Tips for Self-Care while Working from Home

October 1, 2020

By Ashley Sisneros


The coronavirus pandemic has changed daily life for everyone, and for many individuals, this includes transitioning to a work-from-home environment. Prior to the pandemic, work-life balance may have already been a challenge. Now that you are home all the time, this could add stressors to your workday and home life. To prevent these stressors, establishing a balance between these separate and important priorities, and adding self-care in the midst of all this, takes planning.


The following six tips will help you plan and bring awareness to the balance between work, home, and self-care - maintaining your sanity.


1. Create and maintain a designated schedule for work hours



Setting a schedule will protect both your work and personal time. Communicating this schedule to your family, supervisor, and coworkers, will allow them to know when you are available to tend to their questions or needs. This will set boundaries for both segments of life your family knows that you are available after work time to meet their needs, and it avoids having coworkers contact you during your family time. Additionally, ensure you schedule breaks and lunches, and take time away from your work area.


2. Establish ground rules with the people around you



When you are working at home, it is easy for your family to ask questions or for help with household tasks, or the house repair for which you need to schedule a maintenance worker. These can distract from your focus on your work and cause added stressors. If possible, schedule a caretaker for dependents and have family members help with household responsibilities, if possible. Keep the lines of communication open to help everyone stay informed and know what to expect from you.


3. Create a morning routine



Without a morning commute, it’s still important to take time to get ready for work and not just roll out of bed. Give yourself enough time in the morning to begin work with a sharp mind. For example, eating a wholesome breakfast, making coffee, or even a short walk. Get dressed as if you were going into the office, this will put you into the work mindset. Additionally, spending time cleaning up your workspace before you start work, will help you feel organized.


4. Establish a designated office space



Separate yourself from the rest of the household with a designated workspace to help you stay focused and avoid the family distractions. Establish a workspace in which you will feel productive, and keep in mind that being comfortable in this space will also relieve stress. Keep the area clean and organized throughout the day, with only work-related items as clutter can distract you or cause stress.


5. Ask your employer for the tools you need to do your job



Having the tools you need to do your job supports efficiency, so do not be afraid to ask for what you need. Most companies can provide the office equipment and supplies for you to do your job at home. Furthermore, some companies have a work-from-home guide, which provides information on policies and removes the guesswork from remote working standards. Consider your needs and what the company provides. To avoid physical stressors on your body, obtain the proper equipment, and establish ergonomics for your workstation.


6. Take mental breaks



The final, and most important tip for self-care while you work at home, is to take mental breaks. Carve out time in your work schedule for breaks and lunches, and set reminders to ensure you are taking this time. Eat your lunch away from your designated workspace, stretch, or take a brisk walk outside and let the sunshine and fresh air refresh your mind and concentration. Search for breathing exercises you can do while sitting at your workspace, or step away for a short meditation to completely disconnect. Mental health and physical health are tied together, so be sure to get your movement in each day, and make sure you have healthy snacks on hand, to avoid that midday sugary snack.


ARIZONA@WORK offers virtual workforce services, including virtual employment readiness workshops and job fairs to help you safely prepare for the workforce or improve your workforce skills. View upcoming virtual events