The word “monotony” has a new meaning in 2020. It is now mid August... Anyone else need the occasional reminder that time didn’t actually stop in March? I don’t know about you but when we first went into lockdown, I remained hopeful that it would all soon pass, and because it was expected to be over relatively soon it was ok to put life on hold. I tried making the best of quarantine by nursing my anxiety through indulgence. If I felt like watching tv for hours on end, I did it. If my taste buds suddenly regressed to the sophistication of a twelve year old’s and I craved nothing but chips and pizza rolls, I bought all the chips and pizza rolls my heart desired. That was great for the first month. The indulgence brought me joy and comfort; however, several months in, it’s easy to see why the new norm I was constructing is incredibly problematic.
For those of us fortunate enough to 1) still have jobs and 2) be able to work from the safety of our homes, the hours spent at home feel endless. Our commutes consist of trips to and from the fridge. The reality is, the pandemic wasn’t over within a few weeks. We didn’t go back to normal. We haven’t gone back to existing as if nothing happened. Time didn’t stop. At least for the time being, this is our truth so it is important to find ways of disrupting the soul-crushing monotony and establish a healthy routine that encourages creativity and productivity throughout our workday and beyond.
Morning Weekday Routine
Re-introducing key aspects of our BP (Before Pandemic) morning weekday routines can help return some of the normalcy lost as a result of the pandemic and consequential quarantine. If you went to the gym or exercised before work every morning, then make sure to continue that. Go for a morning run, or a simple walk to the nearby park. Maybe look up a HIIT workout video on Youtube. Not only is the re-introduction of a morning workout good for establishing a healthy and productive routine, exercise also improves our mood and mental health by releasing endorphins which help relieve stress and pain. Next, get ready as usual. Although it is incredibly tempting to stay in your pajamas all day, maintaining a designated work space, work schedule, and getting dressed for the day helps us focus and helps us separate our work and home life, thus disrupting the vortex, black hole, groundhog day, time loop we seem to find ourselves in.
Keep it Movin’
Another healthy habit to develop is continual movement. Newton’s first law of motion tells us an object at rest will remain at rest. I believe anyone working from home, sitting in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day can agree that the longer you sit, the more you want to stay motionless. Boom! Science. An easy way to combat the dreaded sedentary lifestyle is to swap out your basic stationary desk for a Hi-Lo desk. The Ascent Hi-Lo Desk by Greenington is artfully crafted in solid Moso Bamboo and has a stunning Amber finish. Allowing you to easily transition between sitting and standing positions throughout your workday, the Ascent’s dual motor effortlessly rises and lowers at the touch of a button. The touch keypad features four programmable memory settings so achieving that ideal personalized height is quick and easy. Ergonomically shaped for comfort, the Ascent desktop is crafted in beautiful solid Amber bamboo. Copeland's Invigo Sit Stand Desk has basic and premium options and is totally configurable with modesty panels, monitor arms, drawers and more--just contact our Haiku Concierge. Disrupt the continuous hours of sitting while promoting healthy movement with the Ascent Hi-Lo Desk or Invigo Sit-Stand Desk.
Update (11/29/23): Sienna also talks about Sit Stand Desks again in her blog post: Finding the Perfect Eco-Friendly Sit-Stand Desk: My Top Picks!
Take Scheduled Breaks
While Sit-to-Stand working desks like the Ascent Hi-Lo Desk or Invigo Sit-Stand Desk allows for more freedom of mobility while mentally engaged in our work, it is also important to give ourselves breaks from the monitors to prevent eye fatigue and general work exhaustion. Allow yourself breaks in which you step away from your desk and walk around a bit, do some stretches, grab a snack, step out into the warm sun, and whatever else you might feel like doing during your break. Recharge, regroup, refocus.
The work day eventually comes to an end and we find ourselves within the same space, surrounded by the same people, confined within the same walls. That can overwhelm anyone. The mindful practice of mediation may just be what helps us through these tough times. Some benefits of meditation include stress management, increased self-awareness, reduced anxiety, better emotional health, lengthened attention span, and improved memory. Check out our selection of Meditation Chairs like the Sattva (pictured above) or the Bodhi Meditation Chair and meditation cushions like the Lotus, Crescent, and Zafu Meditation Cushions to help you get started on your mindfulness journey.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own problems, but obsessing over things we can’t control leaves no room for creativity and productivity. Setting aside as few as 10 minutes to meditate can help regain perspective and focus, which can then be redirected towards establishing healthy habits. Make it a family activity! Everyone can benefit from truly quiet moments of purposeful and mindful meditation.
I’m hoping most people aren’t just figuring this out (like me) and have maintained good habits and healthy routines. But if you have been struggling with the many changes and have had difficulties adjusting to working from home, hopefully these tips are helpful. Routines can be extremely important and beneficial to our state of mind. Routines create a sense of normalcy, comfort, and control so long as we establish healthy behaviours that help us navigate a world that is inherently unpredictable. Unfortunately, unless you were blessed with fortune-telling abilities, there is no way of knowing for certain what the future holds. All we can do is keep ourselves healthy and prepared both mentally and emotionally to handle whatever may come our way. Afterall, it is 2020… nothing is off the table.