For many people in recovery, the workplace might be a “safe” zone, where they can get out of the house and focus solely on projects and tasks for eight or more hours a day. Now that so many of us are working from home, it’s much harder to stay focused. However, you can still thrive in recovery even as you battle cabin fever in the home office. Here are some tips on how to do so.
Repurpose Your Commute Time
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got a bit more time on your hands now that you no longer have to commute to work. Reclaim your commute time as “me” time and spend it doing something that will make you feel good. Whether you choose to exercise, read, journal, or even just linger over your coffee, consider this time as a gift you give yourself.
Stay Connected with Colleagues
Miss your work buddies? They miss you, too. And while you’ll likely be in frequent communication with them over email and by phone regarding team projects, it’s not the same as those impromptu chats in the hallway or the break room you had back in the office. Just as you would schedule work meetings into your calendar, consider scheduling a virtual “water cooler” chat at some point during the day. It will give you all something to look forward to and will help keep those office friendships warm until you see each other again in person.
Prioritize Your To-Do List
Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day might seem like you’re working hard—until you realize that most of that time is taken up with Zoom meetings and taming your email in-box. While all of that is indeed work, it can take away from the other tasks on your to-do list. To stay on track, write a list of the top three things you need to get done and make sure they are checked off by the end of the day. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that you were able complete your own agenda amidst all the busy-ness of the workday.
Take a Lunch Break
Perhaps you were already taking your lunches at your desk at work, or worse—skipping them entirely. Don’t continue that bad habit at home. At the very least, get away from your computer and go to your kitchen to have a quick bite. If you’ve got family or roommates at home, make it a communal gathering, even if it’s nothing fancier than a container of yogurt or a quick peanut butter sandwich. You’ll all feel refreshed when you resume your daily schedule after eating.
Even if your outdoor time each day was relegated only to your commute, you run the risk of not getting out at all when you work from home. Dog owners have the edge here, so use your furry friend as an excuse to get out for a walk. But even if you don’t have a dog, make it a point to get some fresh air, especially if you feel an afternoon slump coming on. A quick walk around the block will do wonders for your mindset. Even better? If you have an outdoor space and the weather is cooperating, take your work outside for a bit.
Your morning cup of coffee or tea might be non-negotiable, but don’t neglect your water intake. In absence of a convenient water cooler at work, grab a glass or water bottle and keep it filled at home. Aim for eight glasses a day. If plain water is too blah for you, add fresh or frozen fruit for a hint of flavor.
Set Parameters for Your Workday
While working from home has its many benefits, you might find yourself working longer hours now that your commute is taken out of the equation. To avoid burnout, keep yourself to your normal work schedule. Try to set up your home office space in a way that it’s easy to log off at the end of the day and get away from your tasks. If your living room coffee table or your dining room table happens to be your new “desk,” that’s OK—but be sure to clear it at the end of the day so that you can relax there at night without work distractions.
Working from home has certainly been an adjustment for many people. These tips can help you transform the circumstances so they can support—not hinder—your success in recovery.
If you’d like to know about more resources for your successful recovery, contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770.