As state by state appears to be moving toward Stay at Home Orders, Minnesota is the next to join that list today, Friday, March 27. Our entire NATIV3 team is now working from home, which has been a major adjustment! We’re finding that it’s particularly challenging to juggle kids, work, and daily living. How are we coping and thriving during this time?
Truth be told, we are managing, as best as anyone can. But hey – this is new for almost everyone. We thought we’d share some of our tips:
Make a Schedule
Working from home isn’t just about checking off to-do lists! It’s about optimizing your time to find balance. Strive to keep a consistent schedule that mimics the school day as close as possible, but mainly starting and ending around the same time. Keep mealtimes the same.
- Try to keep any lessons, practices, etc. that have moved to virtual learning in the same time slots as before.
- Your schedule should not be rigid – but should be a helpful tool to keep everyone in the know about what the day should look like, especially since it does feel a bit like one never ending day.
One fun idea would be creating Themed Weekday Fun. Pick something fun to do at whatever time of day works best for you and your family.
Monday – Board Game
Tuesday – Disney/Pixar Movie
Wednesday – Craft/Art Project
Thursday – Marvel/Justice League Movie
Friday – Card Game
Whether you want to use an online streaming service such as Beachbody on Demand, find a workout on Youtube, or just go outside for a walk, jog, or run (keep that physical distance!) strive to keep your body moving. This is helpful in a multitude of ways.
Obviously it is good for your physical health, but it is also helpful for mental health. The Mayo Hospital states, “Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. But smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference.”
If you have children, this is also beneficial for them. Have them join you for a short walk or a 15 minute HIIT routine (High Intensity Interval Training). It not only will help use up some of their energy, but it will be a bonding experience for the whole family.
Be Patient and Thankful
Working from home is challenging, but you can rest assured that you’re not the only person who feels that way. Give yourself and those in your family a lot of patience. Tempers can run high when there is no outlet for seeing other people, loss of normal routine, etc. Try to remain calm and remember that this will not last forever.
Start a thankful journal, jar, or go around the dinner table and have each person say one surprising thing that they are thankful for about being quarantined with their family. This type of exercise can help cultivate gratitude in hearts that may be tempted to fear during times of uncertainty.
Use this time as a reset button for your New Year’s Resolutions, or come up with new ones! Take some time to think about what realistic goals you would like to set for yourself so that you come out of quarantine stronger and more focused. Include your kids in letting them make their own goals. Here are some ideas:
- Plan a summer garden
- Learn how to knit
- Finally finish the basement
- Read that book that has been on your nightstand for months
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Begin learning a new language
- Start a podcast or blog
Have fun and be creative. Kids will follow your lead. Who knows? Maybe you have the next Mozart eating PB&J at your dinner table.
Practically speaking, you do not necessarily need anything but a laptop and internet access for working from home, but we have found some of these tools helpful in our remote work.
- Noise Canceling Headphones – Our boss, Jon likes these pink ones.
- A stand up desk – some of our team took the office stand up desks home.
- An ergonomic chair for proper alignment and support.
Maybe you do not have the ability to invest in any of those tools right now – that’s ok! One of the best things about being an American is that we are known for our ingenuity. Take what you have and create a space that will help you focus and get work done from home!
Physical Distance is NOT Social Distance
Find time and ways to stay socially connected with people you know and love. This includes your co-workers, too! Our team has begun a weekly Virtual Happy Hour every Thursday. This time is set aside to invest in the culture and build trust as a team. Sure, we may end up doing some “shop talk”, but that is not the purpose of the time. We have a lot of fun with each other, whether it is laughing at how terrible some of us are at Zoom meetings, Jon’s new pink headphones, or a funny meme we found and had to share the backstory on – we enjoy one another’s company.
This also applies to checking on those you know who live alone, like single parents, the elderly, or really just about everyone. Do your best to reach out and check in with people to see how they are doing being in isolation. Netflix can only suffice for so long when it comes to human interaction. Humans need social time, so don’t be afraid to reach out!
Above all else, now that the hustle and bustle has come to a complete halt, the opportunity to take stock of our lives and invest in those around us should be our priority. The economy may not be stable. Our lives have been interrupted. We have been given a great chance to make some positive changes in our lives that can become a part of who we are.
Let’s unite together to take this time as a golden opportunity to invest in people. Because at the end of the day, people are what matter.