With everyone in the world dealing with some degree of social distancing, it can be easy for us to forget about taking care of ourselves during stressful times. High stress levels affect us in different ways, and we need to stop ourselves from getting into deep and creating irreversible damage. Reminding ourselves of ways to perform self care when we are in high-stress environments will push us out of the stress fight or flight response and into a state of oneness with ourselves. Today, I will share with you some self-care tasks I love to do. You see, I have been working from home for over 18 years, and to do this, I had to develop certain techniques for self-care.
I hope these self-care tasks also help you to reduce your anxiety. These tasks can be done during your lunch break or after work. Some can even be done before bed or waking up in the morning.
Find the right time in the day when you can maximize the effects. This could be in the morning before you take a shower. In the evening, after dinner, or before bed. Look at the time of day you seem less productive. Usually, that time is when you can refocus your energy on something more effective. Let's begin.
18 Tasks to do for Self-Care when working from home
Soak your feet in Epsom salt.
If you have a tile floor under your desk, you can even do this while you are working. Why not? People can't see your feet.
Take a bath.
It can be a bubble bath. Locking the door will give you a little more privacy too.
Read a short story at lunch.
Instead of scrolling through news feeds or seeing what everyone else is doing, put down the phone and read a short story to escape from the world.
Take care of a task you thought, “I need to do this.”
This could be cleaning out the junk drawer. Or pull out the trash from the car.
Do an “I want to do this …" task to improve your surroundings.
These tasks may be something you wanted to go through, like a file drawer but haven't done so yet.
Reach out to family members and friends.
Instead of texting, call or facetime time and see how things are going.
Share your gratitude with other family members online.
This could be sharing your favorite motivational quote or sharing the things you enjoy. These gratitude items shouldn't be sarcastic, nor should they be negative. Stay with a positive, uplifting theme.
Deep breathing exercises.
There are lots of deep breathing exercises you can find online. Click here to see examples I found on WebMD.
Watch an uplifting movie.
There are many uplifting movies out there. You can find plenty of them on Disney+.
Talk about how you are feeling.
Make sure it is in a safe place and with people you trust.
Do a craft project, draw, paint, or play music.
Another task of self care when working from home is picking up a craft or hobby. Are you a creative person, pick your favorite hobby and do that for an hour each day.
Drink a cup of herbal tea.
A tea break in the afternoon gives your mind time to rest.
Exercise by taking a walk or participating in an exercise video on YouTube.
Spend time taking in nature.
This could be going into your backyard and looking at the new growth.
Sit outside and watch the birds.
Spending time watching little animals eat at the birdfeeder is a lovely way to escape.
Write in a journal.
You could write your thoughts about what is happening that day.
Reminiscing and revisiting the old times.
Revisit photo albums and talk about your favorite experiences with others.
Revisit the Facebook Memories for that day and check out your old posts.
You can do a combination of these tasks if you want. It may help relax you more quickly. The point of this is to stop your mind from going to a place that makes you even more stressed.
Remember, staying focused on the work tasks will let the other things go. Be mindful of the tasks at hand. Turning off the notifications will also help. Staying in the moment is best. Don’t rush. Relax. Enjoy this time of peace.
Let's continue the conversation; how have you been performing self-care while working from home? Please leave a comment below.
Below are some articles I found on the topic of self-care and social distancing. I hope you find them interesting and helpful.
Self-care and social distancing
15 ways to practice self-care in the time of coronavirus
See below are some relaxation technique articles to help you.
Six relaxation techniques to reduce stress
40 Ways to Relax in 5 Minutes or Less
Feel free to visit our other taking care of yourself tips in our posts below.
20 WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF IN 20 MINUTES
ANOTHER 20 WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF IN 20 MINUTES
SELF-IMPROVEMENT PROJECT FOR THE BEST YOU
THE BEST ADVICE YOU WERE TOLD ABOUT TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
During this slowdown, I have been working on self-care. Trying to incorporate some things that I have wanted to do for a long time. I found someone who does a free 20 meditation at 8 am on Facebook. In regular times I would be an hour or two into work already, but I've been able to slow down and participate and find it very soothing. I hope to make it a priority and continue doing it.
You are so right. It’s more important now than ever to take care of yourself. You mentioned a few things that I am dedicated to.
I grew up believing that the phone was the next best thing to being there. I’d much rather have a conversation that’s real rather than hide behind text which is quick. I want to know how my loved ones are doing during this time and that takes more than a sentence. I do text, but when I want to stay in touch I want to hear the persons voice.
I’m watching fantastic movies on Netflix and HBO and loving every minute.I’m also exercising several times a day to online videos. This is a first for me and low and behold I got myself moving.
Thank you for the reminders.
Great tips for being kind to oneself, especially when stress levels are high. For me, I need to do a lot of things that completely absorb me. I can't meditate or deep breathe (or, dear gracious, do a craft) but if I sit down to practice Italian on a Duolingo (a gamified app) then, I feel closer to my memories of vacationing in Italy, and it slows my heart rate right down.
My favorite of your tips was to read a short story at lunchtime. I read a lot, but almost never read short stories. Yet they are so immediately satisfying!
These self-care reminders are acts of self-compassion. I agree that it's always essential to renew the soul, but especially in these days of higher than normal anxiety, the self-care piece is necessary. So many of the beautiful items on your list I do regularly, such as tea-drinking, being in nature, journaling, and connecting with people. I also have a daily meditation practice and, in the past months, began taking yoga classes, which are now available on Zoom.
One small thing I did to "improve" my home environment was to install a simple Command hook/clip. Right before the crisis, our dishwasher broke. We will replace it eventually, but not until the pandemic is over. For now, we're washing dishes by hand, which I enjoy. I've always loved playing with water. Even as a small child, my mom used to set me up with a sink full of soapy water and buckets. I loved it!
But as you can imagine, with all the additional hand-washing and sanitizing, washes dishes by hand has made my hands chapped. So I started wearing bright green rubber gloves while doing the dishes. I had no place to hand them until I installed a clip-style command hook on the inside door of the sink cabinet. It's a small thing, but it gives me so much joy to return them to their spot each time. Silly, but significant.
That's great, Linda! I do find that we can get depressed and not want to do anything when we are "stuck" at home, but eventually, as we get more comfortable in our homes, we start to realize how much these areas bothered us. And, being around them and seeing them often, we want to change them.
Love that quote at the end. This time when we are living in "close quarters" makes self-care all the more important, because it we don't care for ourselves, we will take it out on those around us. I'm feeling this pressure for sure. I have to agree that the power of deep breathing is pretty incredible. Such a simple and free option, wish such powerful results! So timely...
Thanks, Seana! While I work from home most of the time, I found reminding myself of these options, helped me realize that this is not a permanent change. I hope it helps others to relax and be grateful for their home, family, and for being well and safe.
Being able to integrate these activities throughout the workday is just one of the perks of working from home. Based on my start and end times, it might seem that I work more hours than people who work outside the home, but by the time I factor in my breaks, it all evens out.
I'm the same way. I find that my day can stretch to the evening. I also have breaks throughout the day that helps me rejuvenate and stay more productive overall. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.