I like to live the rule that I made up for myself: when in doubt, get cozy. I’ve been exclusively working from home for four years now, and these last couple of months have been completely exhausting. We are not just working from home, we are working from home during a major global crisis, which adds all-new layers of anxieties and expectations to the mix.
So yes, it’s no wonder that many of us are feeling some sort of form of burnout. However, we can’t exactly plan our next escape or a fun staycation. So many things are off-limits, and the only place we can really be right now is in our homes. Turning your home into a personal retreat is essential for your wellbeing, especially when you feel burnout coming on.
Find Your Space
I am very lucky to have my very own home office. Being able to close a door makes a world of difference. I am not totally ignorant to the fact that everyone can’t exactly have their own designated space. In order to promote wellness, it will require you to have a place in your home that makes you feel good. For me, that’s my decked-out home office, but for you, it could simply be a place in your home where you get the best sunlight. Be aware of the space and why you are choosing it, and how it makes you feel.
If you have to set your own mood lighting, or spray down the area with calming lavender room spray, do it.
Do Something Delightful
You are now in your makeshift ‘happy place.’ Now what? What soothes and calms you when you feel like you’re about to hit a breaking point? What makes you feel comfortable? Take some time to brainstorm different activities that you can do and set an intention for each one. Then, do something that makes you feel good in your designated space. For instance, I’ve been coloring on my iPad lately. I love the Lake app. I pick a cute image and start to color it in, not worrying about what looks good, but instead, I let my feelings guide me. It’s a way that I release some of my tension from the day. Plus, I can do it while catching up on my Hulu shows.
Make a Schedule
Haven’t you learned by now that one of my favorite steps of any task is the planning phase? If you are anything like me, you are on your phone hopelessly ignoring incoming emails and hoping to hide from the stress of the workday. That’s why it’s important to make time for your intentions. Lately, I’ve been using the Pomodoro method for getting work done. So, after 45 minutes of work, I’ll take 10 or 25 minutes to look at anything that doesn’t have a screen! I’ll sit in my favorite spot and read the paper or flip through a magazine.
Penciling in wellness should totally be a thing. We should all be doing it, especially if we’re naturally constantly taking care of others. Throughout the day, you should be scheduling tidbits for yourself. Consider adding tasks that relax you as well as energize you throughout the day.
Possibly the hardest part of all of this is learning to unplug and disconnect from work. This means no emails or social media. At 7 p.m. every weekday, my phone switches to night mode, so all of my notifications are paused. I only make an allowance for phone calls from friends and families. Setting my tech gear to automatically switch to night mode has saved me from a lot of late nights. I always remind my coworkers that we’re not saving lives, and it’s OK to unplug and take time for yourself. You can’t take it all so seriously, otherwise you will consistently burnout.
Add Personal Touches
Make your time and space all about you. Personally, nothing makes me feel better than being curled up with my blankie…I’ve had this cozy fuzzy blanket for years that I sleep with, and having it with me always makes me feel better. When it comes to creating your own personal retreat, add elements that are personal to you. Below are some of my favorite items to add to my space when I need to chill.