By Molly Black for Yoga Medicine.
Since 2020, many of us have been working from home, and our typical boundaries and our usual activities we do to de-stress aren’t available to us. This can be overwhelming and we can often feel like we aren’t fully settled into our routines.
For me, when I started working from home in 2015, I was really excited! I loved the autonomy and the ability to start work as soon as I opened my laptop. I remember starting work at 7 AM because I was enthusiastic to get started. All this being said, I felt like my “work energy” and my “home energy” were mixing and it was challenging for me to continue to stay in work mode or to fully relax after work or on the weekends.
Cultivating balance in our everyday lives leads us to feel more well-rested and we’re able to support others because our cup is full. Here are some suggestions on how to cultivate balance in your life.
Do a personal investigation of what you need to feel productive and well-rested. Notice if you’re checking emails or working in your bed or in spaces that you usually rest or eat. Throughout this process of shifting to working fully remote, the simple act of being intentional about where you work, rest, and eat makes a big difference in your productivity and allows you to fully turn off.
You can take this a step further by muting or pausing apps on your phone that you may be anxiously checking or turn off notifications. I set my email app to pause in the evening so that I can’t check my email or get notifications while I’m resting at the end of the day or in the morning before my meditation practice and daily morning walk.
Tune into your energy levels at the beginning of the day, note what you need, and continue to check-in with yourself throughout the day. Give yourself permission to meet your needs. The more we care for our well-being the more productive, joyful, and available we are to care for others.
Communicate Your Needs
The best way to ensure your needs are met, communicate with those you live with. If you live alone, be honest with yourself about what you need. In 2019, I moved in with my partner in the summer, and March 2020 changed the way we work. I see my home as my sanctuary, a place I can recharge and retreat to fill my cup. Starting in March, my business became fully remote and I was sharing space with my partner who worked a 9-to-5 while I had a more flexible schedule.
We negotiated space and time so that we both felt comfortable and productive. In the beginning, it was challenging. We shifted tables and created an office in our kitchen and dining room. Where we work and how we work continues to change as we become more comfortable and as our needs change.
Take note of how you work best and communicate with who you live with about what you need to feel more relaxed at home or sit down and journal about what you need for yourself to feel like your space is balanced. Your home is your retreat space – what does that look like for you?
Create Intentional Balance
These days our whole lives are under one roof and the energy in these spaces can feel chaotic and our boundaries are blurred. That’s why it’s essential that we set these boundaries for ourselves to create balance. Balance can mean different things for everyone, there are many ways to create a balanced life. Setting routines can help us have more clarity, this could be as simple as taking a walk every morning and evening, making your home cozier to feel more relaxing, or designating a space in your home for Meditating. These small changes can make a big difference in our overall wellness.
Once you start making these changes – tap into how your energy has shifted. Do you feel more well-rested? Do you notice you’re more productive? Do you feel like your home is now a space for healing? Journal these questions and reflect on how you can continue to cultivate mindful balance.
About the Author
Molly Black is a Mindfulness Teacher passionate about helping people create a sustainable mindfulness practice through MBSR, Yoga, Meditation, and Reiki. Follow her on Instagram (@wellnesswithmolly) and learn more on her website.