For those who are fortunate enough to be employed during these uncertain times, working from home has suddenly become the new-norm. While organizations like ours have always offered remote-flexibility, taking the occasional WFH-day is vastly different than working a mandatory remote schedule for months at a time. As we attempt to adapt, our ability to mentally unplug becomes increasingly difficult, yet that much more important.
So, how do you tune out the noise of work, the 24-hour news-cycle, and social media to recenter yourself? Well,much like the rest of the world, my WFH-life is still a work-in-progress and I’d be lying if I said it’s been a walk-in-the-park. I’m learning too and very much still figuring this out for myself. But I’ll share what I’ve got so far, what the team has to say, and hopefully something here serves you well.
Very small. I’m talking one deep breath in, and one deep breath out. (Go for it! ) One conscious breath cycle can be an absolute life-saver when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Whenever my busy mind gets away from me, one conscious breath cycle gently carries me back to my equilibrium and gives me a renewed sense of clarity. Returning to your breath is a super accessible way to reset no matter where you are or what you’re doing.Want one more? Here’s another tried and true stress-management strategy (weather permitting, of course)…
“Recently, just opening our windows for some fresh air.”
Alex Frachon, SEO Associate
Working 100% remote can also make it trickier to briefly step away from work, in order to reset or socialize.. The time that you used to spend grabbing coffee or dropping by your neighbor’s desk has been instantaneously eliminated from your schedule. All of a sudden, you look up from your laptop and realize that you haven’t moved from your at-home workspace in the past 5 hours — whoops!
These mental breaks don’t always happen organically when you’re still establishing healthy WFH habits. Sound familiar? We asked the Seer team to share how they’ve been able to build brief breaks into their schedules…
“I like to take 1 extended mid-day walk (usually around 2PM PST when meetings wrap up). This helps me reset, prioritize, and finish my day with focus.”
Ryan Van Valin, SEO Team Lead
“Some of us have added a recurring meeting around lunchtime for some midday stretching. It’s been a nice little daily break to step away from the desk & get in some movement.”
Denise Baginski, Digital Designer
Another effective way to reset is taking 15-minutes to bookend your day. This tactic helps to create separation between the work-day and after-hours relaxation time. (Especially for folks who are used to having a daily commute to establish distance between work and home-life.) Check out the Seer team’s tips for developing a daily-routine with 15-minute to start and close the day…
“Right now, it’s been harder to set boundaries on working hours since 100% of my work is taking place at home. To help provide some more natural boundaries, I’ve set certain cues to help mark when I should be done working for the day. I like to get outside to walk my dog before dark.”
Andi Robbins, Sr. Business Strategy Manager
“Under normal circumstances I’d be at the gym! But these days it’s a workout in my living room. I’ve been starting most mornings doing cardio first thing and watching the sunrise which has been nice, and in the evenings I take my dog for a long walk, read a good book, and watch videos on YouTube.”
Will Stevens, Sr. Client Engagement Manager
“Right after I log off, we take Louie for a walk. It kinda reminds me of my drive home from the office; I “pack up,” put my coat on, walk out the door. That walk at the end of the day is how we try to keep a “normal” routine. Sometimes on our walk, Steven and I will talk about our days, what we want for dinner, other times we just kinda walk in silence (which honestly, is nice.)”
Jane Brady, PPC Manager
The more mental space you can create the better. Spending an extended period of time ‘turned off’ will leave you feeling re-energized with the mental-fuel to power through whatever comes next.
Think about it as an investment in your present and future self. Find something you enjoy and do it for you, for however long you need. Here’s how our team unplugs, maybe one of these will work for you too…
“My unplug activities usually involve situations where I can’t multitask.Things like hiking, reading, workout classes, reorganizing furniture, and cooking all require my full attention. Fully focusing on the task at hand gives my brain a pause from the usual 100 directions it’s running in, which makes me feel much calmer.”
Jacqueline Wallace, People Operations Manager
“Running! It’s extremely therapeutic for me. Any time I’m having a stressful day at work, getting outside and running helps me to de-stress and re-center myself.”
Molly McDevitt, SEO Associate
“If I can play a game, read a book, take a walk, do a craft or something with my daughter or a friend it helps me separate and take some time not checking in on work. The days & weekends I’m better about disconnecting I usually am fresher the next morning than when I let things slip into late night checks.”
Michelle Noonan, Analytics Team Lead
“Surfing, yoga, meditation, beach cleanups, off the grid camping trips”
Scott Ridout, PPC Manager
Finding time to unplug is essential to establishing work-life balance. When your home suddenly becomes your full-time office, creating that intentional space is even more important. As you’re finding your new WFH routine, hopefully, this serves as inspiration to bake in some time for yourself. And above all else, remember to be gentle– we’re all figuring this out together.