In one way or another, the global COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on us all. For one, it is transforming our daily routines and lifestyles, with many now working from home in an effort to flatten the curve, or as a result of a lockdown. More devastatingly, many businesses have been forced to shutter completely, leaving hundreds of thousands jobless or in limbo.
For a lot of us staying cooped up in doors, navigating this time to stay productive and carve out time for self-care is easier said than done. More often than not, hopelessness, helplessness and lethargy are quick to take charge, and with the structure of daily routines unravelling, the lines between weekdays and weekends quickly begin to blur. Plus, there’s a perpetual push of anxiety-laden news; you can’t look away from the apocalyptic social media feeds; you can't not worry about friends and family.
"There’s a lot you can do to make the most of this time. Invest in yourself, give your mind and your body a real break, and use this time wisely to re-calibrate."
With that being said, there are a number of benefits to social distancing. Apart from being one of the best ways to flatten the curve, protect yourself from COVID-19, and ease the pressure that’s weighing down on overwhelmed healthcare professionals, there’s a lot you can do to make the most of this time. Invest in yourself, give your mind and your body a real break, and use this time wisely to reflect on, and re-calibrate, certain aspects of your life.
We’ve all wished for a few days spent working from home (albeit not in this dystopian-like context), but now that there's more bandwidth for introspection, below we've rounded up 9 ways in which you can really maximise this time for yourself.
Illustration courtesy of Chloe Smart (@chloesmartprint)
1. Reset your Routine
It's easy to de-prioritise your health and fitness when you have to spend long hours in the office or on busy commutes. When working from home, this extra time is all yours. Use it to get started on your dream morning routine—gulp down a glass of lemon water, meditate, practise yoga, stretch your body, or pen down your thoughts.
Moreover, now is a great time to spend more energy on a skincare routine. At Yours, we are staunch proponents of self-care, and skincare is one of the best ways to practise it!
2. Practise the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the very few productivity hacks that really works. It involves breaking up any given day into 25-minute chunks, separated by 5-minute breaks––a.k.a pomodoros. These forced breaks help instil a sense of urgency, and prevent you from squandering your time on distractions. Plus, it gives your body the breather it needs––sitting still all day is a big no-no, for your mind and your body.
P.S: It's a good idea to rely on an alarm or a timer to help you stick to your 5-minute breaks. You don’t want to end up eating away at your work hours unnecessarily!
3. Reorganise Your Wardrobe…and Your Playlist!
Let’s admit it. Our wardrobes can always benefit from spring cleaning. Additionally, not only is decluttering and reorganisation exciting, it's extremely therapeutic. It calms your nerves by giving you a sense of control over your surroundings. Plus, it exposes you to all those clothes you may have forgotten about. If you’re not sure where to start, look to Marie Kondo for some inspiration! 😉
Once you’re done with your cupboard, move on to your music playlists. It's the best time to organise all your favourites, get rid of stuff you're no longer into, or discover new sounds!
4. Go Braless—24/7
While not many talk about this one, it’s one of the best perks of WFH for women. Not only does it feel realllly comfy, it also offers a multitude of health benefits. For instance, less restriction around the chest area improves blood circulation and your breast shape.
5. Let your Skin Breathe
Ladies, now’s the time to embrace makeup-free skin. This will let your pores breathe and keep skin free from heavy oils, preservatives and synthetic fragrances. You’ll also be reducing those flurries of breakouts by going au naturel.
You can also take this time to wash your makeup brushes if you’ve been procrastinating all this while. Bacteria in brushes is one of the leading causes of harmful makeup effects on skin.
Illustration courtesy of Chloe Smart (@chloesmartprint)
6. Redesign your Home
This doesn’t need to involve hardcore carpentry or major changes. You could simply rearrange your furniture, refresh your bedding, declutter your workspace, or introduce some oxygen-releasing plants! These DIY renovation techniques can be extremely therapeutic. Plus, a happy mental state also promotes healthy skin!
7. Learn a New Skill
Have you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument? Whatever happened to that online course you signed up for? Working from home leaves you with lots of time to devote to your hobbies or hobbies-to-be.
It could perhaps be just the push you need to step out of your comfort zone, and try something you never thought you would. It’s time to unleash your hidden talents!
8. Take Things Slow
We've had to kick-off 2020 by slowing things down. And that can be a good thing. Practice social distancing the right way: take walks around your locality, catch up on your favourite Netflix shows, read and educate yourself about new things, or simply enjoy the sunset. Soak in every moment, and observe how that makes you feel––now's a great time to just be present with yourself and your surroundings.
9. Reclaim your Commuting Time
Since you’re not spending hours stuck in traffic or recuperating from fatigue, channel your time and energy into connecting with your friends and family. Just because we should all practice physical distancing doesn't mean we should stop socialising. Apart from video chats and life updates, this could also involve playing board games, doing puzzles or art projects, or other interactive activities to engage with each other – be creative!
Although you’re certainly going to miss it all––the water cooler conversations, general office banter, and even back-to-back in person meetings––when done right, working from home can be pretty rewarding too. So, don’t let this time weigh you down or stress you out more than it should. Instead, use it to give yourself the TLC you deserve. Remember—#ThisTimeIsYours.