Published on March 12, 2020

Video calling coworkers in your living room, Slacking from bed, making calls in the kitchen—trading a desk for a makeshift home office certainly comes with its quirks. Of course, it’s absolutely necessary as we try to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the reality of spending days on end in a house or a tiny apartment with roommates is finally sinking in. And it’s tough.

Pushing yourself to be productive is one thing; figuring out how to look after your mental health, move your body, take breaks, and wind down at the end of the day is another. So we rounded up a few simple tricks for beating the WFH blues. Share your ideas with us in the comments below—we’d love to hear how you’re staying healthy and keeping a balanced routine at the moment.

Switch Spots During the Midday Slump

Be mindful of changing up your environment, notes designer Ginny Macdonald, who worked on the Create & Cultivate office. Going from a high table to an upright desk chair to a lounger will keep your mind active and alert, and it will also remind you to chill out every once in a while.

Take a Lap Around the Block

Trinity Mouzon Wofford, the founder of Golde, runs her business out of her apartment, so she’s used to having to make an extra effort to disconnect from her inbox. Toward the end of the day, she’ll pop out for a walk around her neighborhood. Some fresh air, a bit of stretching, and a solid hour of natural light can make a world of difference.

Try a Mini Meditation

According to Sarah Romotsky, head of health and science strategy at Headspace, studies have shown that just one 15-minute meditation session can result in reduced stress, feeling calmer, and a decreased heart rate. Do it in the morning after breakfast or give it a go when you feel a lull in motivation coming on—it can reduce mind wandering and increase focus by 22 percent, she says.

Become a List Person

As far as staying on track with tasks goes, writing out your to-dos is the easiest way to ensure you accomplish things on a daily basis. Author Amanda Montell likes to keep hers realistic by only focusing on achievable goals. “I do this in my Google calendar…nothing fancy or complicated,” she says.

Create a Mood Board

There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Print and hang motivational quotes, scenic shots from a recent trip, recipes you want to try, or something that evokes your favorite hobby. Doing so will encourage you to step away from your screen and also get you thinking about all the plans you want to make once you’re back in the office and ready for a vacation—or staycation.

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