This year the DonorCare team have put their ideas together on what helps their day to day mental health. From smoothie recipes, to eating away from desk, to writing ta-da lists. We’re all finding new habits to get us through the next day. We hope some of our tips may help you too.
Tips from Mark Bell, Director of DonorCare
Working from home can often lead to bad working habits. Having worked from home either occasionally or frequently over the last 10 years, I know from my own experiences that the void between work and life can become quite grey. Here are some useful tips that help me keep the two separate.
1. Find a designated work space/room
Don’t work in your bedroom or living room, these are designed to be stress free spaces. Find a room that can be allocated specifically for work, if that’s not an option, find a space you associate with recreation / relaxing the least.
2. Adhere to a fixed working pattern
Removing the commute makes it tempting to work extra hours, which might give the impression that you get more done. Most of the time this isn’t true and in fact, over-working leads to decreased productivity and increased errors. From a life perspective, the lack of downtime can impact your mood negatively and can lead to poor quality of personal time. So whether its 09:00 – 17:00 or some other variation, when the times up, shut down, leave the room and call it a day.
3. Take regular breaks
Virtually everyone whom works from home will work with screens, its important to take a break roughly every 50 minutes to maintain eye health as much as possible. For lunch, leave the ‘office’ for at least 30 minutes and eat away from the desk, if practical, taking a short walk to clear the mind can also be great for both mental and physical health. This also helps not get distracted by the sound of emails dropping into your mailbox.
4. Avoid snacking at the desk
Subconscious snacking while working can not only have the obvious, undesired outcomes (i.e. weight gain) but also discourages you from taking regular breaks. Keep the workplace a ‘food free zone’ and use your hunger / cravings as an excuse to leave your desk and take a break.
Tips from Mateusz Przybysz, CRM Data Manager
1. Keeping a fix schedule of your day
Even though staying indoors could be a time of rest from everyday life, I think for me, the key is to avoid staying in bed for too long. I’d usually get up as soon as I’m awake so I don’t disrupt my everyday rhythms.
2. Vegetables for the loved ones
I keep inventing the most disgusting but healthy vegetable shakes, which I coerce my partner into drinking. Of course, not everyday as that would be a little mean so just every other day.
3. Consuming relevant Information
I would switch the TV off for most of the day and avoid absorbing too much information, however good or bad. Instead, I’m thinking to take on learning another language. Hvor er tennisbanene? 😉
Tips from Ben Twyman, Director of DonorCare
1. Get up and Get Moving
When you work from home it so easy to just roll out of bed and stumble to your desk – I know from experience! I now try and get up a bit earlier do some exercise to just get moving. To help, I have recently signed up to Apple fitness, and the exercise classes and mindfulness cooldowns are a great way to begin the day. This morning I did a 70s dance class which I am glad no one could see!
2. It’s not all about Zoom
Connecting with people, friends family and colleagues is important to support each other – and is definitely helping me through. I find that I am now having more conversations on the phone (I know, how old fashioned!) with friends and family and it is somehow less stressful than always zooming.
3. Be kind to yourself
Lockdown is tough, and it’s ok not to always feel ok.
Tips from Leah Lewis, Associate Consultant
1. Make a “Ta-da” List
We’re very good at writing a to-do list and ticking off when we complete tasks. But recently I have been writing a daily “ta-da” list and highlights what I have achieved each day. There is a sense of accomplishment when you can visually see achievements, however big or small they may be.
2. Don’t overwhelm yourself
I said in the previous point about making to-do lists, but often we can feel we have so much to do we overwhelm ourselves. If this is something you do, it can be so disheartening when you don’t finish everything on your list that day/week. My top tip would be to prioritise your to-do list and write your list per day, include no more than four large tasks. If you complete all of those work through some smaller tasks on your list.
3. Do something that makes you feel good!
Whatever you are currently going through, whether you are working from home, home schooling or self-isolating, do that thing that puts a smile on your face. For me, that’s having music in the background whilst I’m working (and not on video call). I love a good sing along and reminisce over my favourite tunes from when I was a teenager (I cringe now though). Take 10 minutes, go for it.
We’re all finding ways to adapt and get through our new ways of living. Sometime things can get a bit much, but… do you know what? You’re not alone. So whatever you have in your diary on 4th February this year, take some time out for you, talk to someone you haven’t in a while, or arrange a video chat with your team. Take Time to Talk.