It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything on here and it seems like a lot has changed in the world since posting about my March agenda earlier in the month (which did not include mention of a pandemic or self-quarantine). In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, most of us are now working remotely, many for the first time; phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” have entered our vocabulary; and we’re keeping in touch with friends and family via WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime.
The last two weeks have been a complete blur. I went from being in the office every day with co-workers and hearing whispers that New York was headed for a lockdown to packing up my computer a week ago today and working remotely by myself for the foreseeable future, which was my biggest fear. As someone who rarely stays home, I couldn’t imagine how I would occupy my days, let alone how I would establish a new routine working remotely.
But so far, I’ve managed and I wanted to share a few things I’ve done to help make this transition easier:
1. Set up a group chat: Just because you may not see your co-workers face-to-face for a while doesn’t mean you can’t converse and check in with each other. My co-workers and I started a group text so we can all keep in touch during this transition period. We regularly chat via text and make sure we are all getting along okay. While I miss seeing them in person, it’s been nice to have the group text going to still feel connected.
2. Start a virtual activity: I knew working from home would be isolating for me since I live alone, so I’ve been taking daily walks on my lunch break during the week and inviting co-workers and my social media community to join me on a virtual walk. To join in, use the hashtag #VirtualWalksWSteil and tag @livinginsteil. You can walk at whatever time you’d like and post your walk to Instagram Stories. I’ll repost you on my Instagram, so we can all keep walking together…virtually, of course!
3. Have a designated workspace: While I no longer have a home office, I do have a designated space to work from. The first thing I did when I started working from home was to clean up my desk and make it an inviting space to be at for long periods of time. I’ve always found that I’m more productive when I have a designated space as opposed to working from my bed or the couch.
4. Keep your routine: While doing your hair and makeup may seem pointless when you’re working from home, I’ve found that it has helped me keep a sense of normalcy in my day to day life. I’ve been keeping my morning routine pretty close to what it was when I was still going into the office and waking up at the same time, making my bed, and putting on a tinted moisturizer and comfortable clothes. Feeling put together makes me feel good and allows me to be more productive.
5. Utilize apps for workouts: Now that pretty much all non-essential businesses are closed you might be struggling to keep your workout game going strong. I know I am. Thankfully, there are lots of places live streaming workouts on Instagram and Facebook and there are plenty of free workout apps you can download as well as apps that are offering free trials. I started doing at-home yoga classes with Lululemon on their YouTube channel and took a stretching class with Ghost Flower on Instagram Live. Some of my co-workers have been loving Peleton’s 90-day free trial, which offers cycling, running, yoga, outdoor, and strength classes on their app. Make sure to check out what your local studios might be offering digitally and support them if you’re able to. Oh, and don’t neglect your emotional health during this time. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try the Calm app for daily guided meditations.
I know things are crazy right now as we all try to do our part to help flatten the curve and adjust to this new normal. But the good news is that we are all in this together and that means we can support each other. Make sure to check in with your community–if you’re going grocery shopping ask friends and neighbors if they need anything, call or text friends and family to check-in, and if you need support, reach out. We will get through this.
To the people who can’t stay home—the doctors, nurses, researchers, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, and all of the other essential workers—thank you for all that you are doing during Covid-19.