Setting Boundaries With Yourself While Working From Home
Take a 15 minute nap, but in your car.
Imaged Sourced Via upsplash.com
Remote working, or working from home is challenging. Even if your work was already based online, now it's purely done from within the walls of your home. There's no coffee shops, no internet cafes (are those even a thing nowadays?) And there's definitely no more Co-Working spaces like WeWork and NeueHouse. I hope they refunded you your membership because it looks like we're going to be working from home for a while to come. Today's post is all about those work from home boundaries, as we continue to forge ahead into uncharted territories.
Remember when we had to convince our boss working from home was good for our mental health and employee morale? Perspective is everything.
#1 Avoid Grazing all day while working
A couple heavy hitters are responsible for the half eaten blueberry muffin next to your laptop right now: boredom, stress, and poor nutrition. Set boundaries with yourself that encourage you to stop stress eating and eating out of boredom. If you’re wondering where the quarantine 15 are coming from it's from grazing all day while working from home. Support your decision to do better for yourself by creating better routines, that alleviate stress and boredom.
Every night, I take some time to relax by meditating and praying. I lay in bed, put on headphones and an eye mask, and play some calming music in the background while I clear my mind. This helps me sleep better at night and reduces my anxiety and stress during the day.” - Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Writer's Digest Contributor In Her Article, “I Was Eating My Way Through Quarantine—Here’s How I Stopped”
If you’ve been eating a whole bunch of carbs and ZERO nutrient dense foods, you probably ARE actually hungry all day. Swap the blueberry muffin for a protein shake in the morning, you’ll last until lunch and graze a lot less. My favorite power breakfast (or brunch) is scrambled egg whites and bell peppers, a plant based protein shake, blended with oat milk and frozen mango chunks.
When faced with suddenly being at home all day, the biggest thing we lose is our routine. The first thing I recommend is establishing a meal schedule. Setting up a meal schedule can help to decrease boredom and emotional eating because it provides a structure that eliminates mindless eating.” - Nutrition Essentials from the, Cleveland Health Clinic
#2 Try NOT to Eat During Zoom Meetings
“It’s unphotogenic,” says The Guardian Columnist, Zoe Williams. It also doesn't really make sense, unless you’re stacked with zoom meetings from 8am-5pm, with absolutely no break, you should be able to eat around your scheduled meetings. We’re working from home now, there’s no two hours lost to commute. Your kitchen, most likely, is no more than two ten feet from where you’re seated working from home.
I had spent a week doing Zoom dinners before anyone told me it was better to eat before you started. Chewing may be uniquely unphotogenic: it turns out, all those times we went out to dinner before, we were just putting up with each other’s mastication as the price of companionship.” - Columnist Zoe Williams, for The Guardian
Creating this boundary of not eating during meetings also speaks volumes to your desire to cultivate a growth mindset. You are working hard at understanding what works best for your body and how that aligns with your nutrition plans. Creating boundaries around eating doesn't have to be limiting. Not eating during a Zoom Meeting may appear to be a limiting boundary, but it’s not, It’s taking care of yourself and time.
Feed your body when you have time to sit down and enjoy the act of eating your food, this is what nurturing your body looks like.
#3 Don’t work in your Bed (If you can help it)
Buy a chair, a desk, and some of your sanity back by not working from your bed. If this was a Rom-Com it would be named, ‘50 first dates with your bed.’ Let’s get your bed back, by kicking work out from under the covers and establishing some healthy boundaries.
According to the Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Being more Productive, they mention: “Unless you are careful to maintain boundaries, you may start to feel like you’re always at work and losing a place to come home to.” [...]Working right before going to sleep, and looking at a bright screen, reduces the melatonin you need to fall asleep. This means it will be more challenging to get a better quality of sleep[...]”- Fast Company, This Is How Working In Bed Impacts Your Productivity
Want to know why your quality of sleep is key to your wellness goals, you can check out our article: 7 ways sleep can help you lose weight.
We’re not going to tell you to get up and get dressed. If you don’t have meetings that day, wear your underwear, go nude: we don’t care, that’s the freedom of working from home.
#4 Take Work Breaks That Actually Help You Focus While Working
Taking breaks is an important boundary to create for both your mental health and your work productivity. The line is now blurred between our home life and our work life right now, so make sure to be extra gentle with yourself. That means knowing it's okay to walk away from your laptop for 15 minutes sporadically before you even feel the pressure to do so.
- Do some desk stretches at least every hour. Move that neck, wiggle those shoulders, and since you’re working from home now- why not pull out your desk chair relax into a Forward Fold and then move into a nice Down Dog. Flow into Chaturanga, rock back to Child's Pose and just breathe. We know working at home can be just as frustrating as working in the office.
- Take a 15 minute nap, but in your car. Interesting right, we’re all no stranger to heading out to our cars during the work day. But why can’t we do that while we’re working from home, actually, there’s no reason we can’t. It will also keep you from crawling into bed as well as getting you out of the house, and if you have children, some much needed privacy. Just make sure they’re responsible enough to be on their own, so you know, they don’t burn the house down, but you know that.
- Take a break outdoors with your pooch. Toss the tennis ball and get in a good couple solid rounds of fetch. Strap on the leash and do a brisk walk around the block. The fresh air will do you good and if it’s even possible your pouch will love you even more. These aren’t really potty breaks, they’re in addition to.
- Crack open a magazine, and read a couple articles. It’s an active way to give your brain a break and maybe inspire a rut you’ve been in with your current work project. You can try this one to wrap up your lunch break.
Setting Boundaries In A Relationship While Co-working From Home
Whether your partner and you are both working or only one of you it's important to have important discussions about working boundaries. Whether it's you both work in the same room and only catch up when you both happen to be breaking, or if you have your own office area and pretend the other isn't even home. Whether it may be it's important to set boundaries so you don't feel resentment toward your partner interrupting you while you're trying to meet a dead, to show you a funny baby video.
#5 Don’t work in Bed (Part 2.)
Besides overstepping the boundary between home life and sleep quality, it also displaces your partner if they want to sleep-in or come in for a midday nap. Co-working with your partner means respecting their boundaries as well as yours, and NOT assuming their boundaries are the same as yours. They might not say anything, but I think they’ll appreciate it if you keep the bedroom for sexy-time and rest only.
#6 Respect Your Partners Boundaries
Look, my boyfriend loves me, but I can tell you right now he’s less than enthused about the prospect of us both working from home full time. He’s used to silent, slow days at home full of coffee-drinking and movie-watching (his actual, enviable job). When I work from home, on the other hand, I’m like a pinball bouncing between the energy levels of a sleepy cartoon rat and a hurricane that drank a Red Bull.” - Sophia Benoit, for Gentlemen’s Quarterly
Share with your partner how you want your at-home work environment to be, and in return listen to what they want theirs to look like. Benoit says,
“Two words: Separate. Workspaces.”
---BCRX Content Creator, Klarrisa Arafa