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Working from home has caught many of us by off-guard, and for those of us who prefer working in an office, or miss the environment it offers, it’s all the more important that we prioritise self-care to stay healthy and productive. Tiziana Tan, the co-founder and CEO of impact marketing agency, Brain Juice Creative, shared a few tips on how she has been coping with working from home, and how she structures her routine to be just as productive.
Although it sounds cliche, having some structure in your daily routine makes us feel in control. It is easy for us to immediately slip into work mode the moment we wake up, but for Tiziana, she makes sure that she sticks to her routine as though she were going into her office. For her it means, waking up early, exercising before turning to her emails and setting aside time for rest. Having a routine not only makes us feel good, but enables us to cope with changes should we need to go back to working in an office environment again.
She makes sure to separate her work space from her bedroom and dining area. By having a space that you can dedicate solely to your work (be it a separate desk or room), you will know that that’s the place you get the job done, and you have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the work day. With this arrangement, you definitely won’t fall prey to plonking down on the sofa or taking a power nap on the bed.
Never wear pajamas.
Part of the routine that has been important to Tiziana is making the effort to dress and accessorize as though she’s going into the office - things that will perk up and set her in the right mood for a positive work day. If you’re dressed for bedtime, your brain will think it’s time to take a snooze. And if you have work calls throughout the day, it’s all the more important that you wear something suitable for the call. Comfortable attire made from natural fibers so that your skin can breathe throughout the day, (especially if you don’t have your air-conditioning on) are suitable for a work from home environment. We recommend the Arwen Batik Wrap Dress made of handstamped batik fabric by artisans in Indonesia. It’s free-size and can be worn not just as a dress but as a jacket too. The feminine pink and green hues bring a dash of colour to your outfit, and also remind us of the row of pastel-coloured shophouses in Joo Chiat. Stylecat’s handmade beaded pineapple earrings are also bright and cheery, and will add some fortune to your work area and zoom calls!
How many of us fall into the trap of allowing the work to continue well beyond working hours when there isn't a true separation from home and office? To prevent those lines from blurring, it’s important to establish a start and a finish time, as well as schedule in short breaks in your work day. Without her team around her, it’s easy to get sucked into her work, so Tiziana schedules her breaks every hour to remind her to stand up and take a quick stretch. Too much sitting down is bad for your health, so remember to stretch those legs and take a walk around the home. To clear her mind, she has a range of aromatherapy and natural fragrances on hand. One that we recommended for recharging is Perk from Sol.plus. It contains rosemary which has been found to be a cognitive stimulant that helps with memory and cognitive performance. Benefits includes improving focus.
Scheduling breaks to hydrate is important as hydration is essential for optimal performance. and helps us stay alert, focused and energized. Be sure to cut down on the sugar and swap sugary drinks for other beverages such as tea. Tiziana says she enjoys brewing her own tea as part of the break, as it is not only meditative but calms her down in the process. We recommend Petale Tea’s Organic Bulgarian Rose Tea. Just add a few buds into hot water and infuse for 8 minutes - sit back and smell the roses!
It’s very easy to eat or snack at your desk, or not even eat at all. While the office environment creates a routine, working from home means having to adjust. Tiziana recommends strictly eating at your dining table and not at your work area. If you are tight on time, don’t reach out for food that has low nutritional value. It’s normal to stock up on chips, ice-cream and chocolates when you’re at the supermarket, but you will probably go through the whole bag quicker than you might expect. Instead, Tiziana has suggests going for fruit or unsalted seaweed. She also loves smoothies, which are easy to make and can help you get through the day when you feel the urge to snack.
We recommended this fun drink Pina-C-Baobab from LVL, which is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre, for a boost in energy during the day.
Here’s how you can whip up a healthy, mood-lifting drink under 5 minutes!
TOTAL TIME: 5 mins
CALORIES: 247 kcal
2 SCOOPS LVL BAOBAB (1 scoop = 30g)
1 CUP ALMOND MILK (1 cup = 245g)
1 FROZEN BANANA
2 TABLESPOONS DESICCATED COCONUT
1 MEDJOOL DATE
LVL CHIA SEEDS
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Add the toppings and the beverage is ready to serve!
Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know what your self-care work from home tips are!