Many of you are now classified as desk-based athletes with a home ground advantage. This along with an IT nightmare for those of the less tech-savvy generation can pose many challenges both physically and mentally. We have teamed up with the Psychologist half of calmd (Kirsten Forgione) to put together a few real-life tips and tricks to help keep the body and mind ticking over in a somewhat normal fashion.
The ergonomic desk set up has been done to death and you can follow that in the picture below.
So we thought we would give you some real-talk and some tips to make you work from home as grand as possible.
1. Movement is medicine.
This does not have to be a marathon amount of it. However, getting up every 30 minutes of so can have a great effect on blood flow in the lower limbs as well as preventing the ol’ hammer and tack (back) from stiffening up. When you are at work there is plenty more distractions and reasons to get up in the office such as hourly water cooler chat, coffee breaks, going to the copier and bugging the IT guy about something that can be solved by ‘turning it off then on again’. There are tried and tested strategies such as setting a timer to get up. But how many of us have just ignored that and kept powering through. Solution! Drink more water. We suggest the healthish drink bottle. Gives you a target for each hour with the time of day on the side of the bottle. Good luck ignoring your bladder I say! You will as a result have to get up a little more regularly to avoid peeing at your new ergonomically astute work-station.
If exercise is part of your normal work-day routine. Don’t think that because you now have access to an extra hour of sleep without travel that you should go full time sh*theap and give up on the exercise part of your day. Your body will thank you for maintaining the day in day out routine it has been in for years. On the flip side, if exercise hasn’t been a part of your day. What better opportunity to continue to get up at your normal time and use your travel time as your new found exercise time. Walk the dog, walk the better half / boss, do some body weight based strengthening. In the words of the great EJ Whitten: “Don’t think. DOOOOO!!!!!” After all this exercise you may find it helpful to have a short stretch or have a go at one of Laurence’s home pilates sessions (coming soon).
3. If you drink coffee at work, drink coffee at home.
Many people may report headaches when commencing a work from home arrangement. This could be due a change in caffeine intake. Now if you are like me and lack a café style coffee machine and barrister at home, this poses to opportunities in one. Support the local cafes that may be doing it tough. And on the above theme, walk to support said local café. Two birds, one stone, boxes ticked, world saved. Well we are working on that last one.
4. The show must go on
It is important to know, that we are business as usual at all four sites. The best part is, many of you that are now home based, have in increased level of flexibility. Which means it has never been easier to fit in an appointment to get that niggle or pain in the back sorted! Now we hand over to Kirsten for her top tips to keep the mind en pointe. As we know the mind and body play an important role in supporting and complimenting each other.
Mind - Body Tips
1. Set meaningful goals.
When we’re working from home, we can easily lose track of what we’re trying to achieve because we’re distracted by what’s going on at around us (perhaps it’s the kids, the pets, the housework or the pantry!). We can also easily blur our work life boundaries and work longer hours, and sometimes less productively. So, we need to have goals. Goals are good for our productivity, but also for our psychological wellbeing because they give us meaning, motivation and a sense of accomplishment. As the famous saying goes, “begin with the end in mind” – so identify what you’re trying to achieve, and then craft your plan so you know where to focus. Your plan should include any resources or support you need, and a timeframe. And be mindful of when you’re most productive – and schedule your most difficult tasks then.
2. Ensure you stay connected.
Working from home can make us feel lonely, particularly if it’s not something we’re used to doing, and / or if we’re working from home for sustained periods of time. Without regular opportunities to connect with our colleagues, we can feel isolated and disconnected. So, when we’re working from home, we need to make sure we stay connected. Connections matter for our psychological wellbeing – we actually have a psychological and biological need for social interaction and connectedness (and yes, that includes introverts too!). So, make sure to actively reach out to your colleagues – send them a note, pick up the phone, set up a video call. And although for some of us it might feel awkward or uncomfortable, or perhaps you’re enjoying the opportunity to work alone, remember that social connection will benefit us all.
3. Practice gratitude.
Our brains have evolved to be ‘threat detectors’ which means we’re always scanning our environment for threat and danger. And right now, there’s so much of it. So, to circumvent our brain’s catastrophic bent, we need to express gratitude. Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, which in turn, improves our physical and psychological health, and helps us cope more effectively with adversity. Consider a reflective practice such as writing a journal, or a more interactive approach such as expressing gratitude to others (e.g. saying thank you, gifting small tokens of our appreciation). This is something you can do as a Team, or with your partner, family or friends at the end of the work day. And if you’re interested, a good one for the kids, is “Three Stars and a Wish”; where ‘three stars’ are the positive things they notice, and a ‘wish’ is something they want to improve or do differently. I think it’s a good one for the adults too 😊
In exciting news, Kirsten is working on the finishing touches for her new business – myndly www.myndly.co Soon, you’ll be able to book in counselling and coaching sessions with Kirsten, and attend workshops designed to enhance performance and wellbeing. Make sure to start following her on Instagram @myndly.co