How to Be More Mindful When Working from Home
May 4, 2020
Over the last month, we’ve all had to adjust to new routines, roles, and expectations around work. As with any transition, many of us have been doing the best we can to adapt—finding we can only be reactive, not proactive.
But how are you doing now?
You may find yourself having days where you feel more settled into the new reality. Or, you may be looking for ways to get more comfortable with the changes. No matter where you stand, now is a good time to proactively consider how you’re approaching your work in this new world.
There are so many opportunities for us to be mindful in the 'work from home' environment, says Dr. Britt Andreatta in The Mindful Workday. Small changes can have a big impact, and help us show up as our best selves—both at work and when we step away.
To feel more grounded, focused, and connected throughout the day, try these three mindfulness exercises.
1. Create a mindful workspace
Our external environment can set the tone for our internal well-being. To create a mindful workspace—one that anchors you in the present moment—surround yourself with images and messages that are meaningful to you.
Dr. Andreatta has a framed picture of Fall leaves in New England to remind her of the abundance surrounding her, and a Buddha statuette to remind her to stay in the moment. For me, I keep my plants and essential oils nearby to bring life into the space and help me stay present and focused.
Other workspace adds that Dr. Adreatta recommends are a candle, a favorite mug, and colorful pens and pencils to encourage creativity.
2. Stay grounded during video meetings
Video calls require more focus than face-to-face interaction, making meetings more challenging than ever.
To ground yourself, first set your posture. Plant your feet on the floor, feel where your body meets the chair, and take a deep breath to settle in.
Then, set an intention before you join the meeting. Do you want to feel more connected to your colleagues? Share a big idea? Practice sitting back and listening more? Whatever your intention, it can serve as a North Star to guide you and help you stay present.
During the meeting, tune into the dynamics of yourself and others. What is your response to the discussion? Are people stressed? Is there a lot of enthusiasm around a certain topic?
When you tap into this deeper level of awareness, you can engage in a more active and empathetic way.
3. Take more breaks!
There are times we need to push through a challenge, and times we need to take a break. Especially amidst the uncertainty we’re living in, more often than not the best choice for your well-being is to take a break.
“Rest is a radical act and I encourage you to engage in resting,” says Dr. Andreatta.
Listen to music, read a book, lay in the grass and look up at the clouds—whatever soothes your body and soul and brings you back to the present moment.
Schedule several breaks throughout your day, but also allow yourself to take an unplanned break after a tough meeting, or when you’re feeling stuck. These mini-moments of mindfulness will decrease stress, improve your productivity, and give you the space you need to show up as your best self.
Check out more free mindfulness courses and other relevant courses to help you learn the skills to be productive from home, find a new job, and build resilience.