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How to work from home during quarantine or self-isolation

Just a few words about what’s going on and how to protect yourself and others around you

I know it feels like a never ending episode of the Twilight Zone, but it’s not. Our daily reality, lives and routines have changed drastically in the last few weeks. For some of us this means staying home with the kids, working from home (#wfh) and for others it means losing our jobs. This pandemic is a serious health situation and no one is immune.

Before I get into the actual topic of how to work from home in our new normal, I need to address an issue. The issue of not staying home during this time and only to venture out for work, essentials likes food or medical care. I get it, you want out, you need space from the kids, your roommate or spouse. You miss the coffee dates with your girls, and taking the kids to the park. 

Yet, this is not the time to be selfish. Just because you’re young and healthy, that doesn’t mean you can’t get sick. You can get sick and you can spread COVID-19 easily to individuals in your community.  These include the elderly, individuals who have underline health issues like cancer, diabetes, asthma or other autoimmune diseases.

For these people, even some healthy people the results of contracting COVID-19 could mean hospitalization or death. Pretty scary, right? The simplest way to stay safe and slow the spread so we can go back to our lives, is too….

STAY HOME!!!!!!!

Like I said in my Instagram post earlier this week, is that we DO have power during times like this. We each have the responsibility and the power to do our part to slowing down the spread of COVID-19.

How can you stop the spread?

Stay home, practice social distancing and constantly wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap. Cough or sneeze into your arm, disinfect commonly touched surfaces in your home like; door handles, toilets, soap dispensers, taps, television remotes, light switches, computers, tablets, staircase railings, toys, your car doors, seatbelts, touch screens, your buttons in your car, and your steering wheel. High traffic areas like your kitchen cabinet handles, dishwasher, microwave and fridge door handles or even items like hair brushes and cell phones.

When you’re leaving the house consider taking hand sanitizer that contains 70% or higher isopropyl alcohol. Disinfect shopping carts and where children touch in shopping carts and basket handles. I know this is not eco-friendly but don’t use reusable grocery bags right now. When you’re shopping make sure to buy enough for a week or more of supplies without hoarding essentials like soap, toilet paper, medicine, baby food or diapers.

Now this next step may seem extreme but disinfect your groceries before putting them away or leaving (non-perishable items) in your garage for three days. We’ve been hand washing fruits and vegetables with hot soapy water and dish soap, using disinfect spray (make sure it’s safe) on cans, thick plastics, cereal boxes and placing bread in a plastic container.  We’ve also been leaving our cell phones and purses in the trunk before entering a store, and not touching them until we’ve returned home washed our hands and then retrieved the groceries and other items from the trunk.

Basically, any items that come into our home get disinfected and we wash our hands after. There are several members in my household that are high-risk and these measures sound extreme, but it’s our way to try to keep everyone safe.

Remember to get your health information from official sources like The World Health Organization or your government sites, not places like Facebook or some man on Twitter who “knows a guy”.

Here are some quick tips from the World Health Organization on dealing with mental health during COVID-19. 

Now to the blog post, sorry I just had to get that off my chest.

How to work from home during quarantine or self-isolation:

The first tip to becoming motivated and keeping calm is by having a daily routine. Creating a routine and schedule provides structure which can help with reducing stress and feeling sluggish. Start with the time that wake up  and schedule your day in detail. This includes having breaks, showering, exercise, working and even bedtime.

Example of Daily Routine: 

Monday-Friday

6:00 AM – Wake Up

6:05 AM – Stretch

6:15 AM – Drink water and start making coffee and breakfast

7:00 AM – Workout

7:30 AM – Shower and Get dressed

8:30 AM – Email Check and review daily goals

8:50AM – 11 AM [Work Block]

11:05 AM – Coffee Break, Meditate or go for a walk

11:30 AM – Market Calling

12:30 PM – Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Zoom calls with team, client calls and email check

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM – Break {Stretch}

3:05 PM – 4:30 PM – Last email check, create task list for tomorrow and finish last few calls.

5:00 PM – Sign off and start making dinner

7:30 PM – Walk or Read

8:00 PM – Kids in bed, laundry and last minute house tidy up

9:00 PM – Wine and Netflix

10:00 PM – Bed

TIP:

When you first wake up don’t reach for your phone and start going through your email, the news or social networking sites. Start the day with a clear head. Take this time to have a glass of water, mediate or journal for a few minutes. You can even review your daily goal list, or make a cup of coffee.

The next tip is to get dressed! I cannot express how much of a game changer this has been for me, even putting on some makeup. You don’t need to wear actual pants if you don’t want too, but get dressed into something you didn’t sleep in the night before. Bra’s are optional at this point unless you need to be on a Zoom meeting with your team.

Take breaks during the day, making sure you are eating breakfast and lunch. Try reading, going for a walk or running your stairs during your breaks. Movement will clear your mind, just remember that if you’re going for a walk to social distance from others.

If you’re like me and you work from home, have a dedicated office space or area. This can be a seat on your kitchen table, a chair in the backroom or anywhere that’s not where you sleep. Do not work from your bed, it’s not a good mix and will affect your sleep.

Lastly, remember to have a cut off time (yes that means put the phone down). If you’re done work around the same time everyday, that will help with the structure of your daily routine.

Don’t forget that it’s ok to have off days, lazy days and naps. You don’t have to be productive every single day, but do what you can with the time you have.

The most important tip is to have contact with others over phone, Facebook, Google hangouts or whatever you choose. Social distancing is important but it doesn’t mean to cut off contact to the outside world. 

Let me know if you have any work from home tips in the comments below! I hope some of these tips and information on how you can stop the spread helped!

– Larissa Elle

 

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