Tips for Quarantining & Working from Home

     All over the world, most people are having to stay home more than they may want to. It's all for a good reason, but as the amount of time we'll need to remain like this goes unknown, it's daunting not knowing how we should adjust. For introverts like myself, it's a little hard to imagine quarantining being an issue... but even I admit that there's a disconnected feeling from not knowing when to expect change. The best we can do right now is accept what we must do and make adjustments until such a time. I want to share how I made adjustments and provide some tips based on what I've done at home.

If you struggle with working from home and quarantining, read on for suggestions!

     As an introvert and Healer, I've always preferred staying home in solitude to going out... and as the mother of a senior dog with health issues, I rarely left the house without him. These facts just made it easy for me to adjust to stay-at-home orders, but I realize that if you're not an introvert then you likely feel claustrophobic having to stay in. I've come up with some suggestions based on things that I've done in the past few weeks...

     In addition to cooking more, I decided to put my culinary skills to the test - I wanted to get creative with my meals and try new recipes, and with that bring some excitement into the day using food. As someone that knows well about the emotions attached to eating, I knew food would be an important aspect in quarantine because we're all bound to eat more being stuck at home. Instead of allowing myself to stock pile on junk food, I started picking up more food from the produce section than anywhere else. BTW: produce is fine as long as you're cleaning your groceries when you get them home. I first find inspiration online by searching for the dish I want to try and sift through the top recipes to get an idea - usually altering a recipe to suit my tastes. The result: I've made many new dishes in quarantine that not only inspired more ideas, but earned a place in the family cookbook.

     If you're needing to fill time and want to cook, I highly recommend this method of getting creative. Given some planning, it's easy enough to accomplish and let's face it - no meal is better than one you've put together yourself. You don't necessarily have to be adventurous about it if you don't want to... just challenge yourself to try some new, or just different, recipes. To fill even more time in the kitchen, I also recommend baking. Even beginners should have no issue making a batch of cookies!

And if cooking and/or baking aren't your thing, look to gardening - or any other hobby!

     Since I've found myself laid off from my day-job, I went through a few stages during this quarantine process. At first, I allowed the opportunity to enjoy the break and caught up on sleep, pending projects, and in all honesty - just lazed around the house for a few days and did some inner work. If you have the chance to do so but have not enjoyed this mode yet then please allow yourself to. If anything, at least enjoy this time as the vacation that you know you'll one day wish for; when you're back to working full-time and leading a busy life. I know I will!

     But if you're like me, then lazing around begins to get annoying. If this isn't the case for you then by all means, continue doing your thing! Yet between knowing that I was jobless while my husband is unaffected - working out of his home office as usual - meant that I hit a point where I began to feel unproductive. To change this, I began to assign myself work. It's mostly just housework, but the decision to shift into the shoes of homemaker ensured that I was holding myself accountable to a schedule and duties, which essentially makes it a job. This came with taking opportunities to purge and rearrange, but mostly resulted in me upping my game when it comes to cleaning. To make sure it doesn't feel tedious, I spice up my routines with frequent breaks, loud music & by dancing/singing (trust me, it passes the time quicker!).

I shifted to focus on tasks in front of me with self-care & pleasure activities taking up my free time. My advice is to find a focus that suits your needs and provides balance.

     As an Intuitive Empath, I knew that it was slightly annoying (or perhaps even just a reason for some jealousy) for my husband that I am essentially being paid to stay home while he has to continue working his regular 8-hour days. As my husband has had a work-from-home arrangement for many years now, we've made many adjustments to ensure the two worlds (home and work) don't clash. Most of our work-from-home lessons came from trial and error, but thankfully result in us having found solutions that I can share. Even if space is limited, there's measures you can take to separate your home & professional lives!

     For starters, know this: distractions are bound to happen. That's the reality of working from home, period, because let's face it - you're physically there, so sometimes you can't ignore what's happening around you. The same happens if you're in an office though, if you think about it! I've found that you are allowed this given that you're still able to complete your work or attend to whatever you need to... so you can relax if this thought bothers you.

     As I work from home on my Healing business, I admit that the one mistake I've made is essentially the issue we all face working from home -- needing to create the workspace we need. For a long time, I used my personal/gaming computer for my business.. This worked for a while, but it created issues when I realized I would sometimes spend the day surfing or gaming, and I was always tempted to work in the evenings; sometimes only going to bed because it was really late (but I still had a fired-up brain and work I wanted to do). While it helps to stick to a schedule and create separate profiles on the computer, the best answer is to have a separate computer (if possible). This way, you can put your work computer away at the end of the day and be done with it.

But that's only one part of it. Your workspace is the most important factor!

     When my husband and I were engaged and living in an apartment, space and money was limited.. but we made it work when he accepted his first work-from-home arrangement. It required some furniture rearrangement and investment in getting another desk, and we managed to create a home office for him out of the corner of our living room. You can do this with any space, and the point is to create that cubicle-like bubble in which you can focus on your work. We faced him into the corner, away from the view of the entertaining living area just inches away, but against the wall with a window (providing much needed light), and decorated his space with colourful, inviting items. When it was worried that the use of the living room would be a distraction, we invested in a pair of noise-canceling headphones that he kept at the desk.

     If you have a room that can easily be repurposed into an office, even if only temporarily, then this is your best bet. Being able to literally close the door and walk away from your workspace is physically & mentally easier. But no matter what your physical workspace looks like, treating your time and space appropriately, while being flexible and forgiving with yourself, is key to holding yourself accountable. As someone that had worked from home for years, my husband did endure cabin fever -- something we're all feeling now! Get outside and enjoy it, even if it's just your balcony, backyard, or the drive to the grocery store [when you go]. You can safely enjoy the outdoors while still keeping your distance from others.

     One last tip, in regards to continuing to socialize in quarantine: Yes, keep it up with calls, texts, emails, etc. But there's also ways to have a party without inviting anyone over! Start a video call with friends and host a game on camera. If you can find something that requires connecting through an app or doesn't need physical connection for all players, it should be a relatively easy experience to coordinate. Stay safe and have fun in any way that you can!

#empath #intuitivehealer #pandemic #workingfromhome #quarantining #empathconfessions

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