It’s always been easy to put wellbeing right at the bottom of your to-do list, especially when you’re managing your business or your job through the most challenging times. The thing is, even before the pandemic burnout was a problem for many. Achieving that magical ideal
of a life work balance sounded like a joke when you had deadlines to meet and a demanding family waiting at home. If the opposite has happened and there is not enough work, with time on your hands and your mind, then taking care of yourself can rapidly become the one thing you can’t be bothered with.
So, what to do? It is undeniably important to look after yourself. If you’re feeling fit, healthy and happy, then work and life is easier too. More than ever before it’s time to look after both body and soul.
Name that excuse
Let’s start with the excuses – too tired, too late, too little time, too expensive, too whatever. Write them down and admit which are actual obstacles or plain old excuses.
Write down your well being wishes
● Make a list of what you would really like to do for health and happiness
● Check them out against your obstacles and excuses
● Highlight activities you know you could do today
● Park the obstacles for another day
● Then do just one of those activities within 24 hours
● So long as it’s to please yourself, then you’re on your way
Below are a few ideas for how to make your wellbeing wishes come true:
1. Get up earlier
Early birds do get the worm. Deal with distractions, household tasks and clear the day for your work and plans. Do the hero pose and tell yourself you’ve got this day sorted.
2. Plan your day
Put in a structure for what you are doing when. Working from home has revealed a curious phenomenon – it makes the previously planned out day pretty fluid. This leads to flexible starts, lost lunch breaks, too many biscuits and long evenings at your glowing screen. Same thing goes for being quiet – the whole day can evaporate in vaguely doing one task, which should really have taken 20 minutes. So be strict about when you start and finish work, and take proper breaks. That way you’ll know you’ve put in enough hours and can relax properly when you stop.
3. My 15 minutes
Allocate as a minimum 15 minutes just for you. No guilt allowed as this has equal priority with work-work or housework or home schooling-work or anything else you are doing. Add more 15 minutes slots if you can realistically schedule them in. Ideally it should involve exercise outdoors even if it’s only a walk up the road and back.
4. Tidy desk
Make your desk space work for you and personalise it with only two favourite objects. Aim for tidiness as there is nothing like hunting for an elusive document to ramp up stress levels. Keep both your paperwork and your digital filing in good shape, read and edit all emails and know where you are up to. If paperwork is making your life a nightmare then get help. Which brings me to…
5. Ask for help
Don’t be a hero and try to be everything for everybody but choose to delegate with confidence instead. You’ll find that colleagues, partners, children and friends will often jump to help if you ask. Either ask them what they would like to do and take them up on their offer, or be specific and allocate a task with a clear view on what needs to be achieved by when and why it will make a difference.
6. Free exercise
Start small and keep going regularly. There are many free online exercise classes on YouTube lasting about 10 minutes which you can pop into your 15 minutes. A good place to start is Yoga With Adriene. Joe Wicks is famously another good motivator and Instagram is always showing options you can buy into cheaply. And there’s a walk starting at your front door and the garden at the back. That interactive bike is probably not the answer because if you loved exercise and missed the gym, you’d have already bought it by now and wouldn’t be reading this blog.
It’s official that sitting is bad for you, so get up regularly from your desk or sofa, do a few gentle stretches to reverse your body out of sitting shape, and get some fresh air at the window.
8. It’s the small things
When you are out, take the time to really look and listen to anything in the natural world that catches your attention. Then focus on that even if only briefly, and your mind will thank you. Meditating is mainstream now, with plenty of great apps available to give your mind a rest from the hamster wheel of endless thinking.
If you have time to spare, you can help others by offering your skills. Until you’ve tried it you don’t realise quite how good it feels to be kind and do your bit for free. You get to meet new people who have nothing to do with your current life which is always refreshing.
10. Eat well
We all know what we need to do. Plenty of vegetables, some protein, some fruit and a few carbs. Enough but not too much. And not forgetting occasional chips or pink cakes along the way for sanity.
11. Ditch doomscrolling and focus
If you’re one of those night owls rescanning news after midnight on your device, you need to stop it. As part of your day’s structure, allocate specific time windows for social media, news and checking private emails. Then put your phone face down and on silent and focus on your family, your meal or your movie. We all know that clueless feeling when you look back up at a movie and have no idea what’s going on.
12. Go to bed earlier
And this circles neatly back to point #1, because you’ll be able to get up earlier. Disrupted sleep has been one of the big conversations in 2020 with mad dreams in the mix. However, research has also shown that people are catching up on the sleep they’ve always needed now that they are spared long commutes. Give yourself a clear hour without devices before sleep and keep devices out of the bedroom as studies show Wi-Fi may be a sleep disruptor. Yep, you’ll need to buy a simple cheap battery alarm clock, but it’s worth it.
For any of these points you can find a wealth of information online as well as more ideas on how to look after your wellbeing when it comes to work – even if you’re working from home. From all of us at Pink Spaghetti, we’d just like to say look after yourselves – you deserve it!