to your workday and transition back into “home mode”. Set boundaries with yourself.
- Make sure you eat. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but don’t get so preoccupied with work that you forget to fuel your body.
Tips to Stay Happy and Healthy While Social Distancing
- Use video communications. Perhaps more than you usually would! Call friends, family, and co-workers to help you stay connected. Make plans to “meet” on a regular basis.
- Check-in Regularly. Check-in with the people around you regularly. Ask how they are doing and share creative things you are doing to adjust to your new lifestyle.
- Move Around! Just because you can’t get to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t move your body. There are tons of free resources online to help you stay active while distancing (some are listed below). Spend some time moving daily if possible.
- Enjoy Nature. While still maintaining social distancing, get outside and enjoy nature in low/unpopulated areas. Turn off the news and social media to enjoy some time outside. Spending time in nature can lower stress, help you relax, and clear your mind. Remember, going outside isn’t the risk, it is proximity to other people.
- Do things you enjoy at home. Read a book, watch a movie with your family, or even learn a new skill. Is there something you have been meaning to work on around the house but haven’t had the time? Now is a perfect time!
Free Health, Wellness, and Meditation Resources
There are many free resources available to you to help you stay centered and moving from home. More and more companies are introducing free access to services we would normally need to pay for.
- Headspace. The headspace app has a new collection called “Weathering the Storm”. Normally behind a paywall, Headspace is offering this free during this time. The category can be found under the Explore tab of the app.
- Calm. The calm app is offering free resources to help cope with the feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty through their website here.
- Planet Fitness. Offering free live-streaming fitness classes to help get you moving. They will be available on the Planet Fitness Facebook or YouTube page, Monday-Friday, for the next two weeks.
- Peloton App. Offering a free 90-day trial on their app to access all of their fitness classes from home which includes running, cycling, strength, yoga, and meditation.
- Barry’s Bootcamp. Focusing on strength and cardio, they will be offering live workouts via their Instagram page.
- Nike Training Club App. Those who download the app have access to multiple workout videos for free.
- YouTube. While there is a lot of junk on YouTube, there are also a lot of great (and free!) resources to help you stay moving. Channels like CrossFit HQ, Shape, Blogilates, Fightmaster Yoga, Yoga with Adriene, and Fitness Blender are all highly recommended and great places to start.
Free Resources for Learning at Home
Many families are now trying their hand at homeschooling for the first time! It can be challenging to find educational activities to keep kids entertained throughout the day. Below are just a few of the resources now available to families who are supporting remote learning.
- NCFL. The National Center for Families Learning is offering free learning resources for kids who are at home.
- ReadWorks. An online resource focused on reading comprehension.
- 123 Homeschool for ME. Has over 1 million pages of free worksheets for toddler, preschool, pre k, and k-8 students.
- 3P Learning. Under their Resources section, they feature activities in meth, literacy, spelling, and science.
- Khan Academy. An online education platform that is providing free learning resources during school closures.
As team members, we are all here to support each other as we navigate the new landscape. Lean on those close to you, from a distance. Ask questions to your network for new tools and tips. Stay connected!
Ashlyn Murphy is the Human Resources Manager, Peloton Master, and Culture Guru at Mainstay Technologies.