I have now been working from home for just over 7 weeks. It has been a tough transition for me. But things have finally calmed down and I feel like I am getting some room to breathe and figure this all out.
In the first few weeks working from home, my job was consumed by all things COVID-19. Webinar after webinar, Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting, all while also trying to complete my regular job duties from a new location and a remote team of 5 employees. My job duties in these first few weeks of the pandemic were to learn as much as I could about COVID-19 and figure out how it would affect our business. Press conferences went on later in the afternoon and into the evenings. I would find myself still working while listening to the COVID Task Force press briefings until 6:30-7 pm in the evenings. This did not leave much time in the evenings to do things I really love to do like run, bike, hike, etc. By the time the alarm went off early in the morning, I was still feeling exhausted and not motivated at all to get up and be active before a full day of work. My activity level fell and so did my energy level. It was a double-edge sword and I needed to figure it out or risk my health.
Now with things not so urgent and hectic, I can see the outside from my office window and long to be out there. I have gotten better at closing down my laptop earlier in the evening and making myself get dressed for running before sitting down. Cause boy, if I sat down, there would be no running! I don’t have this work from home thing down 100% but I do have some ideas and suggestions:
Make sure you have a separate space for your “office”. Mine is my daughter’s old bedroom. The walls are still bright purple and there is running, hiking, and camping gear all over, but it is still a room I can hide away in and not be disturbed.
Take a shower and get dressed every day. You never know when someone might request a quick Zoom video call! It also makes me feel like I am “at work.”
Try to take breaks and get outside….even if it’s only for 5 minutes! Take the mail to the mailbox. Bring the garbage cans back from the road. Just stretch the legs and get some sunshine.
Make sure you know how to use the tools you have to use to do your job. If you are going to be on a webinar on a platform other than the normal Zoom, make sure you can connect. Otherwise, you may find yourself scrambling at the last minute
Try to leave your “office” at the same time every night. I struggle with this one! “I can do just this last thing quickly!” And 2 hours later, you are still in front of your laptop! Bill sometimes has to drag me out!
Stay engaged with the people you miss. Even though you have been on Zoom all day, give your mom and dad or your friend a call on Zoom to chat for just a few minutes. It will give you new life to have that connection and do wonders for your mental health!
Reach out if you need help! If you find yourself really struggling with your mental health, there are resources out there for you! Bigger Than the Trails offers online counseling. You can contact them at https://bttt.run/support
I long for the day that we can group run again! I long for the day I can hug my kids and my parents with no hesitation! I long to put on events to bring the trail communities together again! Hang in there folks! This too shall pass and we will be out there together again!! And I cannot wait!!!