With all the disruption that COVID-19 has brought to us, it feels like a whirlwind to #stayhome, and adapt to a new lifestyle overnight. It might be stressful and energy-consuming, sedentary, occupied, and even distracting. I envy those who were used to working from home and the COVID-19 seems like a wind that’s tapping at their window and nothing more.
However, complaining about the quarantine is not the main aim of this article, but vice versa, we will list a set of habits that need to be incorporated into our daily routines while #stayhome is so valid.
Take a pen and paper, sit back, and read on.
1. Plan your day during #StayHome
Nothing eats up your day as allowing it to go with the flow. To make the most out of your day while #stayhome is to plan it in every detail. You want to write down everything you want to accomplish during the next day starting from the morning till the go-to-bed time. This will help you be at the top of your activities and to manage your energy for sustainability. The steady pace is focal!
Below I give you a list of the most important things you need to plan for in order to be very productive and manage both your body and your mind against stress.
1.1 Plan your food ahead
Raise your hand if you snack unconsciously while you’re home. I know, I’m raising my hand, too. The problem during the quarantine is that it will enable you to snack all day long. It is not healthy! We need to nourish our bodies so they have enough fuel (energy) to do what we want them to do, i.e. work, think, exercise, do some chores, etc.
The best thing to do during #stayhome is to cook our food a day before, divide it into portions according to how many times we eat, to put them into glass containers (glass is important in order not to get intoxicated by the extracted materials that are contained in, e.g. plastic), and refrigerate them.
It is a good idea to do Intermittent fasting (16/8) during quarantine because it will help us concentrate on other things apart from eating and to control our body weight and energy (Be cautious for restrictions!).
Finally, make a balanced plate for each meal. Remove simple carbs (white bread, white pasta, cookies, milk chocolate), trans fats (fast food, chips, and prepackaged sugary desserts), and processed foods overall. Instead, go for healthier alternatives, such as fresh fruits, dark chocolate (70-80%), vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and home-made healthy desserts which are super easy to find and make (look for #healthyrecipes on Instagram).
1.2 Wake up early
Being home shouldn’t imply “stay in bed in the morning, finally”. Wake up at your regular wake-up time, so that you have enough time to do your morning routine and accomplish the other tasks planned for the day.
1.3 Drink a homemade detox lemonade as a first thing in the morning
Boost your immune system and cleanse it. Take the following ingredients and make some homemade detox lemonade:
Mix all of the ingredients and put into the fridge. Drink in the morning.
Caution: If you are prone to having low blood pressure, lower the amount of ginger and increase the amount of honey. In case you are feeling dizzy, stop drinking the lemonade right away and eat 1-2 tbs of honey.
1.4 Exercise in the morning
Since we’re cutting short on walking and moving, it is vital that we do some HIIT (high-intensity interval training) during the day. Why I prefer exercising in the morning is because you make sure it is done as one of the first things in the morning and set aside, so that you do not need to worry about it. Moreover, it will give you more energy to work better and you will want to move around during the day.
Here’s a video of a full-body home workout that doesn’t require any equipment if you don’t have any.
1.5 Get tidy every single morning
What’s your morning routine during weekdays? I believe you dress up, make your hair, get tidy, do the rest, and rush out to your workplace. Keep on doing that even if you go out only to throw the trash away. It does not matter if you’re out in the public or home, you should always be and feel nice and tidy. Don’t work in your pijamas. Change your clothes as soon as you wake up; I’m not telling you to wear a suit or high heels, but you need to look nice. That will help you be in the mood of doing something really important.
1.6 Create a task board for your work
Make a to-do list of the things you need to work on the night before and start working on those as soon as you sit at your desk in the morning. Start with the hardest task and complete it wholeheartedly.
Do not make an unrealistic to-do list, but be realistic and prioritize your tasks.
An important piece of advice in order not to go overtime, lock some time for your work.
Let’s say, from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM you’ll be sitting at your desk, being signed out of all your social media accounts, not snacking, not doing anything else, but simply working on the most important task of the day. Then have some break. Then continue with another 4-hour work period. Ta-da! That’s the easy hack.
1.7 Lock some time for each activity
As I told you above, lock some hours for each activity. Don’t mix and mingle, simply assign some time to each activity within your plan and you’ll be good to complete everything, be healthy, and have enough energy to keep up the good work.
2. Put together a nice #StayHome work desk
Scientists have proven that in order to start working and to be productive, you need to create an inspiring place to work. Find the place at your house that suits the best for working, let’s say it has the best lighting, has a good background so that you’re comfortable making video calls*, and doesn’t distract you when you’re looking around. Put some fancy stuff on your table or notebooks in order to make it “office-like” or to remind you that you shouldn’t be scrolling your Facebook while you’re sitting at that place. Create the perfect nook that will help you concentrate and work better.
*Video calls, especially when you’re e-meeting with a team of 5 and larger, require some engagement. Let’s say if you’re doing a presentation or reporting about the project, then you need to make sure that your team is aligned and actively engaged. You may want them to anonymously vote or share anonymous feedback for your presentation. Go ahead and use Swift Polling to get an interactive webinar.
3. Take short walks across your place
I know, your chair is comfy and you do not want to lose track of the task you’re doing right now. But, hey, get up and take some walk across the room or your house/apartment. Go to the restroom every 1 hour, put your glass of water afar from your desk, and help your blood circulate within your body. Just walk a little.
4. Set a few little goals while #StayHome
Since you’re not spending time on getting to your actual office or going out shopping, you free up some time for something else. Set some goals or challenges (can be weekly or monthly) and measure them by the designated date.
Let’s say, “I will learn 20 new words in French by the end of this week”, ” I will lose 2 pounds by the end of this week”, “This week I will read 2 chapters of the book that I was planning to read for 3 years now”, “I will cook 3 new dishes every week”, something along these lines, something that you really wanted to do but ‘never had time”.
This is a perfect period to challenge yourself and act upon it. Good luck!
5. Don’t get fooled by NetFlix, prioritize!
An episode after episode, one season after another, wow, that’s cool. Who will complete the other chores and tasks of yours?! Lock some time for your NetFlix and don’t get too into it. Let’s say set aside 50 mins to 1.5 hours to watch your favorite movie but don’t let it indulge you fully.
One hack from me: don’t watch NetFlix on your couch or in your bed. Sit on the floor and do some simple exercise while you’re watching. Catch two birds with one stone.
6. Nourish your Spirit to #StayHome
Your body is the temple of your Spirit! Taking care of your body is vital, however, you need to nourish your Soul as well. Whatever it is that nourishes your Spirit, either reading Bible, Khuran, meditating or reading a book, abide in your routine of watering and taking care of your Spirit. Healthy Spirit is the only way to remain peaceful and overcome the COVID-19!
We are into this together and we will come out of this together. Stay safe.
Elizabeth Keshishyan from Swift by ExciteM