You finally did it. You dreamed the impossible dream and made it a reality. The shackles that kept you attached to the desk in your cubicle have been destroyed and you are working from home full-time. Life looks good on Easy Street.
Or, at least, it was supposed to be easy. You've realized that it is a big responsibility to handle all of the work alone. Decisions aren't made as quickly now that you're not physically in the office. That big bold line that separated work life from home life is starting to get a little blurry. And, if that wasn't enough, the only person to talk to at the water cooler is yourself. That's not a path you are ready to traverse.
Whether you are working in the office or from home, there will always be obstacles to overcome. Here are 4 tips to beat the stress and be more productive:
1. There's No Place Like Om
Meditation activates the part of the nervous system that lowers blood pressure and heart rate, relaxes muscles and can reduce stress hormones to baseline levels. And no, you don't need to climb to a mountaintop and start chanting to do it.
Whenever you are feeling particularly tense, find a quiet place with a chair and take a seat. Close your eyes and begin what is called Conscious Breathing. Focus on the feel of your breath as you inhale and exhale slowly but deeply. If you find it difficult to focus, you may want to repeat a word or phrase as you breathe in and out. Try this for a minute or two at a time, a few times during the day.
2. Exercise and Eat Well
Staying active and providing your body with the right fuel goes a long way in the fight against stress.
In the nutrition department, try to center your diet around lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc.) and the occasional whole grain. Also, do your best to eat every 3 hours. The frequent eating will keep you mentally sharp and fire up your metabolism throughout the day.
Take time out to do this quick 10-minute exercise circuit once or twice a day. Start with a basic squat and do as many as you can in 30 seconds. Following a 30 second rest, perform as many lunges as you can in 30 seconds, leading with your left leg. Then switch to leading with your right leg and do as many lunges as you can in 30 seconds. After another 30 second rest, do pushups for 30 seconds. Finally, after 30 seconds, hold yourself in a plank position for 30 seconds. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat the circuit one more time.
3. Leave The Office For Lunch
Even if you walk 5 minutes to a park and sit down to eat a sandwich, the change of scenery will do you some good. Leave the phone so that you're not tempted to check emails and just enjoy disconnecting from the office for a while. Bonus points if you can strike up a conversation with someone to break up the solo nature of working at home.
4. List All Of The Reasons You Ditched The Office…
…and review them daily. Maybe the boss was always breathing down your neck or life in a cubicle started to get suffocating. Perhaps you had it with that one person that always microwaved the worst smelling food imaginable. Whatever the reason, it made you decide to cut the office cord. Put them down on paper so that you have an ever-present reminder of why you made the decision. A daily reminder of your quest towards a happier life should put you in a better mindset.
Jason Serapiglia is the Founder of Pique Fitness, a Staten Island, NY based boutique personal training studio. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him via Twitter @piquefitness.