When you work from home, the lines between work and leisure often start to blur. That’s especially true in situations like the current COVID-19 pandemic, which, thanks to social distancing, has made it harder for many of us to feel like we’re actually taking a break on weekends.
But reclaiming some balance to your days and weeks isn’t just good for your mental health—it’s good for your productivity, too.
Here are our favorite suggestions on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance when both activities take place inside the same space.
On weekdays, it’s important to create a routine that helps you minimize distractions and focus on what you need to get done. Here’s how:
- Don’t get stuck in a WFH rut of waking up and just walking over to your kitchen table to start the day. Instead, hold yourself accountable to at least 30 minutes of movement. This can be anything from going for a walk, run, yoga, stretching, dancing, etc.
- Virtual happy hours are all the rage right now, and your pantry full of quarantine snacks is just a few feet away—but moderation is key. Save the special treats for the weekend to make them more special.
- Actively seek out virtual water-cooler moments with your colleagues. Whether your work is more collaborative or more solitary, it helps to stay connected with your peers and colleagues to swap anecdotes and ideas—and maybe spark a few creative insights.
- Dress for work (and no, we don’t mean putting on a new pair of pajamas). Use your wardrobe to differentiate between the parts of your day and week, and you’ll be even happier to put those PJs on in the evening and over the weekend.
When the weekend rolls around, it’s time to put your work self aside and embrace your weekend warrior. The key here is to make sure these activities differ from your weekday routine. Here’s how:
- Don’t check your work email at the same frequency. While we all love an empty inbox, checking your email less often is an easy way to separate work from home. Additionally, unless a request is truly urgent, reply at a designated time during the weekend—or just wait until Monday.
- Spend time engaging in relaxing, fun activities. Whether that’s making pancakes with the family, Marie Kondo-ing your garage, or trying out a new face mask, find what relaxes you and invest some time in it to make the weekend feel like the weekend.
- Try out a more intensive, group online workout class. Due to the pandemic, there has been an incredible push by gyms and studios across the country to keep their members engaged with free online classes. Keep your head in the weekend mindset by attending an online group class that’s more intensive than your usual 30 minutes of movement.
- Staying connected during the quarantine is crucial. Bringing back Sunday dinners (via Zoom or Skype of course) is an easy way to spend time with friends and family. For an extra layer of fun, try some game apps like Heads Up.
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