Having to work from home for some of us is quite challenging, at least for me. I used to have things done in a hustle and bustle at professional settings by interacting and meeting with other people. But home? For me who’s been having a 9–6 lifestyle since I ever remember, is the least effective place to work and get things done. Not to mention the challenge of not meeting other people to coordinate, brainstorm, or simply just for sharing a small talks over a cup of coffee.
Yet, there always a blessing in disguise — as people believe. Thanks to Mindfulness and meditation practice, I realize how they both can be really powerful to manage my stress, releasing my anxiety in dealing with uncertainty, balancing my work plus domestic life at the same time and place, and keep myself healthy (and sane!).
To be mindful means we put conscious attention and awareness to the present moment, rather than living in autopilot mode. The key point is not to get carried away by our thoughts and emotions to the past or the future, or giving out some judgement towards it. We simply observe and be aware in full attention and practicing what some philosophers said as “a beginner’s mind”.
Here are some tips to maintain a balanced life during work from home through Mindfulness :
1. Wake up with ‘open awareness’ mode
Rather than planning out this and that at the moment we wake up from bed, why don’t we try to open all of our sensory to receive the blessings of being able to be alive, to breathe, to see, to smell, to sense, to touch and most importantly to feel the life itself! Stop looking at the phone as we jump out of bed, start noticing some feeling from our sensory observation.
2. Create morning rituals
Create some activities that you enjoy so much, but make sure to do it 100%. This can be as simple as making your bed, drinking coffee, taking a shower with your favorite soap, inhale some aromatherapy from your favorite essential oils, and other simple yet significant things to make you ready to hit the day. Taking morning rituals can boost your mood and productivity, as well as keeping your mind clear and fresh.
3. Write a daily journal
Whether it is for professional task list, or personal diary, writing a journal for me is more than only striking the pen onto the paper. It is kinda meditative action where some thoughts, emotions, ideas and inspirations flow and ready to transform. Sounds too magical for a simple action, but I bet those who have been doing journal would agree with me.
4. Mindful eating
Get ready to gain some weight due to limited physical activities during work from home. This is where Mindful eating takes its part to maintain your health and weight. Be fully present when you are eating, doing so, you will eat less than when you are distracted.
Oh, I can’t describe how I love meditation and how it makes me feel afterward. It keeps myself centered and my mind to calm down. We all know how work from home can be very frustrating especially when things need to be done in asynchronous coordination. Meditation will help us taking some space to not getting attached and too much latched on the work (where now has no boundaries since it is done at home!). Because at the end of the day, we are not defined by the job we do nor the work we finish (let’s hope my boss doesn’t read this).
6. RAIN method
If you feel your day is too stressful, remember this technique called “RAIN”. First, RECOGNIZE what happen, without giving personal or mental commentary about it. Second, ALLOW it to happen as is. I always remember a quote by one of my Stoic philosophers, Epictetus :
“We must make the best of those things that are in our power, and take the rest as natures give it.”
So whenever we deal with adversity, allow it to happen as is and we come to the third stage, INVESTIGATE. This means we start to questioning ourselves in kindness about some feelings or thoughts that are coming our way. ‘Why I feel this way?’, ‘What irritates me the most?’ and other self-inquiry investigation in order to observe the condition, not to add self-critics or judgement, or even worst to do blaming.
Then, we come to the ’N’ from NON-IDENTIFICATION. This last stage is where we gain the result of practicing the technique, in which we don’t let ourselves identified with the negative thoughts and emotions. Instead, we take control of ourselves for taking some steps away from the observed feeling.
Last but not least, Mindfulness is about practice and be patient to yourself while doing it. It is unavoidable to experience bad days during work from home, but doing it Mindfully is a total game changer.
Have a Mindful work from home!
This writing also published in Medium at https://firstname.lastname@example.org/practicing-mindfulness-during-work-from-home-bee9b2b71624